by drama queen
A play about about a 73 year old man's Memories during the 40's
|Character list in order of appearence
Fredrich- main character, 73
Captain-in charge of army, goes missing presumed dead and turns up at Auschwitz
Lads Fredrich joined army with
Young Fredrich- main character younger version of the 73 yr old
Eva-jew marries young Fredrich and is sent to Auschwitz
Girl- daughter of young Fredrich
Girls on street refered to as girl 2 & 3
soldiers at Auschwitz
(the stage is dimly lit and you hear gentle music in the back ground. Preferably silent night but it doesn’t matter. After the song has ended we hear a gun shot in the distance then silence)
(A child dressed in all black enters stage right and lies down centre stage. The girl is dead A man through the audience. He is using a walking stick. He is pained by something. The stage brightens. Fredrich delivers his speech downstage sitting on a chair with the walking stick by his side)
Good evening my name is Fredrich. I am 73 years old. I love watching films and reading. My parents were both from wealthy German families and married young. I was born in 1914 so I don’t remember the hostilities of ww1 however in 1930 we were hit by the depression and my father lost everything. I was 16 at the time.
(He spots the dead child and hobbles towards her)
Au Revoir moi belle enfant . Je suis desolee. Je suis desolee
(he makes the sign of the cross)
I hate the Germans!
(Someone off stage shouts) WHY?
(Fredich leaves the stage to get a photograph. Projection of the family photo. The stage darkens and the child exits. He then goes to sit on the seat)
I did a very stupid thing that I am not proud of. I worked for
Hitler. there wasn’t anything else I could have done as my family was crippled by the depression. I admit I was glad that he came to power because Germany was suffering from the depression and there was no employment for a 19 year old in 1933. I thought he could right the wrongs Germany had suffered and to this day I still believe he helped to make Germany great again but at a huge cost. The lives of innocent people.
Shortly after my 20th birthday I joined the army looking back this was the worst decision ever. How was I to know that this decision could cost me my life or the lives of others I love and respect?
( a group of soldiers parade up and down then halt. The captain enters with Hitler)
Furher the recruits are ready for inspection
(Hitler moves in front of the soliders. He moves up the line and his eyes get fixed onto Young Fredrich)
who is this young lad?
This is Fredrich sir one of our brightest pupils
I’ll take him
He hasn’t been in the army long wouldn’t you want Peter or Henze?
Captain, I want Fredrich
(Fredrich moves forward the captain dismisses the rest of the group. They exit through the audience. Hitler leads Young Fredrich out )
What an honour and he is only 20. The furher has taken a shine to young Fredrich. Maybe too much. I remember the last person Hitler promoted he ended up dead. He couldn’t keep up with the furher’s standards, so Hitler had him killed. Well good luck to him.
it was a comfortable life under the furher. We chatted like father and son. One day I remember it so clearly because Britain declared war on the same day. 3rd September 1939 I was promoted to the highest rank in the army(10 years later I realised how I got the promotion the captain went missing presumed dead). I was on cloud nine, so I went out to celebrate with some of the lads.
( Table and chairs are set up then Young Fredrich and a group of males enter stage right. They have had a few drinks. They head for the chairs)
so Fredrich how did you do it?
Lad 2 :
What’s your secret? Huh!
Don’t know he kinda picked me
(all the lads laugh)
Who’s round is it?
It’s your turn
(Young F gets up of f the table and wonders around. Several females enter in all different directions and makes a beeline for the lads except Eva who hangs back as she is shy)
Miss are you alright
Yes I’m fine…….
May I enquire about your name?
(Eva steps forward and embraces Fredrich. He returns the hug and they depart quietly. The other lads get up and go noisily out with the girls. Laughing joking trying to pick fights etc)
(Eva and yF enter together holding hands as they are married now. A young girl enters ahead of them. Nb it is the same girl from the first scene)
Fredrich do you have to leave so soon?
Eva I have no choice and you know it-
I know but I thought I would have more time…
Dada where are you going?
