Performing the Jewish Archive

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Prinz Bettliegend: A Cabaret from Terezín


The musical revue Prinz Bettliegend (Prince Bedridden) was written by prisoners in the World War II Jewish ghetto at Terezín/Theresienstadt as a satirical fairy tale to criticize favoritism and corruption in the ghetto. In return for a bribe, ghetto doctors would designate prisoners ‘bettliegend’ — bedridden — which exempted them not only from work but from outgoing transports to Auschwitz. Our adaptation reconstructs the story based on survivor testimony and preserves the brilliant jazz melodies of the original while adding scenes from life in the ghetto.

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