Making Light In Terezin

About This Episode


Making Light in Terezin tells the true story of how Jewish prisoners held in a concentration camp during World War II fought back against the Nazis — not with guns or bombs — but through song, dance and laughter. In 2005, Lisa Peschel, now a theater studies professor at the University of York, discovered a collection of cabaret scripts — "Laugh With Us" — originally written by four 20-year-old prisoners held in the Czech concentration camp of Terezin. Located outside of Prague, Terezin effectively served as a way station, housing Jews before the Nazis sent them to Auschwitz and other death camps. In the face of this horrific darkness and uncertainty, the Jewish prisoners wrote and enacted comedy shows in a make-shift cabaret.

The poignant and inspiring documentary follows a modern-day theater troupe from Minnesota as they travel to Terezin and attempt to re-stage the shows. Weaving together interviews with the original writers, witnesses to the original production, and scholars, Making Light in Terezin tells a story not only of survival, but also the triumph of a culture, artistic expression and the human spirit.