My son, Weston, was in the high school play this weekend. It was called "Courage and Love: The George and Erika Mandler Story". It was written and directed by Lisa Rule. Weston was privileged to play the part of Dr. George Mandler and did an amazing job! ALL the students gave an outstanding performance! George and Erika are survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. They were imprisoned in Camp Novaky in 1942 in Czecheslovakia and underwent horrible attrocities during their ordeal. George was a doctor in the camp that Erika and her family were sent to. They fell in love and were able to escape along with Erika's brother. They eventually were able to make it to the United States in 1949 and he set up his medical practice in Chillicothe, Missouri. He doctored my grandparents and mother before his retirement.
George has passed away but Erika and their daughter, Camille, were at each and every performance these young people gave. Not a dry eye was in the place at the end of the four, 3-hour performances. She is an amazing woman and I pray that the message of acceptance of diversity wasn't lost on anyone. The play received attention of many towns around Missouri. People were bussed in from as far away as Kansas City (100 miles away) and St. Joseph (80 miles away). The auditorium was packed at every performance! Keep in mind that Chillicothe has a population of just under 10,000.
The lobby was set up with pictures of Erika, George, and their families. Banners were also displayed to help give everyone an ideal of the magnitude of the number of people who lost their lives so horribly.
Thank you, Lisa, for writing and directing this incredible, remarkable, never-to-forget drama of courage, love, and hope that doesn't die!