(Fredrich goes to embrace his daughter. She hesitates but thinks better of it)
When will I see you again
sweetheart daddy is going away for a while and I am not sure when he is coming back
You are coming back though?
(Eva goes over to Fredrich and her daughter. She sends her daughter to go and play with some children are passing. Eva then takes Fredrich down stage to the opposite side of the chair. They freeze in an embrace while the children speak)
I heard your father is going to Auschwitz
I heard he is being sent to Russia to work in a labour camp as he is a half Jew
I don’t know what you are talking about and frankly I don’t care. All I want to do is play and have a proper childhood that was denied from my father
(they exit. Eva breaks out of the hug and walks forward. Fredrich runs after her)
Why did you promise that? You know it isn’t true
I don’t know, how could I tell her the truth. It would break her heart
Did you want me to break her heart? I love her but she is a baby, really.
What you did was cruel but I respect your decision
(Eva goes and gets the suitcase she has packed)
Here take this and go I can’t stand long goodbyes
(Fredrich picks up the suitcase and leaves)
I was posted out to Auschwitz on the 21st December 1940. The first Jews to arrive were deported from Berlin arrived on the 1st January 1941. I had to escort them to what they believed were the ‘showers’ but they were really Gas chambers disguised as ‘Showers’
(Young Fredrich enters followed by a group of Jews. He stops)
Everyone is going to the shower’s to be deloused. Please leave any valuables here.
1 of the Women:
Will our valuables be safe?
(He ushers them off the stage. A sound effect of a door being slammed. Screaming starts for a few seconds then silence. They are dead. After this young Fredrich gets to his knees and starts praying. Other soldiers gather around him. Some praying others standing looking disgusted that they feel empathy for the Jews)
The piercing screams, soldiers standing stone-faced letting this happen. Other Jews screaming over loved ones. It was chaos. At this point I became very suspicious of Hitler’s ideals. Yet I couldn’t voice them. I could be shot or worse my…..
What am I doing?
You are doing your job!
But why are innocent people being killed?
Look son you are young but let me give you a bit of advise-
Don’t question Hitler’s orders
We have seen things, heard things that are better left unsaid
( Captain enters with several of the children’s teddies that have been killed)
How are you doing son?
(other people except Fredrich senior leave the stage)
What are you doing here?
Got transferred here last week. Oh by the way Himmler is coming here tomorrow
Word is the camp is………
No I don’t believe it
(the captain and YF leave)
(Eva and the young girl as seen in earlier scenes enter . The girl wants some sweets and is whining)
Not now! Mummy is busy
Go and play now!
(The girl reluctantly goes and plays with some teddies that were brought on stage by the captain. There is a sound of gun fire and several soldiers enter. They grab Eva by the wrists and push her to the floor. The girl is oblivious to this)
You filthy Jew! You filthy Jew! No don’t move or the child gets it
(The soldier goes to the child and picks her up with the teddies)
(The Child is screaming)
(They exit. The soldier being kind to the child by calming her down while another soldier escorts Eva out)
Hitler’s right hand man Himmler (Enter Himmler) came to camp and asked me to personally greet the next load of POW’s.
Go and collect the next Load of POW’s from the station
(Fredrich gives the heil Hitler salute and exits)
I went to the station and a cold shiver of apprehension crept up my spine.
(A group of Jews enter led by Eva and the girl. Young Fredrich enters. He spots Eva and his daughter)
Are you alright Fredrich? You look as if you have seen a ghost?
Are you sure?
Actually I feel sick may I go back to the barracks?
(Himmler waves his arm and young fredrich moves downstage and freezes. The group of Jews are lead to the showers and Himmler exits)
(Aside to audience. He is standing downstage)
This was the first time I realised the extent of my actions and how powerless I actually was
COULD I PUT A PRICE ON MY FAMILIES LIFE?
(the stage darkens and the child dressed in black again enters and goes centre stage. The stage is lit with one single light on Fredrich as an old man. Young Fredrich goes and kneels beside the child. In prayer while gentle music from the first scene is played. )
WELL COULD YOU???