The 25th anniversary of reunification of Germany Oct 3, 2015 has brought back memories of how the East German post war communist government destroyed the successful touring Marionette Theatre Barthold, and confiscated everything, including the puppets. Waltraude (Barthold) Stehwien’s late father, Oskar Barthold, a puppeteer since the 1930s managed to ‘steal’ a few of the puppets of his own design, before escaping the dictatorship to West Germany. These puppets and the entire chronicles & manuscripts of a travelling puppeteer, ended up in the Stehwien collection here in Saskatoon.
Thanks to reunification, these puppets are now able to go home. Home to eastern Germany, where they performed regularly to high acclaim between 1947 and 1949.
Plays included old traditional legends of Dr. Faustus and the Magic Violin as part of the series for adults, and fairy tales like Rumpelstiltskin and the Magic Lantern for children.