Into the Forest
$45.00 – $135.00 ex GST
Into the Forest is set during the middle of the Katyn massacre in 1940. Over 20,000 Polish military and police officers were prisoners of the Soviet Red Army. The Soviet Union was, at this point, an ally of Nazi Germany. Under the direct orders of Josef Stalin, all 20,000 people were executed to prevent a future Polish uprising. For decades after the end of the war the former Allied Powers, Great Britain, United States and the Soviet Union, blamed the Nazi’s for this atrocity.
One of Stalin’s more infamous quotes is that one death is a tragedy but a million is merely a statistic. This play attempts to look at the individuals involved on both sides of this slaughter. Three of the characters in the piece are historical figures. They are Janina Lewandowska, the Posnan Nightingale. She was the daughter of a famous Polish military hero, holder of the world female parachute record and a pilot.
Josez Czapski had already fought in the First World War and the Russo-Polish war of the 1920’s. He was one of a handful of survivors of the massacre and lived into his 90’s as a respected art critic.
Vasilli Blokhin was Stalin’s personal assassin and killed more people than any other human in recorded history. In the prison at Katyn, over the course of 28 nights, Blokhin shot 7,000 Polish officers, including Lewandowska, the only woman to be killed in the slaughter. As he remarks during the play, he was also once “…just a boy…”
The play looks closely at the humanity contained within these inhuman events and makes them personal. Everyone involved is a victim and all seem powerless to stop themselves and others ending up in the forest.