The Theater: Old Play in Manhattan, Apr. 13, 1942

Nathan the Wise (adapted from the German of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing by Ferdinand Bruckner; produced by Erwin Piscator). This famous plea for tolerance, which a wise Christian wrote 163 years ago about a wise Jew, is still eloquent propaganda if pretty hopeless theater. It is easy to see why it was one of the first works burned by the Nazis when they came to power. Laid in Jerusalem at the time of the Third Crusade, it offers a setting in which Christian, Jew and Mohammedan can hardly help being at one another's throats. But by restricting them to purely verbal combat,...

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