Play about famed Nazi hunter provides insight into man's capacity for evil

Thursday is Yom Hashoah: Holocaust Rememberance Day

Bill Grady
April 12, 2018 - 7:08 am

Courtesy Tom Dugan


 On Holocaust Remembrance Day a local production shines a special light on the tragedy.

“Wiesethal,” a one man play written and performed by Tom Dugan, will be presented Thursday and Saturday evenings at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park.

The play is about famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor himself, who spent decades tracking down the most vicious war criminals of the Third Reich. It reflects Dugan's belief that the horror of what humans can inflict on one another is always just beneath the surface.

"Unless we recognize the darkness -- the capability in all of us for violence -- any given circumstance, if it's right, then the human savage will surface in any one of us," Dugan said.

Dugan thinks children as young as middle school-age school should see the production, before they develop a sense of tribalism, what he calls the Us-verses-Them mindset.

Dugan has performed the play about 400 times, including one time in New York, after which he was approached by an elderly man, who told him he liked the play very much.

Dugan found out later that man was one of the Israeli Mossad intelligence agents who caught Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust. Eichmann was hanged in Israel in 1962.

"Isn't that the perfect example of the quiet hero who didn't even want to call attention to himself?" Dugan said. 


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