Wednesday, June 5, 2013

#22: Oberammergau Passion Play (Postcard Blogathon 2013)

Title: Passions Spiele Oberammergau (Oberammergau Passion Play); Die haupt darsteller (the main cast)
Publisher: Foto-Verlag Kronburger, Oberammergau
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.

Comments: This postcard shows one season's primary cast of the Oberammergau Passion Play, which has had performances dating back to 1634 in Oberammergau, Germany.

The performance's origins are pretty fascinating. Per Wikipedia:
"The town's residents vowed that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague ravaging the region, they would produce a play thereafter for all time depicting the life and death of Jesus. The death rate among adults rose from one in October 1632 to twenty in the month of March 1633. The adult death rate slowly subsided to one in the month of July 1633. The villagers believed they were spared after they kept their part of the vow when the play was first performed in 1634."

The Passion Play is staged every ten years, in years ending with a zero. In 2010, there were 102 performances over a period of about five months. More than 2,000 performers and behind-the-scenes workers take part in the event, and all of them come from Oberammergau, which has only about 5,100 residents. Each performance lasts about seven hours.

The next performances will be held in 2020.

This postcard features either the 1950 or 1960 cast. Click on the postcard to see a larger image and check out all of the cast members.

Further reading: The 2001 James Shapiro book "Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play" is described as providing an "important look at the unpredictable and sometimes tragic relationship between art and society, belief and tolerance, religion and politics."

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Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.


  1. Hi. Your postcard relates to the 1950 Oberammergau Passionspeile. Regards. Stuart.

  2. What is the value