Survivor Monologues

Monologues

  • Hannah Steiner 
  • Rachel Roth 
  • Romi Cohn 
  • Margot Capell 
  • Egon Salmon 
  • Gabi Held 
  • Oradea, Romania
    • Hannah begins her testimony by identifying her birthplace Oradea-Mare, Romania, a sizeable city of 100,000 residents, as a “Jewish city.” One-third of its population was Jewish.
  • “Mother’s Embroidery Shop”
    • Hannah’s mother, Helen Abraham, owned an embroidery. When the Hungarians annexed this territory in 1940, they took away her license. Hannah describes her relationship with her mother.
  • “Shabbas”
    • Hannah Steiner describes a typical Shabbas in her home, including eating cholent and playing with her siblings.
  • “Violet”
    • On Hannah’s first date with her future husband, Abraham, they went dancing. Hannah’s mother Helen had to chaperone them. Hannah was barely sixteen. When it got too warm, they walked to an amusement park. Abraham bought Hannah a bouquet of violets, which is significant because Hannah’s original name meant violet.
  • “Verbally Cooking”
    • This next segment is about how Hannah and her mother emotionally supported each other while in Auschwitz. They would verbally cook. Hannah and her mom would go through recipes and what to do when making certain foods. It is how they kept their minds clear and held on to hope.
  • “Mother’s Death”
    • Hannah Steiner relates the horrible details of her mother’s death. When they were liberated on April 15th, Hannah and her mother were very sick. They had typhus and diarrhea and could not even walk. Someone told Hannah that raw potatoes would make her mother’s stomach feel better, but instead her mother was given meat. Hannah’s mother died two weeks after liberation. Hannah says she can never forget that tragic day.
  • “Reunited with Husband”
    • This romantic monologue is definitely one of Hannah’s most beautiful stories. About seven years after the war, Hannah found out that her husband was in Israel. She wrote him a letter and about two months later, Hannah was on her way to see Abraham in Israel. When they got in the taxi Abraham said the sweetest thing to Hannah, “I don’t know what you think, but I don’t think I didn’t see you for seven years, I think I didn’t see you for two weeks.” Given what passed during those seven years–forced labor, hunger and death of their loved ones–this sentiment is heartfelt. Shortly after this, they got married. Note: It is not in the play, “In the Light of One Another.”
  • “Rachel Meets Mengele”
    • Rachel remembers her encounter with the Nazi physician, Dr. Josef Mengele at the age of 17. She briefly discusses the selection process in Auschwitz and her aunt Hela’s comforting promise to stay together.
  • “Rachel Shares Memories with High School Students”
    • Rachel recalls Dr. Josef Mengele’s selection process in Auschwitz with students at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York City in Fall 2016.
  • “Celebrating Passover”
    • Rachel discusses celebrating Passover with her grandfather, while hiding in an underground bunker in the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • “Working with the Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto”
    • Rachel describes smuggling a gun for the Jewish resistance to use during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Rachel avoids detection by Nazi soldiers who conducted routine inspections of Jews during entering the ghetto area.
  • “Kristallnacht”
    • Margot identifies as 1938 as a turning point, recognizing that after Kristallnacht “it was all over.”
  • “Message to Youth”
    • Margot encourages today’s youth to “keep your eyes open” and stand up for the injustices you see, no matter how small. Capell urges young people to not be afraid to speak out against anti-semitism and discrimination. She reflects that the world has not learned its lesson and it is the responsibility of the new generations to remember survivor stories and to not allow history to repeat itself.
  • “Shirley Temple”
    • Margot reminisces about kind gentiles who allowed her to sneak into the movies as a child. Margot was a “movie buff” and especially loved the “Shirley Temple” movies. She emphasizes that there were some people who showed kindness to Jews, but there were not many people like that.
  • “Thoughts on Germany”
    • Margot speaks out about returning back to Germany years after the war and not being able to forgive her non-Jewish neighbors who allowed the horrors of the Holocaust to happen. She tells how she refused to go to a reunion in her old German community due to her “bitter feelings.” She mourns the loss of her parents and expresses her regret for not being able to save them. She feels that she should have done more to bring her parents to America with her, but does not know what more she could have done. This uncertainty constantly haunts her and she says it always will.
  • “Town Attitude”
    • Margot speaks on how the growing Anti-semitism in her community was not taken seriously enough. She believes the fact that no one took it serious to be the “whole problem.” She acknowledges that this mindset may be a hard one to understand but that this was “the attitude that prevailed right along.”
  • “Town Reaction”
    • Margot reflects on how, at the start, there would be little incidents here and there, but nothing substantial. She speaks on how these occurrences were not very pleasant, but there was always hope that these things would pass and life would get better. She quotes “Another year and it will be gone.” No one anticipated how these small incidents would escalate into a genocide. She states that by the time Kristallnacht happened they knew that there this would not pass. “There was no escape now.”