Tag Archives: Australian Catholic University

Review NOBG – Night of Broken Glass- Kristallacht

Review by Marian Webb. Images by Kerrie Pacholli

Night of Broken Glass (NOBG) – a collaboration by staff and students of the Australian Catholic University, Alkira Secondary School, members of the Choir of Hard Knocks and other able and disabled multifaith Victorians – was staged three times on Sunday 18 November 2018 in picturesque Cathedral Hall at the ACU Melbourne campus in Fitzroy: at 3pm, 6pm and 11pm. The late show was streamed live to St Lawrence Jewry Church in London. This sterling effort was the result of six weeks intensive rehearsal under the direction of Warren Wills and Dr Beth Rankin. It was an exercise in “socially inclusive theatre;” participants were not required to audition, only to bring their abundant enthusiasm to the project, which served to commemorate Kristallnacht, the notorious pogrom of the night of 9-10 November 1938, when the windows of Jewish businesses throughout Nazi Germany were smashed by paramilitary and civilians.

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Gary Sokolov, son of Lale Sokolov, Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Welcome to Wurunjeri Country was performed by Shane Charles whose didgeridoo led an astounding musical ensemble under the musical direction of Warren Wills.

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Songs, stories, dance and even drumming by a team from Alkira Secondary School filled out a 90-minute variety spectacle. Song lyrics by ACU students were projected to a big screen on stage, as was footage of Uncle Alf “Boydie” Turner, grandson of William Cooper the Yorta Yorta man who on 9 December 1938 presented a petition to the German Consulate in Melbourne protesting the Nazis treatment of Jews. The petition was not accepted then, but 79 years later Uncle Boydie presented a replica of the petition to the Consulate. The replica was accepted. Uncle Boydie was present in the audience at NOBG and gave a bow at the end, when extensive acknowledgements were made.NOBG © pationpics.com_8294 copy

 

 

NOBG © pationpics.com_8280 low resOther highlights included the story of the Tattooist of Auschwitz, a Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov who was set to work by the Nazis and met his future wife in Auschwitz – as told by their son Gary Sokolov. Another remarkable story is that of Kurt Wildberg, who escaped internment because his father had won the Iron Cross for bravery in World War 1.

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Of note also the story of Dorothy Thompson, a US reporter ejected from Germany over her reportage of events preceding Kristallnacht. Her story was performed by Monica Thomas, John Brown and Eliza De Luca to great effect.

Enthusiasm, variety and burgeoning talent were the ingredients that made Night of Broken Glass a worthwhile theatrical event. After three highly energetic performances in one day the cast and crew can congratulate themselves on a job well done. NOBG certainly was a night to remember.

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Gary Sokolov, musical director Warren Wills and Shane Charles

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Uncle Boydie with Warren Wills

 

NOBG – Night of Broken Glass

Night of Broken Glass and the Protest by William Cooper

Where:                      Cathedral Hall, Australian Catholic University – 115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy

When:                        3.00pm and 6.00pm, Sunday 18th November

Ticket prices:           $25

Further information and tickets are available here.

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On the 80th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, Kristallnahe Night of Broken Glass in Germany and the subsequent protest by Yorta Yorta man, William Cooper to the German Consulate in Melbourne, a socially inclusive theatre group will perform Night of Broken Glass a multi-media, musical commemoration at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Fitzroy.

Night of Broken Glass will commemorate the events of Kristallnacht, when over two days, 9th and 10th November 1938, Nazi paramilitary and civilians killed at least 91 Jews and began anti-Jewish pogroms that saw the destruction of schools, businesses properties and 267 synagogues across Germany, Austria and Sudetenland. These events led to the arrests and incarceration of 30,000 Jews in concentration camps and are viewed as the beginning of the Holocaust.

On the 80th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, Kristallnahe Night of Broken Glass in Germany and the subsequent protest by Yorta Yorta man, William Cooper to the German Consulate in Melbourne, a socially inclusive theatre group will perform Night of Broken Glass a multi-media, musical commemoration at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Fitzroy.

The following month, on 6th December, 78 year old tribal elder, William Cooper led a protest delegation of the Australian Aborigines’ League to the German Consulate in Melbourne to deliver a petition which condemned the “cruel persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazi Government”. Mr. Cooper walked nearly 10 kilometres from his home in Melbourne’s west to the CBD with his friends, family and members of the League. The German Consulate did not accept the petition.

William Cooper’s protest is now regarded as the only private protest following the events of Kristallnacht.

Night of Broken Glass is a project of Australian composer and musical director Warren Wills and ACU educationalist, Dr Beth Rankin. Modelled on previous inclusive music projects run in the UK, Hong Kong, Shepparton and Melbourne, it will be an entertaining, educational and hope-inspiring experience championing the human rights of all oppressed peoples. It will use music and dance to unite different generations and cultures. Performers include a flexible, alternating company of over 300 amateur youth and professional actors, singers and dancers, including ACU students and staff, The Choir of Hard Knocks, students from St Matthews Primary School Fawkner, Aurora Early Education, Brothers in Arms Aboriginal dance company and the recently formed, Men Aloud.

“Every Australian child should learn the story of William Cooper,” says Dr Beth Rankin. “

As one of Australia’s largest teacher-training universities, we want to prepare our students to teach this inspirational piece of Australian history. It’s wonderful example of ACU’s mission of respect for the dignity of the human person and the common good.”

Night of Broken Glass has been created in partnership with the German Embassy in Australia and the German Consul in Melbourne. It is supported by the Australian Catholic University and the Pratt Foundation.