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Auschwitz, Holocaust, Dr. Mengele, Experimenting on Twins, The Berlin Wall, Escaping East Berlin, WWII

Side by Side: Two Screenplays
The Zoo and Duet
by Pamela Wielgus-Kwon

Although they have no characters in common, The Zoo and Duet are two screenplays deeply connected thematically. These compelling narratives, set in the Auschwitz concentration camp (The Zoo) and in East Berlin behind the Berlin Wall (Duet), bring the best and the worst of humanity into sharp focus as the characters struggle with captivity, pervasive cruelty, and their own helplessness and insignificance in the face of larger socio-political realities.

While World War II and its lingering shadow are certainly the driving forces behind the action, these stories are about people: In The Zoo, a group of twin children struggle to survive the experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele; in Duet, next generation Germans, living behind a wall of shame and concrete, compose music for orchestras too repressed to play.

These are human stories suffused with the music of the heart, and the silence of the grave.

Pamela Wielgus-Kwon is a lifelong student of history and literature, and a native of Chicago. In addition to “The Zoo” and “Duet” she has published “The Late Unpleasantness”, a post-Civil War novel based on the premise that the mere absence of war is not peace.


Pamela Wielgus-Kwon

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