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November 15, 2005

Spark Near Gasoline

Schnitzer, Professor Bernhardi Drama as Literature-EL250

This play, in a nutshell, is basically favoring the collapse of anti-Semitism. This play take place in 1900 in Vienna, Austria. Of course, we know what is going to happen about thirty years in this region, but in a dark twist of irony this play was used by Hitler and the Nazi party to prove that Jewish people are inferior. The prime example that they had use is this end of the first act:

PREIST: All the greater would by my sin if I moved from this threshold without having ministered to the dying woman the consolations of our holy religion.

BERNH: From this sin God and every human judge would be declared absolved. Yes, your Reverence. For I, as physician, cannot permit you to approach the bed of this patient.

What the Nazis didn't tell the German people is that Bernhardi kept the priest out acting as a doctor and not a Jewish man in power. They used somthing that was undienably there and used it a mean to kill millions of people. Even though the Nazis used this, Schnitzer wanted it to be a tool against anti-Semitism. So, do you think that this play can be a better tool for a Anti-Semite or a person who just want to break the walls between the Jewish community and the rest of the country.

Posted by KevinHinton at November 15, 2005 4:19 PM


How would this play be a tool for an anti-semite?

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at November 15, 2005 8:19 PM

Kevin, the play was first performed in 1912.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at November 15, 2005 9:37 PM

I know...but you can still see the tension between the Jewish characters and everyone else in the play.
Check out this quote:

Adler: You were a student under the German Nationalist colours.

Kurt: And an anti-Semite. That's true Professor. I'm still one. Only meanwhile in a general way I've become an anti-Agrarian.

I also read the note in the begining of the play... part of it says:
It (this play) has since been produced in the majority of the larger towns of Germany and Autria, generally under severe censorship restrictions.

Why so much restrictions? Maybe to hide the social problems that they have about this subject.

Posted by: KevinHinton at November 15, 2005 10:20 PM

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