Stan Zimmerman, director of the LatinX production of “The Diary of Anne Frank”, will moderate a special Talk Back immediately following the Friday, Feb. 22 performance at 8 p.m. His special guest will be Holocaust survivor Gabriella Karin.
Scheduling this special Talk Back evening with Gabriella Karin is more relative today than ever. Pop Up Productions is honored to have her as their guest. Director Zimmerman explains that the message he hopes to send with this evening, the cast and production is that he is hopeful that the tragedy of Anne Frank and The Holocaust can reach a whole new audience, but can also be used to educate. “This show is being done out of honor and love for her story. As a Jew, I would never demean her story but I think it is also extremely important because two of the LatinX actors (15 & 16 years old), had never even heard of Anne Frank. In the past, The Diary of Anne Frank was a part of school’s curriculum, and today, it is no longer a part of the curriculum. And I feel that is a sad fact.”
Before the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia, Gabriella Karin had a normal life, living with her parents and her grandmother. Her parents owned a local delicatessen store in Bratislava. In 1938, after hearing about the violence of Kristallnacht, Gabriella’s mother wanted to emigrate, but the family did not have the financial means to do so. Shortly after the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939, Slovakia was granted independence under a Nazi approved government. During this time, Gabriella’s mother began working for the underground.
The family’s deli was next to the local police station, and members of the police force would often visit and were friendly with Gabriella’s family. Utilizing her relationship with the police, her mother was able to access the deportation lists and would pass the information to the Jewish underground and warn the listed families. With the help of false papers, Gabriella Karin spent 3 years hiding in a Catholic convent before her family decided to hide together. Aided by a young lawyer named Karol Blanar, eight people, including Gabriella and her family, hid in an apartment in Bratislava. They stayed there for nine months until the Russian liberation on April 4th 1945. In addition to providing food and shelter, Karol Blanar also brought books for Gabriella so she would have something to do during the day. She spent much of the nine months in hiding reading and educating herself, which had a profound impact on her life after the war. Because of his act of courage, Karol Blanar was later awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
Today, Gabriella is dedicated to educating young people in schools, at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, and the Museum of Tolerance. She has been invited to schools, synagogues, youth camps, and many other events to help students to students to understand the history of the Holocaust so it should not repeat again.
“The Diary of Anne Frank” is running through Feb. 24, 2019, at The Dorie Theatre at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles. Performances will be Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Special Talk Back evening will follow the Feb. 22nd performance with Holocaust Survivor Gabriella Karin. Stan Zimmerman will be the moderator of the Talk back.
Advance reservations are highly recommended.
General advance admission is $25. Reserved advance seating is $35. To purchase tickets, click here.