Hear from the Experts

About the show

Expert Endorsements

Hear from experts and scholars as they share their perspectives and insights on why HERE THERE ARE BLUEBERRIES and the themes explored in this new play still resonate deeply and are relevant today.

Professor Maiken Umbach
Modern History, University of Nottingham

Thorsten Wagner
Executive Director of FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics)


Dr. David G. Marwell
Author of Mengele: Unmasking the Angel of Death


Audience Talkbacks

Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE), in partnership with La Jolla Playhouse and Tectonic Theater Project, are proud to present a series of audience talkbacks about the themes and issues in Here There Are Blueberries

These events are open to the public. A ticket to the show is not required for admission.

All talkbacks will take place in the theatre directly after the performance. Questions about attending audience talkbacks? Email Patron Services at [email protected].

» Learn more about FASPE and their speakers

  • Tuesday, August 2 at 9:00pm | Doctors at Auschwitz: Joseph Mengele and the Role of Medicine in Nazi Germany
  • Full Description

    Special guests: Dr. David G. Marwell, author of Mengele: Unmasking the Angel of Death; Dr. Rebecca Erbelding, historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    Dr. Erbelding is the inspiration for the role of Becky in the play. She’s the real life archivist, historian, and award-winning author who first encountered the Höcker album at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Dr. David G. Marwell has had a distinguished career in public history. He spent nine years at the US Department of Justice, where, as Chief of Investigative Research, he conducted research in support of the investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals in the United States. As a part of this effort, he played major roles in the Klaus Barbie and Josef Mengele investigations and helped to author the two major reports that resulted.

    In addition to their roles as leading Holocaust scholars, Marwell and Erbelding were deeply engaged collaborators and mentors to the authors through the creative process. In this discussion we’ll take a closer look at Joseph Mengele and the role of medical professionals in Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

  • Wednesday, August 3 at 9:00pm | The Next Generation: How do we deal with the sins of our fathers – both literally and metaphorically?
  • Full Description

    Special guest: Father Steven Bell, Priest and Associate Pastor, University of California at Berkeley

    In this discussion David Goldman will invite Father Bell to reflect upon some of the shocking and disturbing photographs in the Höcker album, including those with children.

    Paulist Fr. Steven Bell is associate pastor of Newman Hall / Holy Spirit Parish at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a member of the FASPE faculty. He also leads parish missions, retreats, revivals and workshops, all of which consider the importance of reconciliation and healing.

  • Tuesday, August 16 at 9:00pm | Ethics in Nazi Germany: Himmler’s Posen Speech
  • Full Description

    Special guest: Thorsten Wagner, Executive Director of FASPE

    In October, 1943, Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, gave two speeches in the town of Posen in German occupied Poland. The recordings are the first known documents in which a member of the Hitler Cabinet spoke of the ongoing extermination of the Jews in concentration camps. German-Danish historian and FASPE Executive Director Thorsten Wagner leads this powerful and insightful investigation of Himmler’s speech and the ethical arguments and justifications put forward in attempt to legitimize the Nazi mass murder program.

  • Wednesday, August 17 at 9:00pm | There were Blueberries: the Transformation of Norms and Complicity as the New Normal
  • Full Description

    Special guest: Thorsten Wagner, Executive Director of FASPE

    In his second talkback event, Thorsten Wagner asks the audience to consider why human beings have repeatedly shown a tendency to project normalcy in extraordinary circumstances. Thorsten will present several examples throughout history and ask those gathered to consider the ramifications of this desire.

  • Thursday, August 18 at 9:30pm | Nazi Crimes and the Complicity of Business Leaders and Professionals
  • Full Description

    Special guests: David Danks, Professor of Data Science & Philosophy at University of California, San Diego; Nate Silver, FASPE 2019 Business Fellow

    Mr. Danks will lead a discussion with the audience about the role of engineers, business owners, journalists, and others who participated in the concentration camp labor economy. Some of the world’s most successful companies operated in Germany throughout the 1930s and 1940s, and many of them actively participated in the actions of the SS. Looking back, how do we evaluate their culpability in the extermination operation?

    Professor of Data Science & Philosophy at University of California, San Diego, Mr. Danks was previously the L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy & Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, where he served as the Chief Ethicist of CMU’s Block Center for Technology & Society and co-director of CMU’s Center for Informed Democracy and Social Cybersecurity (IDeaS). He is a recipient of the James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award and Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

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