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Weekend Passport: 'Fatelessness' Gives Auschwitz Survivor’s Perspective

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Fatelessness production poster

Courtesy of Theatre Y

On Fridays, "global citizen" Nari Safavi joins Worldview with a plan for an international weekend in Chicago. This week, Safavi recommended:


Fatelessnessis a narrative radio play with a dance accompaniment that describes a Hungarian teenager's life in the Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Zeitz camps during the Holocaust. The performance is adapted by Andràs Visky and Adam Boncz from the semi-autobiographical, Nobel Prize winning novel Fatelessness by Imre Kertész

Kertész was sent to Auschwitz at age 15 and survived, in part, by lying about his age so he could be put to work rather than being sent to the gas chambers. He recounted his story in the 1970s, when the regression of Hungarian politics compelled him to share his personal account. 

“I was concerned about losing the feeling of detachment that the book was so famous for,” said Fatelessness director Melissa Lorraine. “Because of this, it became clear to me that we couldn’t just do a play — so we detached that voice and created a radio play, and we hired a dancer to do the physical score. This achieves that separation of the body and soul.”

Fatelessness runs through April 16 at the Chopin Theatre.

Press the ‘play’ button to hear more about these and other events happening around Chicago this weekend.

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