Play which ‘condemns fascism’ canceled in Hrodna

Actors dressed as ghetto prisoners. Photo by Vasil Mauchanau / Belsat

The play “Kaddish,” which was to be performed in Hrodna on March 20, has been cancelled, the Center for Urban Life wrote on Instagram.

A meeting with the actors and a performance of the play “Kaddish,” which deals with the tragic fate of Jews during World War II, was supposed to take place on Saturday. However, the actors Ihar Ulanau, Alyaksei Stanoha, Palina Levina and Aksana Mashynkova were summoned to the city prosecutor’s office and warned that if the performance was seen by the audience, a criminal case under Article 130 of the Criminal Code (“Incitement of racial, national, religious or other social hatred”) might be started against the actors.

The reasons for the ban were that “the play “Kaddish” condemns fascism,” refers to a concentration camp and the tragic fate of the Jews, “and a part of the Belarusian society associates the current government with fascists”.

“Such comparisons are undesirable in today’s political environment, it is impossible to predict the emotions and reactions of viewers,” the Center for Urban Life reports.

Kaddish is the Jewish Memorial Prayer.