Anti-Semitic neo-Nazi’s protested the opening of “Parade” a true story about antisemitism.
Theatergoers making their way into the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre to see the Broadway musical “Parade,” about a notorious anti-Semitic incident of 1915, provoked vile anti-Semitic demonstrations of 2023 outside the theater where the show was having its first preview.
Based on the true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager in Georgia who was lynched for supposedly raping a 13-year-old girl, theatregoers were greeted by neo-Nazis from the “National Socialist Movement” who shouted that Frank was “a Jewish pedophile” and “Learn the truth about what you’re going to see tonight!” one of them shouted. “Romanticizing pedophiles — wow!”
Frank was sentenced to death after a trial that became a media circus and a lightning rod for antisemitism. When the departing governor of Georgia, citing irregularities in the case, commuted his sentence in 1915 to life imprisonment, a lynching party abducted Frank from the jail in Milledgeville, Ga., and hanged him from an oak tree.
“It’s sad, but it’s not surprising,” said Rabbi Brian Beal, of Temple Beth Tikvah in Wayne. “Antisemitism and racism have been part of the human condition forever.”
More than 100 years later, some details about the case are still murky. But the evidence, overwhelmingly, points to Frank’s innocence, according to most historians.
That’s why shows like “Parade” are important, said the Broadway League. On Wednesday, in response to the incident the previous night, it released a statement deploring “antisemitism and all forms of harassment.”
“Now more than ever, the arts play a powerful role in creating community and bringing people together,” the league said.
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