I saw Cabaret at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle last week.Â Although I have seen the movie, this was the first time Iâ€™d seen the play staged.Â It was fabulous.Â I also gave some thought as to why it has been such an enduring story.Â Many works about the same time period have stayed with us.Â The Sound of Music, Sophieâ€™s Choice, Schindlerâ€™s List, The Diary of Anne Frank, Casablanca, Evita, and more.Â I read a huge nonfiction book as a child â€“ The Third Reich, maybe the only history book I picked up all by myself around fifth or sixth grade.Â
Weâ€™re told to set our books in interesting places at interesting times, and I suspect World War II is one of the most interesting historical periods.Â Here is why I think it has so fascinated us:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It included the Holocaust and the Bomb, two unthinkable moments
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â That war close enough to us in time that we can still feel it (compared to say, the battle for Troy)
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â At least now, it feels more black and white than recent wars, as if there was a good side and a bad side (and there probably was).