Company: La Boite Theatre Company
Year the project commenced: 2019
Year it became impossible: 2020
Audience not reached: 388 a night.
As part of The Impossible Project we have been inviting artists to conceive of, attempt and document an attempt at An Impossible Task or to undertake a conversation with Anna Tregloan where she attempts (the similarly impossible task) of capturing their creative endeavours in sketch form.
We invited Chloe Greaves to undertake an Impossible Task. She attempted to find out what happened to Felicia Melzak, her great aunt who disappeared in the holocaust.
The most impossible thing I could imagine was to discover the fate of my great aunt and namesake Felicia Melzak, who escaped from the Warsaw ghetto in 1941 and was never seen again.
My grandfather - who was 12 years old when the Holocaust ended - spent his life trying to find her. There is no documentation in my family's possession that proved she lived beyond his memory. The only offical document I was able to find was a missing persons report he filed 20 years after her disappearance.
Felicia was a victim of a political ideology, under a democratically elected government that not only murdered their citizens, but also destroyed any documentation that proved they lived.
The missing have a haunting effect on the human spirit. Their loss reverberates and can hunt us for generations.
As my grandfather pointed out in an interview he did in 1997 with The Survivors Of The Shoah Visual History Foundation (the only time he spoke of his experience of the war), "The Holocaust did not end with the holocaust. We are witnessing its continuation today in Africa, Yugoslavia and the Middle East.”
I would add that we have seen many ethnic conflicts throughout history and today, including the Australian Stolen Generations and the so-called "boat people" the Armenian massacres, the Sri Lanka rival war, the treatment of the Uyghur peoples, the East Timorese, the Chechens, and many others.
My grandfather had hoped the the sacrifices of millions of people would result in theses atrocities halting, but it hasn’t. It was not able to eliminate hatred.
It is with this generational haunting I pick up his search - 6 years after his death, and 79 years after Felicia’s disappearance. Like all the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of victims of political systems and power-hungry men, I sense those men have created a world where it is almost impossible that I will ever find the answer.
If you have any information on the disappearance of Fela (Felicia) Melzak please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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