Passion Play to Remain Unchanged

Mayor Emst Zwink of Oberammergau expressed satisfaction today over the decision not to introduce a reform version of the “Passion Play” presented by his community every 10 years. Zwink was elected two years ago after promising to reject pleas calling for a reform.

In an interview in Oberammergau, Zwink said the major successes of the current Passion Play prove that it would be wrong to seek a different text for the big presentation describing Jesus’ sufferings. Some critics in West Germany; and Jewish organizations in the United States have charged that the Passion Play still contains anti-Semitic allusions. The version being shown now in Oberammergau was slightly modified, but the community leaders ruled out any major changer or the adaption of another version which experts describe as containing less anti-Jewish bias.

The success or failure of the presentation is measured in terms of numbers of visitor. The play is of vital economic importance to the community. Zwink stated that there was “no need or reason” to renew the discussions about reforms and promised that the next presentation in 1984 will be the same version as now. The 1984 production will mark the 350th anniversary of the Passion Play and more visitors than ever are expected to be attracted to Oberammergau.

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