The Oberammergau Passion Play
Posted: May 11, 2010
The Oberammergau Passion Play was first performed in 1634 as a way for the villagers to thank God for saving the city from a plague that was devastating Europe in the Middle Ages. It has been produced almost every decade since.
The current production is based on a 19th century version written by a local priest. The presentation is based on New Testament narratives of the Passion of Jesus.
Since the late 1970s, the Anti-Defamation League has been very critical of the script which projected a theological anti-Judaism, as well as an anti-Semitic message. It is not by chance that Adolf Hitler, who saw the 1934 presentation, praised it as a "precious tool" in the fight against Jews and Judaism.
The 2010 production has the distinction of being the only one in history that will have been presented during the papacy of a German native of the region who personally witnessed the Holocaust - Pope Benedict XVI.