Breaking Totalitarian Friendships

In 1971 Fred Ullman He published the novel “Reunion” and considered his career as a painter a failure.First work, sponsor Arthur Koestler As a preface writer he was so successful that it merited a second part: “The Brave Soul”. The playwright Josep Maria Miró translated the novel (“Reencuentro”) in 1989 and published it inL’amic Vintage‘(‘Friends Reunion’).

The story of Hans and Conradin, two friends who eventually separated after the rise of Hitler in 1933, was inspired by characters Ullmann knew in his youth.Hans Schwarz, a bourgeois Jew, would be Fritz Bauer Son of legendary Swabian nobleman Konradin von Hohenfels Claus von StauffenbergThe award-winning colonel who organized the attack on Hitler: both were Ullmann’s classmates at the famous Stuttgart gymnasium. Destiny wanted Bauer to be the prosecutor who vindicated von Stauffenberg in 1952: a national insult that made him the resistance hero evoked in the film Valkyrie.

Directed by Joan Arqué, the play features a simple, practical set and stars three actors: Carles Martinez He plays Hans as an adult and serves as the main narrator, as well as Hans’ father. Kim Avila Play as young Hans and Max Gross Markinch This is Conradin. The friendship between the protagonists seems to be able to overcome class differences, not so much financial – Hans is the son of a doctor – but underlying aristocratic supremacy, which eventually turns into something when it takes on Nazi racist overtones. must be obvious and malicious.

Ullmann’s work maintains similarities with the author’s epistolary novel “Unaccounted for” (1938) Katherine Claysman Taylor. Both books mourn relationships damaged by anti-Semitic totalitarianism: Ullman in flashback, Taylor in epistolary form. Miró’s solvent drama preserves what’s good about Ullmann’s work: a friendship haunted by the future of a criminal past.

An excellent performance by a teaching theater and performance trio – the only objection might be the abrupt ending of the performance – the war between Israel and Hamas proves its relevance. A lesson in how collective hatred ultimately distorts individual perspectives.


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