Cover Osteuropa 7/2010

In Osteuropa 7/2010

Remembering Auschwitz
Mieczysław Weinberg’s Opera “The Passenger”

Michał Bristiger

Deutsche Fassung


Over 40 years after Mieczysław Weinberg composed “The Passenger,” the staged premiere of this opera is taking place. Soviet censorship scrapped the opera because of its inopportune subject matter: A former overseer from Auschwitz encounters a victim and is confronted with her own guilt. Despite the tradition of works that capture the terror of the camp in music, the staging of an Auschwitz opera seems an aesthetically risky venture. A new interpretation must take into consideration the changed understanding of Auschwitz as a metaphor for the break with civilisation, as a timeless symbol for “industrial” mass murder.

(Osteuropa 7/2010, pp. 159–172)