»Death by hanging«. This was the sentence proclaimed in Jerusalem in 1961 against Adolf Eichmann, the planner and organiser of the Holocaust. In one of the most highly publicised trials of the post-war period, agonising details of the Nazi’s extermination machinery and its perpetrators come to light because the accused speaks.
Author and dramaturg Heinar Kipphardt—along with Peter Weiss and Rolf Hochhuth, one of the leading representatives of documentary theatre in the 1960s—distils a theatre text from over 3,500 pages of interrogation and court transcripts. The play premiered posthumously in 1983 in Munich. »What a trial and a play have in common is that they both begin and end with the perpetrator, and not with the victim,« Hannah Arendt writes in her account of EICHMANN IN JERUSELEM. Kipphardt’s play brings this perpetrator, this »Brother« (»Brother Hitler«- Thomas Mann) uncomfortably close.
In his productions of Didier Eribon’s RETURN TO REIMS or Carolin Emcke’s AGAINST HATRED in the past theatre seasons, Thomas Jonigk has grappled with contemporary socio-political themes. He dedicates his next work for Schauspiel Köln to this contemporary historical document.