War affects so many of us even if we are not a part of it directly. However, when that line gets crossed and it comes through your door, survival is the only tactic. Aaron Sulkin’s Uniform tackles a small time frame of only one day during what is now known as the Hungarian Holocaust; however, it is one day that could mean the difference between life and death.
The Hungarian Holocaust occurred as Germany realized their war was not to be won. Occupying Hungary in March of 1944, Germany’s strategy became more sinister as this realization provoked them to faster and more frequent exterminations. In their minds, if the war was to be lost…take out at many Jews as possible. With approximately 825,000 Jews living in Hungary prior to 1944, under German rule, over 500,000 were killed. In a little more than a year – Soviet forces liberated Hungary in April of 1945 – the Nazis had murdered two-thirds of the Jewish Hungarian population.
In Sulkin’s Uniform, when Jacob (Brandon Herlig) drags an unconscious Nazi soldier, later identified as an officer, into their hiding space, Zsuzsanna (Brittany Martz) and David (Eric Schlein) assess what is actually happening and the freak out begins. Erratically discussing what the next move should be, since their compromised position could become the beginning of their end, they hardly notice when Erik (Sam Taylor) awakens until he grabs Zsuzsanna’s leg.
It is then that they realize the detrimental situation they’ve placed themselves in. Before, there was the certain possibility of discovery and death, now the possibility has turned into a reality as Erik has the power to either help them to safety or escort them to their graves. Somehow Erik convinces the trio that he can lead them out of the Nazi filled city. Do they believe a man who is part of an organization who wants to completely extinguish their race?
by Aaron Sulkin
1021 7th Street NW 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20001
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All of the actors convincingly portray their roles of scared, highly-charged, emotionally distraught characters without going overboard. Yet, it is Marz as Zsuzsanna who is the most riveting as she moves from anger, to worry, to compassion, to acceptance…all in less than an hour.
Life had turned from stability to uncertainty as Jacob so graciously recalled, “We were told to pack what we could carry, but we never thought about taking food. Who thinks of that?” It is then that the group begins to ask questions about just what was happening to the people boarding those trains, never to be heard from again. When Erik relays what he’s heard, tensions rise again as disbelief and shock of the hatred finally penetrate their psyches.
As darkness arrives, the group must leave their fate in the hands of a source they know nothing about. The act of trust had never meant so much until this very moment.