A Tale of Two Museums
Ester Rachel Kaminska Theater Museum Collection

Cyankali, 1931

Cyankali Box 68204 - Copy.jpg


Cyankali, 1931


First performed in its original German in the Berlin Lessing Theatre by a group of young actors, Cyankali became one of the most controversial plays of the 1920’s. Its author, Friedrich Wolf,  an Expressionist playwright and medical doctor,wrote the play to protest the law against abortion. In 1928, Wolf joined the Communist Party and published a volume of essays entitled Art as a Weapon, and Cyankali was the first of them. The play's production led to Wolf’s arrest and subsequently caused a sensation from New York to Tokyo and from Moscow to Paris. And, while the play was outlawed in some countries, Cyankali was produced in Poland in both Polish and Yiddish, the Yiddish-language version being produced by the writer and director Moyshe Lipman.


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“Cyankali, 1931,” YIVO Online Exhibitions, accessed March 1, 2024, https://ataleoftwomuseums.yivo.org/items/show/2301.
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