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Chicago Premiere | Brundibar Revisited

Chicago Premiere | Brundibar Revisited

Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 7:00 pm

Spertus Institute presented the Chicago Premiere of Brundibar Revisited
in observance of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).

Nominated for the Prix Europa

An exceptional documentary
— Berliner Ratschlag Für Demokratie

This story has to be heard
— Anne Frank Center, Berlin

A film that goes straight to the soul
— Schwäbische Zeitung

Watch the trailer

The children’s opera Brundibar was performed more than 50 times in 1943 and 1944 by Jewish children imprisoned at Theresienstadt. These performances were abused by the Nazis as propaganda, yet for those in the camp, Brundibar’s simple story came to symbolize hope for the victory of good over evil.

Brundibar Revisited ActorsIn this deeply moving new film directed by Douglas Wolfsperger, Brundibar is selected for a Berlin-based theater group of young people who live on the fringes of society. As they prepare for their performance, members travel to Theresienstadt to learn about the extreme conditions under which the opera debuted. They are accompanied by the charismatic Greta Klingsberg, one of the few survivors of the original cast. She takes the young actors on a journey back in time, forcing them to rethink their attitudes about German history and about themselves.

Guests stayed for a post-show discussion with Dr. Kenneth Pargament, a leading figure on the study of religion and resilience. In his research, writing, and clinical practice, he focuses on the ways trauma impacts people psychologically, socially, and physically — and on the ways spirituality can help.

90 minutes. German with English subtitles. 


Greta Klingsberg (far left) was deported to Theresienstadt at age thirteen. Suddenly all alone, music helped Greta momentarily escape the terrible reality of the camp. About performing in Brundibar, she said, “I was always afraid of the unknown, but when standing on stage, I could enter a totally different world.” After liberation, Greta immigrated to Jerusalem, where she studied voice at the Jerusalem Conservatoire. She is responsible for the translation of the Brundibar libretto into Hebrew.

Members of the Youth Theater Company at Schaubühne Berlin (immediate left and below) are thrown into the maelstrom of history when their group travels to Theresienstadt to learn about the conditions under which Brundibar was first performed.


This program was made possible with support from the Bernard and Rochelle Zell Center for Holocaust Studies at Spertus Institute.