Yiddish Theater in the DP Camps in Yad Vashem Studies, Volume 40:2

Ella Florsheim


Yiddish Theater in the DP Camps

This article illuminates the rapid development and influence of the Yiddish theater of She’erit Hapleta. The theater was launched on the initiative of survivors in many DP camps in Germany within months if not weeks of the end of World War II. These performances became a dominant artistic and social phenomenon that attracted large audiences of camp inhabitants. The article examines the manifestations of this phenomenon and the content of the plays performed, some of which dealt at length with the grim Holocaust ordeals that the survivors had endured. Finally, in this context, the psychological and social contributions of the Yiddish theater to the DPs’ initial postwar revitalization are discussed.