Based on the testimony of 91-year-old Hungarian-British Holocaust survivor Susan Pollack MBE, Salamander Street Publishing announced a verbatim Holocaust play, Kindness: A Legacy of the Holocaust.
It is adapted by Cate Hollis, Artistic Director of Voices of the Holocaust (Holocaust theatre and education through drama) and Mark Wheeller (the most performed UK living playwright and GCSE Drama staple).
Pollack lost over fifty relatives in the Holocaust. She was born in 1930 in Felsőgöd, Hungary, and in 1944 was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She regularly shares her testimony in schools across the UK. At the age of 91, she has decided to retire and trusts that Kindness will be her legacy.
Kindness has been published in paperback and eBook on September 9 2021, on the occasion of Pollack’s 91st birthday.
Comment – European Jewish Congress:
At the EJC we really appreciate all of your hard work and your tremendous efforts to preserve the memory of the Shoah. I am sure the play ‘Kindness – A Legacy of the Holocaust’ will help to create a future without hate by educating the younger generations.
After reading the script, we are convinced this is a beautifully written and moving play to keep Susan’s testimony alive and all her educational work going. Moreover, it will be a powerful educational tool to introduce students to the enormity of the crimes committed during the Holocaust and help them bear witness to the experiences of the people who suffered under Nazi brutality.
Comment – Susan Pollack:
‘I, Susan Pollack a Holocaust Survivor, thankfully acknowledge your efforts to bring my Holocaust experiences to the public. Having seen your dramatization skills and reproducing my past in those days, allows me to have hope of the success of this play. It is most wonderful and I give you my legacy most willingly. Your ability accurately replays my words I shared with you for this play, I thank you. Please use it and bring it to the public. I hope it teaches as I have for all these years.’
Comment – Cate Hollis, Artistic Director:
‘Voices of the Holocaust was founded on principles that if theatre is a surrogate human voice then it is through pedagogically sensitive plays that we can ensure the voices of survivors and others are not lost as living memory increasingly becomes history. For many years, Susan has done invaluable work in schools across the UK and beyond, educating on the Holocaust and the dangers of antisemitism and other forms of hatred. She has worked alongside Voices, spoken at the British and European Parliaments and worked in Rwanda helping survivors post genocide.
At the age of 91, Susan has finally decided to retire and has entrusted us to keep her story and her Holocaust education work going. It is through this play, as a surrogate human voice, that we are able to do this. I am delighted to call Susan a friend and honoured that she has bequeathed to us her story. So ‘Kindness’ is her legacy. May it do important work for many years to come.’
Comment – Mark Wheeller:
‘Authenticity was something we had to capture in the play. We interviewed Susan Pollack MBE, a Holocaust survivor. I had never imagined the honour of sitting in the same room as someone who had to endure this horror, let alone being permitted to ask her questions about it. I remember one moment where, with a smile, she described arriving at Auschwitz and the tram door opening to reveal a ‘handsome’ Nazi soldier. It was such a ‘real’ reflection and there were so many more. What Susan offered us was an authentic reminiscence of something we simply have to know about. Her story is beyond important. I am so grateful to Susan for her willingness to trust us in making this play from her words.’
If anyone would like to contribute to helping a premiere happen for Holocaust Memorial Day next year, please click here.