Thursday, April 16, 2009

ST Online Forum: "Why Easter play was titled The Final Solution?"

ST Online Forum: "Why Easter play was titled The Final Solution?"

I REFER to Mr Rayner Teo's Online Forum letter on Monday, 'Wrong to name Easter play The Final Solution'.

We regret that the phrase 'The Final Solution' brought Mr Teo's immediate attention to the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. We assure Mr Teo and readers that we do not bear any anti-Semitic sentiments, nor is it our intention to diminish Jewish sensitivities surrounding the great atrocities of the Holocaust.

Our Easter play was so titled because as Christians, our message at Easter is that we believe Jesus Christ is the Final Solution to all humanity's problems. Contrary to what Mr Teo mentioned, The Final Solution was written, not with any anti-Semitic element at all, but to demonstrate the struggle between science and the belief in God, and to portray that contrary to Adolf Hitler's belief that extermination of the Jews was the solution to the world's problems, Christ's voluntary sacrifice by death on the cross is the true and final solution for the salvation of man.

There are many other instances where this title has been used without any anti-Semitic sentiments. For example, a novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon is titled The Final Solution. It is a detective story that won the 2005 National Jewish Book Award and the 2003 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction by The Paris Review.

Another award-winning film directed by Cristobal Krusen is also titled Final Solution. It is based on a true story about how Gerrit Woldfaardt's prejudice against black South Africans was reversed as he realised his mistake and began to seek reconciliation between whites and blacks in the turbulent last days of apartheid.

Finally, film-maker Rakesh Sharma's feature-length documentary on the Gujarat riots and the study of the politics of hate is also known as Final Solution. This film has won two awards - the Wolfgang Staudte award and the Special Jury Award (Netpac) at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2004.

We would like to invite Mr Teo and readers to view a recording of our play The Final Solution to assure themselves that there is no reference or link at all to the atrocities of the Holocaust.

We remain committed to building racial and religious harmony in Singapore.

Derek Dunn


City Harvest Church

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