There are many ways to remember and one of the most effective is to remember telling. When you tell, you share, you transmit and it is created a much stronger and lasting memory. And when memory is combined with the art, well, it becomes a very powerful force.
Just that kind of force was transmitted by the guys of the Dream Team, the students of the first class of Gimnasium and the first class of Liceum of Fine Arts through the theatrical performance Oi Mathites Tou Oumperto Primo – The Students of the Umberto Primo – in the Mégaro Mousikís Thessaloníkis.
A theatrical performance made up in occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which every year pays tribute to those broken lives during World War II. Were more than 49 thousand the Jews of Thessaloniki deported, of this amount only 2 thousand came back home at the end of the conflict. Between the victims were also many Jewish families with Italian backgound.
That’s was the result of the research conducted by Antonio Crescenzi after a very significant episode. One day, in the past 2003, while Crescenzi was working in the building Italian Cultural Institute, a summer storm leaded the professor in the basement, to prevent flooding. A paper entrained by wind sticks to the chest. It was the One of the best memories of my life of the student Alberto Modiano written in December 1941. From that moment Crescenzi rebuilt piece by piece the story of Lydia, Matilde, Alberto S., Letitsia, Giovanni, Daniel Alberto M., Claudio, the students of the last class of the Umberto Primo. All the research and the consequent theatrical play was based on the documents found in the archives of the Institute.
That document, with many others, was part of the scenery and afterwards they became themselves the “exhibition” that followed the performance. Thus the audience, after warmly applauded the cast, could approach essays, class assignments, notebooks and books which belonged to the real actors of the story: the students of the school year 1941-42 the Institute of High School Gymnasium Umberto Primo.
The project, born from the idea of Alessandra Maioletti, moved the audience thanks to special effects that opened and closed the show and it had the role of emphasizing the historical links between Italy and the city of Thessaloniki.
Actors of the performance: Ánna María Tsekoúra, Georgía Katsikonoúri, María Skarpélou, Sofía Maioletti Skaramanká, Giórgos Skarpélos, Ilías Piperákis, Ioulianós Rachiótis, Leftéris Kolítsos, Panagiótis Kótsalis and Giórgos Kapetanákos, in the professor’s role of the last class of students of the School Umberto Primo. The project was developed in collaboration with the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki.