Staging Miscegenation in Shanghai Exile: Hans Schubert and Mark Siegelberg’s Dramatic Critique of the Racist West
Following the Reichspogromnacht of 9-10 November 1938, widely known under the Nazi euphemism Kristallnacht, Shanghai witnessed the influx of nearly 20,000 German-speaking Jews. Among these exiles were the Jewish-Austrian writers Hans Schubert and Mark Siegelberg who authored and staged two dramas: Die Masken fallen (The Masks Fall), which played at the British embassy in Shanghai on 9 November 1940, presents an Aryan German man and his Nazi lawyer who pressure an Aryan German woman to divorce her Jewish husband, until finally the couple flees to Shanghai. Fremde Erde (Foreign Soil), performed through EJAS (European Jewish Artist Society) on 8 and 10 April 1941, portrays a Jewish-Austrian couple exiled in Shanghai. The husband was once a successful physician who cannot find enough money to open a new medical practice in Shanghai until his wife sells her body to a wealthy Chinese man. Despite the seemingly countless hardships the exiles face in Shanghai, the greatest impediment to this couple’s recovery turns out to be their own racism, the very force that caused the Nazis to expel them so violently from Europe.
German Language and Literature | International and Area Studies
Lee M. Roberts (2014).
Staging Miscegenation in Shanghai Exile: Hans Schubert and Mark Siegelberg’s Dramatic Critique of the Racist West. Lingua Humanitatis.16 (1), 41-68.