In Toulouse, with the play “Opa!”, Ilka Vierkant, granddaughter of the Nazis, questions the transmission of memory
This Thursday evening, at the Théâtre du Pavé in Toulouse, Ilka Vierkant, actress and puppeteer of German origin will present the premiere of the show “Opa! “. A woman looks back on her family past, and evokes the silence of her family in the face of the criminal acts of her Nazi grandfather. In this play inspired by his story, Ilka chooses to confront the acts of his grandfather with the tragedies experienced by two Toulouse survivors of the Shoah.
It is a dive into the intimate. A plunge into the transmission of memory, as painfully as it is, proposed by Vasistdas and Ilka Vierkant, German actress and puppeteer, with the play “Opa! ”(Which means grandpa or grandpa in German). Like many Germans born after the war, Ilka, 57, grew up in a country marked by World War II and the Holocaust. A story that is known but which we do not or very little talk about in the 1960s.
And yet in many cases, family history has crossed paths with that of great history. Ilka’s two grandfathers were staunch Nazis. His paternal grandfather in particular played an active role in the deportation of the Jews as responsible for the implementation of the railway network to transport the “unwanted” to the camps. It took a long time for Ilka to become aware of this family imprint. Too painful, too heavy to carry.
“It speaks of the executioners who are in the families”
“The Opa show! talks about raising awareness of my story. For a long time, I was unable to do this. “
At the heart of the show emerge the recorded testimonies of Jean and Marie Vaislic, Toulouse deportees returning from the death camps, among the last still alive. In this musical puppet show, the result of a long investigation, Ilka chooses to symbolically confront the acts of her Nazi grandfather with the tragedies experienced by the two Holocaust survivors. Ilka questions more broadly the transmission of the unspoken between generations, and recalls the importance of speaking about facts. “It speaks of all the executioners who are in the families. How to carry this story? We are not responsible, but we must wear it with dignity to be able to consider the other with humanity. »Marie and Jean Vaislic are attending the first performance this Thursday evening at the Théâtre du Pavé. “I’m always up for this kind of project. This Thursday, it will be a discovery, ”said Marie.
The play will be performed this Thursday at the Théâtre du Pavé, at 8:30 p.m. (reservations: 05 62 26 43 66) then on December 7 at 6:30 p.m. and on December 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Goethe Institut, in the presence of Claude Maillet, doctor child psychiatrist. Finally, the performance will take place on January 22, 2022 at the Espace Roguet, at 8:30 p.m.: the show will be extended by a debate with several historians.