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The bricklayer who saved Primo Levi but went down himself. In 'A man of few words', Carlo Greppi gives silent Lorenzo a face

One of the most famous people to survive Auschwitz, writer Primo Levi, and a simple bricklayer who made sure that he survived - with such protagonists, an author has a strong subject on his hands. That can't go wrong, you would think. Norse bricklayer He had just graduated as a chemist when Primo Levi, twenty-four and Jewish, was rounded up and deported... 

Theaterplatz, Weimar. citizens of the city of Weimar read out all the names d=of the victims of Buchenwald, while Günther Uecker's cairns are being built (Photo: author)

Journal Kunstfest Weimar (1): elderly and fragile.

A lone madman? An unsuspecting visitor would think so, and when I arrived at the Theaterplatz in Weimar yesterday afternoon, I was that unsuspecting visitor. During the opening speeches of Kunstfest Weimar, a man shouted insulting texts at Bodo Ramelow, the prime minister of 'Free State of Thuringia'. The man dressed in a yellow vest was taken away by the police. Later, during a very oppressive... 

Logo of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

Dick Oostinga deputy chairman Restitutions Committee

Dick Oostinga, member of the Restitutions Committee, will temporarily lead the Restitutions Committee on Nazi looted art as deputy chairman. Last week, chairman Jacob Kohnstamm and deputy chairman Els Swaab submitted their resignations. State Secretary Uslu (Culture and Media) appointed Oostinga as deputy chairman from 1 February. The position is vacant because chairman Jacob Kohnstamm and deputy chairman Els Swaab resigned last... 

'The Traveller': René Groothof and Leny Breederveld sublimely show how the world can turn into a prison.

Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz. Remember that name. A writer who left us only two books, and whose life history reads like a twentieth-century horror novel. He wrote, in 1939, three years before his death by a torpedo in the Indian Ocean, 'The Man Who Took Trains', under his English pseudonym John Grane. This book, published in 2018 in the original German... 


Insayno was city poet for two days - you involuntarily think of that commercial in which a temp says at his grand farewell party, "It was two fantastic days" - and in doing so probably set a record as the shortest-serving city poet in history, with one city poem to his name ("sister of the capital"). What was the problem?

David Grossman: 'I know what it's like to live on with trauma'

More than 20 years ago, David Grossman's phone rang. A woman by the name of Eva Panić Nahir had something to say about an article he had published in an Israeli newspaper. Grossman smiles at the memory. 'What my piece was about I don't remember, except that she thought I had not gone far enough in my criticism of the government. I did find it refreshing to be attacked for once by someone from the left, instead of - as usual - the right wing.'

'Don't be too quick to think you know someone.' Six life insights from writer Rosita Steenbeek

She survived a brain haemorrhage and a serious car accident. As a result, writer Rosita Steenbeek (62) no longer has a fear of death, but an enormous zest for life. It has enriched her. By looking death in the eye, I understood that love is the most important thing in life'. 1. You can also be happy without a relationship 'I've been alone for a number of years and... 

Why Noorderzon's opening performance is a gem

Some critics thought the opening performance of Festival Noorderzon in Groningen was so bad it made you cry. Others were less negative. Those certainly have a point. But then you have to look beyond what you are used to. When Bear, the hero of Noorderzon 2019's opening show, is imprisoned in a tower, he laments his fate through an eloquent yet sad... 

Pity the Poles! Intense suicidal sadness in stage adaptation of Kafka's 'Trial'.

You must be a Pole. That, as the Dutch premiere of 'Process' at the Holland Festival showed, is no laughing matter. This performance, an adaptation of Franz Kafka's famous novel of the same name, conveys that feeling very poignantly. Five hours long, interrupted only by two half-hour intermissions, during which a mackerel sandwich can be eaten. Or a bowl of mixed nuts. Observant... 

'I now understand how complex "guilt" actually is': Takis Würger wrote novel about Jewish betrayer (and put his email address in it).

'That I have perpetrators in my family gives me the responsibility to keep remembering. Many of my contemporaries say we should never forget and that it should never happen again, but do nothing else. Being a writer gives me the opportunity to do something. To write about it, make readers feel... 

Maya Fridman: Prokofiev's Fire Angel with hard rock attitude

Russian-Dutch Maya Fridman (Moscow, 1989) plays classical and contemporary music as well as rock, jazz, folk and flamenco. Communication with the audience is now her main aim. So why limit yourself to a particular style or genre? The Cello Biennale website rightly describes her as a 'musical jack-of-all-trades'. She scored highly in 2016 at this... 

