The Kreisau Project expands its reach—adding new connections with Holocaust Educational Organizations.
- You are an educator because you teach at a middle school or high school, or are on the faculty of a college or university.
- You’re an educator if you’re a Pastor or Priest at a church, a Rabbi at a synagogue or temple, or an Imam at a mosque.
- And if you run a community center, a cultural center, or a social service agency, your role likely includes that of educator.
The last two plays by playwright Marc P. Smith, A Journey to Kreisau and Karski, were each intended to bring to life powerful, though little-known, individual stories of human courage in resistance to the Nazis. He felt the obligation to bear witness, and to tell these two stories in the ‘language’ in which he was especially fluent: playwriting.
After researching and writing the two plays, and having them performed in several cities in the U.S. as well as in Germany and Poland, Marc felt that his next mission, both immediate and long-term, was clear. He needed to have The Kreisau Project establish informal affiliations with a variety of Holocaust educational organizations; these affiliations would expand opportunities for educators, clergy, historians, and journalists, both in the U.S. and internationally, to have an opportunity to use these scripts as a distinctive way to portray these stories.
In essence: the transmission of memory via the arts.
Our newest educational resource affiliation :
We welcome Syracuse University to our group of Educators’ Resources. Syracuse University offers a special program as part of its Syracuse Abroad programs: Exploring Central Europe: History, Memory, and Identity Across Borders. Students explore the big questions of the 21st century – how people from different national and ethnic identities, with different languages, cultures, and traditions, are able to live together after wars and other kinds of violence and trauma. The students enrolled in this program may request copies of A Journey to Kreisau and/or Karski as part of their studies and research.
Wroclaw has an interesting dual connection to these plays; in addition to being the home base for the Exploring Central Europe program, the town’s Lutheran church was also the venue for the Aug. 2009 international premiere performance of Karski.
A Journey to Kreisau was performed on the nearby grounds of Kreisau/Krzyzowa in November 2007; and the facilities at Krzyzowa are also utilized for classes and workshops for the Exploring Central Europe program. To see students’ original works based on their learning experiences in Central Europe, please visit www.urbanlabsce.eu
We deeply appreciate our continuing partnerships with :
The National Jewish Theater Foundation (NJTF) and its Holocaust Theater International Initiative created an online Holocaust Theater Catalog. Information on A Journey to Kreisau and Karski is searchable by play title, playwright’s name, and experience chronicled, in this case: ”Resistance,” “Germany, Hitler & the Growth of Nazism,” and “Righteous Gentiles.” President of the NJTF is Arnold Mittelman; the Foundation is based at the University of Miami Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies.
The mission of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation is to instill in people – especially youth – the values of leadership, courage and integrity, as exemplified by the life of Jan Karski. Their work will continue as long as young and old seek inspiration about how to act with courage when conditions are at their worst, how to become messengers for truth, and to act on behalf of oppressed peoples everywhere. For a brief description of the foundation, the About Us page on their website will provide insight.
And we would be remiss if we didn’t extend special heartfelt thanks to the first organization with which we became affiliated, in 2013 :
Facing History and Ourselves is a nonprofit international educational and professional development organization. From their website: “By studying the historical development of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.” Just a sample of educators who have requested, and received a copy of the script of either or both plays:
- Geography and History high school teacher in Seattle
- Exec. Director of EduSource Unlimited in Chattanooga, TN
- Educator for a residential, therapeutic program serving adjudicated young men between 14 and 17 years of age in Illinois
- Prof. and Director, International Institute for the Study of Culture and Education, University of Lower Silesia, Poland.
“Drama is a particularly important way of analyzing and looking at history…As history is receding farther and farther, it’s very important that current and future generations understand the legacy, and these plays help do that. We’re delighted to make those two stories and those plays available to our audiences.” –Marty Sleeper, (retired Associate Director, Facing History and Ourselves).