re: “Private Schwartz” OK, I’ll Bite….
Posted by: AlanScott 02:54 pm EST 11/17/22
In reply to: re: “Private Schwartz” OK, I’ll Bite…. - singleticket 12:27 pm EST 11/17/22

Just to clarify in case there is confusion: The WWI audience saw it in no context since they didn't see it at all. It was written for Funny Girl.

As a Jew, I find nothing offensive about that part of the number. And I don't even feel it would need context or at least that it should need context. It's the anti-German parts of the song that are offensive — "With every poppity-pop / Some Kraut took a drop / American boys are always such straight shooters" — especially in the context of what went on here during WWI. Do those need context? Giving context just makes it worse. But perhaps there should be footage of and headlines about German Americans being persecuted during WWI.

To address something in another post: Dutch comedy was to an overwhelming degree Jewish comedy. The use of Dutch to describe it was derived from Deutsch, yes, but it was Jewish comedy with characters who were almost always clearly meant to be perceived as Jewish and performed overwhelmingly by Jews.

Then there was Jewface material, also generally written and performed by Jews. This was often edgier and sometimes anti-Semitic in the ways that groups writing and performing about themselves can be. There has been a movement to reclaim it as an important part of Jewish theatrical history.

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