Why did they laugh?

The line, said by the policeman to two little children, was, "If you have no money, you must think about dying." The people next to me, adults, not children, laughed. This was minutes into a performance of Brundibar, and after an opening act showing the family, with yellow stars sewn on their clothing, choosing their most treasured belongings and  getting ready to leave their home. The opera, a fairy tale for children, had some amusing moments. There are wonderful performances by a cat, a dog and a sparrow. Very amusing, but I still could not laugh. The children who came to this performance as innocents, would not be troubled by its history, or even its newly added curtain raiser. But none of the children laughed at this horrendous line, only the three adults sitting near me. What kind of denial, or mania, prompted their laughter? It bothered me all day, and it still bothers me.

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