Page 52 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 36

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
4 4
secret hiding place, thinking tha t the war is still going on.
The Count did not tell Lena tha t the war had ended more
than two years ago. She is all tha t is left to the Count in his
lonely, crumbling world and he clings to her even if the price
demands deceiving the only person tha t he loves. T he girl, the
Lady of the manor, lives in an imaginary world in which she
is a prisoner. Zand and Dora urge her to leave the manor and
start a new life in the Land of Israel among her people and
her peers.
I t is a very simple plot, a m ixture of ideological overtones
and fairy tale touches. Neither the structure nor the language
reflect the fine poetic style of Leah Goldberg. In Israel, the
play is a favorite. The fairy tale element appeals to the younger
generation since it lacks the usual morbidity associated with the
Holocaust. The librarian and the social worker are true to
life characters of the late forties and early fifties and are fam-
iliar to a segment of the Israeli population. T he theme, rescue
of Jewish children after the War, is also a familiar subject.
Thousands of similar episodes took place in real life. I t is
a pleasant play about the Holocaust in which the horrors of
the Holocaust are absent and the more profound questions
are not asked. T he play was staged in New York bu t was not
a critical success.
YOUTHFUL SURVIVOR
Ben-Zion Tomer’s play
Children of the Shadows,13
begins
thematically where Leah Goldberg’s play ends, with the attempt
of a young boy, a survivor, to rebuild his life. He came to the
Land of Israel at the age of fourteen with the “Teheran chil-
dren,” who had managed to survive on their own in the Rus-
sian-Asiatic countryside. Unlike George Kaiser in his play
The
Raf t of the Medusa
(1943) and William Golding in his novel
The Lord of the Flies,
Tomer is not interested in the children’s
savage struggle for survival, bu t rather in their attempt to
achieve normalcy in the post-Holocaust reality.
Yoram, the main protagonist of the play, is twenty-eight years
13 Ben-Zion Tomer,
Children of the Shadows,
trans. by Hillel Halkin.
Dep’t for Education and Culture in the Diaspora, World Zionist
Organization, New York, no date given.