“Gesalzene Wassermelonen” by Das letzte Kleinod
The oceanblue train of the theatre “Das letzte Kleinod” stopped at the old freight depot of Detmold and transformed itself into stages for the documentary play “Gesalzene Wassermelonen” / “salted watermelons”.
It sounded like paradise itself as Catherine the Great invited Germans to her russian czardom in 1762. Farming families were gifted fields, were free to practice their religion and were exempt from military service. But in 1941 Stalin accused them of collaborating with Germany and deported them for forced labor to Siberia and Kazakhstan. The author and director Jens-Erwin Siemssen visited contemporary witnesses in Kazakhstan and listened to them talking about the dramatic fate of the Russian Germans. “Gesalzene Wassermelonen” tells the story of an everyday life in deportation, houses built in caves, hard work in the freezing cold, arrests and harrassement under Stalin.
After the performance the audience had the possibility to stay for conversation and exchange. In addition to that, Edwin Warkentin from the Russian-German department has offered a special tour related to the performance in cooperation with the Museum for Russian-German History in Detmold.