Play: What Price for Justice? premiered in Liverpool in May 2018

Play reading performed at Second Generation Network 2017 AGM staged in Liverpool in May 2018

Preceding the 2017 Second Generation Network AGM, there was a play-reading from First Generation member Ruth Barnett’s play What Price Justice? The play tells the true story behind the (German public television broadcaster) ZDF’s 2-part German film, Landgericht (County Court). The film was based on Ursula Krechel’s novel of the same name, winner of a 2012 German Book Prize (Deutscher Buchpreis). Both used Ruth’s own account of her family’s persecution by the Nazis, in her book Person of No Nationality, which lead to the escape of her older brother and herself to the UK as young children.

The play-reading was the ‘world première’  of Ruth’s two-act play exploring the precarious nature of justice, imperilled in Nazi Germany – and potentially again today. Tracy Elster directed and Laura Pradelska (member of the Third Generation and an actor), Network members and and members of Ruth’s family took on some of the roles.

Ruth Barnett instigated the formation of the Second Generation Network, by drawing together the group that produced the Network’s newsletter, originally called Second Generation Voice, following the second Link conference for members of the Second Generation that took place in 1995.

For six days in May 2018 the play in full premiered in Liverpool, directed by Barry Barnett, son of Ruth. It provides a powerful, visceral experience with a view of Nazi persecution of Jewish and their non-Jewish family members that is not widely known. It contains some elements that are not for the faint-hearted.

Ruth and Barry gave a fascinating Q&A session after the final performance, during which the cast also spoke about their response to performing in the play.

If you know of any theatre company that would be interested in staging ‘What Price Justice’ by Ruth Barnett, please contact: barbaradresner@secondgeration.org.uk

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