P. 17, AMERICAN
FREE PRESS * April 24, 2006....
The Uncensored Passion of
By Michael Collins Piper
heard about the “controversial” Passion Play of Oberammergau,
which inspired Mel Gibson’s blockbuster film, The
Passion of the Christ. Now, the uncensored and traditional
rendition of the Passion Play is available in a beautiful new volume
that preserves a relic of Christian history that so many enemies
of Christianity would love to see buried forever.
This volume is a early 20th century English-language descriptive
account of the Passion Play at Oberammergau as compiled in 1910.
At right, the cover of The
Passion Play at Oberammergau from the National
Institute for Christian Solidarity — an uncensored
account of the Passion Play before the ADL had it
altered to meet its “political
There is nothing like it available anywhere else.
It’s like reading a thrilling, colorful and epic novel.
Not only does this rendition of the play accurately
reflect the traditional script of the play, but it also incorporates
verbal imagery to describe what is happening in the play itself.
This volume — the traditional, uncensored rendition of the
Passion Play — survives as a record of what was and what is:
the Passion of the Christ that is so central to the Christian faith.
In fact, this volume is actually a more accurate rendition of the
original Passion Play as it was presented from its original offering
in 1634 and up until the 1980 presentation. In 1980, under pressure
from Jewish critics, revisions were made in the play, laying the
groundwork for additional changes in 1990 and in the “new”
— even more censored — version in 2000.
The history of the play itself is quite remarkable. Presented by
the townspeople of Oberammergau, a small community in Bavaria in
southwestern Germany, a town of hardly more than 5,000 souls, it
has been staged 40 times — every ten years (with multiple
presentations on a periodic basis over several months) — since
its premier on Pentecost in the year 1634.
Here’s how it began: In the middle of the Thirty Years War,
after months of suffering and death from the plague, the Oberammergauers
swore an oath that they would perform the “Play of the Suffering,
Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ” every ten
years. At Pentecost 1634, they fulfilled their pledge for the first
time on a stage in a cemetery — above the fresh graves of
the plague victims.
The production of the play became a major project for the entire
village, young and old alike involved. The villagers spent vast
time and energy building sets, preparing elaborate historic costumes,
rehearsing their parts, making the Passion Play a community event
in the grandest sense of the word: the play has had the proverbial
“cast of thousands,” with as many as 2,200 people participating—
almost half the people of Oberammergau.
Some who started out playing sideline roles ultimately came to play
major parts themselves. Some “passed down” particular
roles from father to son and mother to daughter. Every man wearing
a beard in the play had to have a real beard. Participants went
to great efforts to maintain their beards in preparation for the
As years went by, word about the play spread across Europe. Growing
numbers came — almost as a pilgrimage — every time the
play was presented. By the late 19th century, audience members came
from around the globe. The Passion Play was emerging as a legend
in its own time.
However, as the 20th century dawned, the steadfast commitment of
the Oberammergauers was confronted by outsiders with an agenda all
their own. Virtually all of the opposition to the Passion Play came
from the outspoken leadership of Jewish circles, particularly in
the United States. These critics of the Passion Play worked relentlessly
to defame it.
The six hour play was last presented in 2000. The next scheduled
presentations will be in the 2010 — unless, of course, the
play’s critics — including Abe Foxman’s ADL —
finally succeed in shutting it down altogether. In recent decades
as many as 500,000 people in total have attended the
various presentations, some 5,000 people per presentation —
clearly no small venture.
This is your opportunity to have the Passion Play as part of your
library. Few copies of this item are available. Reserve yours today.
To order your copy of The Passion Play at Oberammergau,
send your check or money order for $25 (two copies are $40) to NICS,
P.O. Box 99, Amissville, VA 20106. There is no charge for S&H.
AFP is allowing NICS to use its toll free number for ordering of
this book. You may charge your order to Visa or MasterCard by calling
(Issue #17, April 24, 2006, American