And Then They Came For Me
Performed in China for the first time: an award-winning play about wartime teenage diarist, Anne Frank, and her step-sister, Eva Schloss
London-based school boy actor James Kong, a direct descendant of the Chinese philosopher, Confucius, plays the part of murdered 17-year-old brother of 81-year-old Eva Schloss, an Auschwitz survivor and step-sister of Anne Frank. He joins US, British and Australian cast members in an award-winning play about survivors of the Holocaust by American playwright, James Still. The play was originally performed to an international audience of diplomats, business people, media and students in Beijing on the 25th and 26th April 2012 at the invitation of Dulwich College Beijing.
The production named ‘And Then They Came For Me – Remembering The World of Anne Frank’ was performed by the British group, The Blue Sky Network. The play is a multi-media production that uses actors and video footage to tell the story of Auschwitz survivor Eva Schloss and her stepsister Anne Frank. Following the play, Eva Schloss took part in a question-and-answer session with the audience, hosted by the play’s Muslim director and producer, Nic Careem.
Neal McGowan, Headmaster of Dulwich College Beijing said, “This is an internationally renowned play. Its impact and positive message of promoting community cohesion resonates particularly strongly with the international audience invited to the performance. It is a real coup for the college to host such an internationally acclaimed play with a cast of actors from across the world.”
Eighty-one-year-old Eva Schloss is a writer and grandmother who now lives in London, and was recently honoured by the US House of Representatives and Argentinean government for her work. She says, “I am pleased that the play is being performed in China for the first time, thanks to Neal McGowan and Richard Kong, founder of the Nishan Confucius Education Fund. Unfortunately, many young people do not know very much about what happened in the last century, how hatred and prejudice prevailed and prevented people from resisting evil. Through knowledge of what happened then, we are trying to prevent a repetition of such horrors. I am also looking forward to meeting Chinese people who recall helping Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe and thank them for their humanity.”
Note: The play is based on Eva Schloss’s autobiography, ‘Eva’s Story’, published in 1988. In 1995 the American playwright James Still wrote ‘And Then They Came For Me – Remembering The World of Anne Frank’, an educational multi-media play that weaves video interviews of Holocaust survivors – including Eva Schloss – with live actors recreating scenes from World War II.
Thirty thousand Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution were given sanctuary in China and Eva was able to meet with Chinese people who recall helping the refugees on their arrival.
Nic Careem, a British Muslim, and Eva Schloss have ambitions to show the play in Israel and Palestine with a cast of Muslims and Jews, as well as in parliaments across the world.