What rhymes with Halse

The Ensemble Zwockhaus presented songs full of melancholy and sarcasm straight from the hearts of the former inmates of the Theresienstadt ghetto in the BAC-Theater. The public interest on the evening of the Holocaust Remembrance Day was so great that two more rows of chairs had to be set up in a hurry.

Bad Arolsen.Under the title "... and the music is playing!", The music cabaret with songs and texts gave a deep insight into the emotional world of the people who were torn from their everyday lives by the National Socialists, who at this point could only have guessed what atrocities were still to come would.

In the so-called "preferential camp" Theresienstadt, which was once built as a barracks by Empress Theresia for up to 5000 people, the National Socialist occupiers in the Czech Republic crammed up to 60,000 prisoners. This is where the Nazis brought representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1943 when they wanted to get an idea of ​​life in concentration camps.

Songs of fear, longing and homesickness

First of all, prominent Jews were interned in Theresienstadt, including academics and many artists, painters and musicians who were initially able to pursue their profession here. There were even five cabaret groups that had the task of conveying “normalcy” to the prisoners for a few hours before they were transported to an extermination camp.

With all the superficial happiness in the songs and lyrics, the gloomy and threatening shimmers through, for example in the lines of the text “If your everyday worries hurt you, the water reaches up to your chin - here you are safe from it, come here where I am now am. "

Or: “I wander through Theresienstadt until my path comes to an end.” Many texts deal with hunger, the excesses of violence by Nazi henchmen and again and again about homesickness, the longing for Vienna. "In a small café in Terezín you drink your tea and coffee and think of Vienna" by composer Walter Lindenbaum.

Insights into a "terribly crazy" world

Gallows humor speaks from the songs based on operetta models: "Yes, we in Terezin" or "Where i go and stand, there Jews shovel snow", after the "Archduke Johann-Jodler".

And lines like these make today's audience shudder: "Moyre (fear) you get unconsciously from jaundice (yellow star) on your chest".

The Ensemble Zwockhaus, named after the Czech expression for “crazy”, made it clear during its appearance in the BAC theater that life in the Theresienstadt ghetto was in many ways a gruesome “crazy world”.