Oh my. The following is one of those stories where you wish you could have been a fly on the wall in the meeting in which people debated and made the business decision that led to it. In this case, it makes me wish someone had done an illegal wiretap. This story is beyond silly. It is sick.
And now we turn to the Associated Press report by Monika Scislowska, as it appeared inside the Washington Post. The dateline is Warsaw.
A former Nazi death camp has canceled plans to host a production of the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar.” … Edward Balawejder, director of the State Museum at Majdanek, said he changed his mind about hosting a production of the musical after Polish newspapers reported Jewish leaders’ objections.
“It was not a good idea. It did not take into consideration the relations between Christianity and Judaism,” Balawejder told the Associated Press. “I decided that there will be no performance because we must stick to the message of the museum, which is truth, memory, reconciliation.”
There are the crucial facts that must, must be told. During World War II, 230,000 people, including about 100,000 Jews, were killed by the Nazis in the death camp in Majdanek.
But wait, there is another obvious fact. What does this campy old “rock opera” have to do with Christianity? Truth is, Jesus Christ Superstar — the album, the Broadway show, the movie — was controversial with all kinds of people, especially with traditional Christians. It contained all kinds of offensive material, including stereotypes of Jews, gays and many other people. But some trendy people on the cultural left — long ago — thought it was hip. It was kind of The Da Vinci Code of its day, with a rock beat and bad show tunes.
So, and here’s the key question, who wanted to stage this production? Who thought this was a good idea? I mean, we are told that the state museum changed its mind, but someone had to think that this made sense, that this would be good, that there were ticket buyers out there who would think that this was a cool idea.
Who was supposed to be the target audience for this bizarre show in this haunted place? Traditional Christians? No way. Post-everything Europeans who want to mock Jews? Who are bored? Who want to shock people? What was the point?
Call me crazy, but I’d like to know.