The 20th-Century history of Silesia and its inhabitants has come alive in Katowice. The play “Polterabend,” written in Silesian dialect by Stanislaw Mutz, has received a preview at the Silesian Theatre in Katowice.
“The text of the play has something in common with poetry, with elegy connections,” Tadeusz Bradecki, the director of “Polterabend,” told the Polish Press Agency. “However, it doesn’t mean that it is without a good sense of humor. It is a song about Silesia.”
“Polterabend” is also the theatrical debut of Stanislaw Mutz. The author presents an ordinary Silesian family with dramatic choices while offering a sophisticated history of the next generations.
The story begins at the end of World War I and moves on through the three Silesian Uprisings against German rule which took place from 1919-1921.
The author reminds us that in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, after the defeat of Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I, it was decided that the population of Upper Silesia should hold a plebiscite to determine the future of the province.
The League of Nations decided that the province should be split into areas where the majority voted for Poland going to Poland and areas where the majority voted for Germany going to Germany.
The plebiscite finally was conducted in 1921 and ended with a complete German victory. That led to the Third Silesian Uprising and the eventual division of the land by Germany and Poland in 1922.
The play’s story continues until 1945 and the end of the Second World War.
The history of Silesia, as dramatic and complicated as it may be, is only the background for the individual dramas in the play, Mutz says. The individual Silesian identities are highlighted by Wieslaw Slawik as a father, Alina Chachelska as a mother and Ewa Lesniak as a grandmother. Author Stanislaw Mutz is also a linguist, artist and poet. In 2007, he was a scholar for the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.