A new show set to open at the end of the month in the Kiev Theatre tells the story of John Demjanjuk, known as Ivan the Terrible, who was convicted of helping to murder Jews in the Sobibor death camp.
The sign on the front of the theatre was hung on Monday, on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, under the caption Holocaust Cabaret. As a result of the subsequent upheaval, the directors of the theatre removed the sign and the Ukrainian authorities are considering barring the actors from entering the country.
The theatre is located opposite a synagogue in the Ukrainian capital. The rabbi of the synagogue, Moshe Azman, strongly condemned the show:
“To see this disgrace hanging in the centre of Kiev yesterday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, in the city where Babi Yar is located and in front of the central synagogue,” Asman said.
“In addition, tickets are sold for a Friday show. Who needs this provocation? I don’t know, but I’m announcing that we in the Jewish community will do everything to get this provocation out of the way.”
Demjanjuk was sentenced to death in a trial in Israel, but he was acquitted by the Supreme Court. In 2011, he was convicted in a German court and sentenced to five years in prison. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 91.