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Holocaust survivors to see play about failure to rescue Jews

June 10, 2009 |  9:11 pm

Accomplices In the opposite of a soothingly escapist matinee, an audience of Holocaust survivors is scheduled to see a dramatization of American indifference to European Jewry's plight during World War II, as they attend a special Thursday performance of Bernard Weinraub's "The Accomplices" at the Odyssey Theatre in L.A.

The play by the former New York Times reporter had its L.A. premiere at the Fountain Theatre last summer, and a transfer of that production is at the Odyssey through this weekend.

Fountain spokeswoman Lucy Pollak said that the pro-Israel group Stand With Us organized the visit by the survivors. The show depicts the efforts of a real-life protagonist, Peter Bergson, from 1940 to 1944 as he presses for U.S. action to help endangered Jews escape from the Nazis. The play depicts him encountering foot-dragging and overt anti-Semitism from the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, especially from the State Department, as well as a reluctance among American Jewish leaders to push forcefully for making the rescue of the Jews a wartime priority for America and its allies.

The Fountain's website says that all performances are sold out.

-- Mike Boehm

Photo: Steven Schub (in suit) plays Peter Bergson in the Fountain Theatre's production of "The Accomplices." Credit: Ed Krieger.