"Remnants,” a one man show
The award-winning piece, Remnants,was performed by Henry “Hank” Greenspan at the Sponberg Theater, March 9. The forty-minute piece included the voices of three men and four women, reflecting on more than forty years of conversation between the playwright and a small group of Holocaust survivors.
Henry Greenspan delivered an emotional, heartfelt performance in which holocaust survivors reflected on the destruction and aftermath of their lives.
“Hearing these stories and being really drawn in reminded me of all the times Hank has told me about the importance of listening and building a relationship with the people you're interviewing,” said Miriam Saperstein, audience.
The show began with a short narrative. Following the narrative was the story of a woman. She lost her voice in a concentration camp from 1943 to 1945. Although she couldn’t speak during the day, she would let out terrible screams at night. She eventually got her voice back after the war.
The next story was of a man. After the war, he figured out how nobody wanted to hear about the Holocaust. Nobody wanted to listen to the stories of the hardships people went through. He described how people saw unidentifiable flying objects. He described the people in the camps having large heads, large eyes, and tiny, skinny bodies.
Following was a story of a man. He spoke of the difficulty of eliminating an entire race and the extensive actions to destroy any evidence of that race. He described how some Jews were buried alive in the camps, and how other Jews dug those bodies up and burned the evidence. He said that Jews were ordered to bust the headstones from Jewish graves and break up the gravel for roads.
The story of a woman came next. She talked about her Jewish friend who spoke German. Her friend’s family was taken to Auschwitz in 1944. Her friend called the German police to report the missing of her family. They never came in time, they assumed that she was crazy or already dead.
The next story was that of a woman in a gathering placed several decades after the Holocaust. Here she saw a map with he population of all the Jews around the world. She had a past experience of the heads of her dolls being ripped off. At the gathering, she was handed a doll, but instead of ripping its head off, she simply handed it back.
Proceeding was the story of a man. Everyone would ask him exactly how he survived the Holocaust. He explained how nowadays, everyone wants to be a survivor. The man said that he survived on hatred and the wish of revenge. He went on to explain a time during the Holocaust when he was in a camp and saw an SS soldier with a gun and thought someday he would have that gun instead, and how he knew someday everything would be over and the Nazis would suffer for the things they were doing to innocent people.
The last story was about a woman. She described how in the beginning, people were silent. She admitted that she didn’t know what the Holocaust means and described how during the Holocaust her job was to sort the clothes of the dead Jews. She spoke of witnessing a lady make a makeshift vanity out of two boxes and a mirror from the deceased. The moral of her story was not it not specifically hope or revolution, but hope because even in the face of hell she found a place to put on her makeup