Cellist Maya Fridman: 'The best thing about making music is communicating with my audience.'

Cellist Maya Fridman was born in Moscow in 1989, where she emerged as a child prodigy. Even while still studying at Schnittke College, she won first prize at the International Festival of Slavic Music. In 2010, she came to the Netherlands, where six years later she graduated Cum Laude from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Fridman naturally places contemporary... 

Mirjam Koen, Adorno, why on earth theatre about Adorno!

Beethoven and Bach brought the true music. Karl-Heinz Stockhausen the future. The rest, from Beatles to hoempa, was 'jazz', commercially capitalist and therefore pernicious. Very briefly, this is what we should know Theodor Adorno from. Paul R. Kooij now plays this art-philosophical sharper in a performance by Mirjam Koen. Just when the division based partly on Adorno's thinking between... 

Jordi Lammers, or: the secret miracle of a Utrecht Literature Festival #ILFU17

And then there turns out to be a festival theme after all. Comes all by itself. Perhaps not thought of beforehand by the management of the International Literature Festival Utrecht (ILFU), but after three days of immersion crystal clear. Writing is about that about which we do not speak. During the last festival night, Saturday 13 May, I immersed myself for the occasion in a section that allows 'Utrecht' to... 

On being Jewish, acceptance and ambition: 8 life questions to Jonathan Safran Foer

He finds himself lazy and under-ambitious, and struggles with acceptance - of himself, of others, of the world. Because his grandparents had lived through the Holocaust, there was a taboo on being unhappy in his youth. Eight life questions to Jewish-American writer Jonathan Safran Foer. 'Between what I could do and actually do, there is a big gap.' 1.... 

Wolfgang Rihm links suffering Christ to Holocaust in 'Deus Passus' - podcast

In this period before Easter, Johann Sebastian Bach's Passions seem almost inescapable. But the alternatives are on the rise. Last week, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor presented two highly successful new Passions. Alternative passion Tomorrow bring the AVROTROS Friday Concert Deus Passus by German composer Wolfgang Rihm. It will be performed by the Groot Omroepkoor and the Radio Philharmonic ... 

It's the tone, idiot! 4 Reasons why 'Heart' is a show you should go see

The play 'Heart' is one for your bucket list. In other words, the play 'Heart', created by Matzer Theatre Productions as an adaptation of Lisette Lewin's book 'Heart of Barbed Wire', is a play you really must have seen. Why? I'll give you 4 reasons why. 1: The book is no longer for sale Lisette Lewin wrote a book in 1992 that... 

William Kentridge & the dress rehearsal for the Holocaust

With Black Box / Chambre Noire, the Jewish Historical Museum presents the first exhibition by South African artist William Kentridge in the Netherlands. A multimedia artwork about the first genocide of the 20th century. Now on show at the Jewish Historical Museum.

Armed with clubs, two dark shadowy figures beat each other's brains out. And then a third victim, kneeling and unarmed, who shatters into pieces after the blows. In the background is music

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Subsidy was not invented by the Nazis, they did embrace it

Apartheid activist Martin Bosma started talking about it during one of his many hilarious appearances in the second chamber, but, as is often the case, was wrong. He said art subsidies were an invention of the Nazis and therefore pernicious. We knew better, because researcher Benien van Berkel is thorough and deals with facts. From her doctoral research... 

Berlin 2012 - Shakespeare knew it all

Would today's revolution makers even study Shakespeare? In Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die), the competition entry by the Italian Taviani brothers, we witness the preparation and performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Anyone watching this with the world's noise in mind will often feel a shock of recognition. The tragedy about a coup in ancient Rome shows... 

Stunning transformations by Shelley Mitchell in poignant monologue 'Talking with Angels' #tf2010

Invisible forces, described as angels, speaking through a Jewish woman to her friends at the time of the Holocaust in Hungary. A mysterious and true story, translated by American actress Shelley Mitchell into the one-woman performance Talking with Angels. A huge success in America. Yesterday on stage for the first time in the Netherlands.

Thanks to Elfriede Jelinek, since 9 June we know a little better what it is like to be Austrian. #hf10

 By Wijbrand Schaap (photo Arno Declair) Since Wednesday 9 June 2010, the Netherlands has been looking a bit more like Austria again, although with us the mountains are in the southeast, instead of the west. And there's another difference: we are still allowed to see the stage work of Austrian Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek, while the stern writer's work in her... 

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