Magda Poli – Shoah: It Was Just Yesterday

A passage through the hell of Shoah. A journey to the black heart of Europe, along the subtle line that separates the memory from the oblivion. In order not to forget, ever.

BOOK: A touching contribution to the stubborn nature of who does not want to forget. It Was Just Yesterday, starting from the Shoah horrors, tells the story of intolerance, hatred, prejudice that were feeding all the persecutions and genocides of the world. Magda Poli directs the orchestra of this choral play mixing up the words of  intellectuals and artists, poets, philosophers and scientists including Bertolt Brecht, Vittorio Foa and Amos Luzzatto, Albert Einstein, Primo Levi and Simone Weil. A puzzle story made up of different bits comes to life. The play develops in the thirties with the interference of the working camps with their barbed wire. It sees the anti-Semitic fury rise, then, it witnesses the “after period” when the extermination violence gives space to a brutal negation and indifference of whom, being ashamed, prefers the path of silence and oblivion. A multitude of voices come from the persecuted,  exiled, survivors and evaders, the ones who are firebranded on their skin and inside their soul. These voices come together in order to witness. Their stories seem to be remote in time, just the nightmares of the faraway epochs. But these are memories of the recent past, the traces of yesterday useful to understand the removed reality of a present still stained with blood of slaughters and massacres on industrial scale. Placing itself at a distance from commemorating liturgies and occasional rhetoric, It Was Just Yesterday takes a lot from the theatre of civil commitment, using the strength of the narrated stories as a warning, but also as a hope that no train will  – ever and in whatever place – move again towards the death.

AUTHOR: Magda Poli is one the most famous observers of the Italian and international contemporary drama. She wrote about it on the pages of il Giornale from 1979 to 1986. Today she is a theatre critic writing for the newspaper Corriere della Sera. She is the author of books: Milan in miniature (Rizzoli Publishing House, 2007) and, together with Ferruccio Soleri, of Harlequin’s Servant: fifty years of theatre and of a life covered by the mask (Rizzoli Publishing House, 2011). The following plays by Magda Poli were published by Sandro Teti Publishing House: Shoah: it was just yesterday (2011), A sea of ink for a sea of tears. World War II (2011), Napoleon (2011).

Memory exists to remember you that you have a cruel beast living inside you.

Joli Sattler

author: Magda Poli
title: Shoah: It Was Just Yesterday
pages: 47
price: 6,00 €
ISBN: 9788888249360