Max Ehrlich Association

Total Verrückt

(Totally Crazy)

June 1944




This last production by the Westerbork Theater Group has its premier, but there are no further performances after that.

The Americans have already landed in Normandy and time is running out for Germany ...but sadly also for most of the remaining theater troupe members as well as other Westerbork inmates.

Certainly encouraged by the news that trickles in despite all attempts to censor such information, Max Ehrlich boldly entitles this revue "Totally Crazy" and includes scenes that symbolically express his consternation about all that he sees or guesses is going on around him.

Allusions include the repeated use of terms such as "crazy", "insane" and stupid". 

One scene humorously depicts the invention of the guillotine, calling it "10 minutes of inventive folly". Another scene decries a general outbreak of insanity; in still another, women turn into hyenas.

Remarkably, during the finale of the first part of this revue, the musicians symbolically revolt by refusing to sit in the orchestra pit.

Then, following the intermission, the program announces "Oh! Are we crazy - now we are going to perform an opera for you!" It's entitled "Ludmilla or Corpses Without End". Then, in the midst of all this comes a solemn plea for "a happy ending".

But no happy ending ever came for most of the 107'000 persons who passed through camp Westerbork Almost all perished...


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The program lists 13 scenes:

The performers named in the program are:

 1. The Preparations (The full cast)

Jetty Cantor
Esther Philipse

  2. Jetty Cantor has Gone Crazy - She has Joined the Lava Saleswomen.

Mara Rosen

Otto Aurich

  3. [We are getting Serious Now  - What Insanity!] The Loves of the Countess. [Tragedy in One Act]

      (Mara Rosen, Otto Aurich, Max Ehrlich, Franz Engel)

Max Ehrlich

Franz Engel

  4. [We are Completely Stupid - We are No Longer Playing in the Big Hall - We're Playing--- ] In

      the Small Café of the Canteen. 

      (Esther Philipse and The full cast)

Lisl Frank

Willy Rosen

Erich Ziegler

  5 An Insane Toothache [And Everything Else that can Happen to you with this!] 

      (Jetty Cantor, Max Ehrlich, Franz Engel, Mara Rosen)

  6. The  Gaurisankar (ed. high peak in Himalayas, near Everest) of Megalomania [Lisl Frank and   

      Otto Aurich Sell Themselves Very Well. In this  Presentation, the Audience in the Back Rows Will 

      Finally, for Once, also get their Money's Worth.]

also named:

Leo Kok, costume design


  7. [10 Minutes of Inventive Folly! Not for the Faint of Heart!!] The Guillotine 

      (Max Ehrlich, Otto Aurich, Franz Engel, Mara Rosen)

  8. The Insanity of Staying Thin: Lisl Frank Gives the Ladies Gymnastic Lessons.

  9. [You'll Witness How Insanity Breaks Out!] "Mr. Kritzler" or "The Umbrella" 

      (Franz Engel, Otto Aurich, Max Ehrlich, Mara Rosen)

10. [There, Women are Turning into Hyenas!] Gossip...!!! 

      (Jetty Cantor, Lisl Frank, Esther Philipse, Mara Rosen)

11. [The Insanity of Visiting a Medium.] Clairvoyance. (the medium: Franz Engel, the assistant: Max 

      Ehrlich) [Careful! We Know Exactly What You're Thinking!!]

12. a) The Musicians have also gone
          Megalomaniac - They No Longer
          Want to Play in the "Pit"!
      b) A Dance Tour of the World. (The
           full cast)
      c) A New Westerbork March.
          (Esther Philipse and The full cast)



13. [Oh, are We Crazy - Now We're Performing an Opera!] Ludmilla [or] Corpses Without End.

(The  star role of knight's damsel is performed by the universally beloved prim Donna Lisl Frank; her earthly father, the old count, is played by our paternal hero Otto Aurich; the roles of beautiful Ludmilla's aspirants are placed in the valued hands of our irresistible comedy duo Max Ehrlich and Franz Engel; our ingénue Mara Rosen has assumed the role of page, while the chorus and dancers, embodied by our alert lover Esther Philipse and our sentimental Jetty Cantor, in their place, will sing and dance from their hearts; this piece, presented here for the first time, was created by our house poet Willy Rosen, while Maestro Ziegler has written the music; as a special insertion, Willy Rosen has also composed a happy ending to the piece; our choreographer Otto Aurich integrated the dance numbers; for the scenery, we spared cost and effort by using the well-known stage designer Professor Leo Kok, who also created the expensive period-accurate costumes for which the material will be found missing at the next camp industry inventory. With thanks to all honored donators, service heads and group leaders for bending backwards in their cooperation.) 


Max Ehrlich Otto Aurich Lisl Frank Jetty Cantor Erich Ziegler Willy Rosen



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