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Roman Catholic Priest Disappointed by Oberammergau Reception of His Play Changes

A Roman Catholic priest who said he spent two years revising the text of the Oberammergau Passion Play in order to eliminate its grossly anti-Semitic passages has charged that most of his work was in vain.

Father Stephan Schaller, of Eital monastery, near Dusseldorf. said that the festival committee which will stage the play next year asked him to remove openly anti-Semitic passages from the century–old text which have been the cause of bitter Jewish complaints for years. However, after he adapted the text to modern German and adopted a conciliatory tone toward the Jews, his altered text was rejected by the committee except for some minor changes, Father Schaller said. He said he was disappointed by the “conservative attitude” of the people of Oberammergau. The Passion Play is performed every 10 years.