David Bergelson’s “I Shall Not Die but Live” takes place during the Nazi invasion of the USSR, in a collective settlement adjacent to an agricultural experimentation farm in the Ukraine. The world premiere of the play took place in Habima in May 1944. It was the first theatre production performed in an Eretz-Israeli theatre to deal with the extermination of the Jews during the Holocaust. This article follows the transnational network facilitated by this play, its production and public discourse, and explores how this play imported into the Yishuv a symbolic conceptualization of the Holocaust and the Jewish struggle against Nazism. The article points to the centrality of the transnational Jewish cultural mechanism in the shaping of a national, Eretz-Israeli Jewish identity.
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- Hebrew theatre
- Holocaust Drama
- Mandatory Palestine
- Soviet Jewry
- Yiddish theatre
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts