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Day 779


We went to see Tom Stoppard’s latest play, the opening night and there was not an empty seat in the theatre. It opened on an idyllic Christmas scene: a big wealthy family in Austria celebrating Christmas. A successful Jewish business man is married to a beautiful Catholic Austrian woman. Their extended families surround them and there is much merriment and chat. Hermann Merz, the monied manufacturer, is full of joy and talk of culture, his assimilation into the great Austrian Empire. He has made it into the ranks of the acceptable high society… he thinks. As the play unfolds he discovers otherwise, thanks to his wife’s infidelity at first. He learns of the casual arrogance of high ranking Austrians, their unquestioning prejudice against the Jews, the fact that the Jews will always be Jews first and Austrians second, however wealthy and well married they are to beautiful Christians. The play starts at turn of the 20th century. Then comes the two world wars and the invasion of the Nazis. We all know what happened. I have not been so moved by a play ever. People cried throughout the auditorium. A beautiful play which it woke me in the night.

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