From "Truemmerliterature" school, a play review "Draussen vor der Tur" by Wolfgang Borchert


hari kumar
 

"Theatre review "Draussen vor der Tur" by Wolfgang Borchert: A new performance of an anti-war play at the Berliner Ensemble is flawed but is still worth seeing". 
"Today we face moves towards a new inter-imperialist war. Again… It is timely that the Berliner Ensemble Theatre, is reviving Draussen vor der Tur (Outside the Door, or Being on the Outside) by Wolfgang Borchert (1921-1947). There are several aspects that socialists might be interested in: the author, the literary movement he belonged to, the play itself, the current production, and the theatre in which it is staged now in Berlin. I will discuss the first three." Full article at: https://www.theleftberlin.com/theatre-review-draussen-vor-der-tur-by-wolfgang-borchert/

Borckert was a fascinating character and one of the so-called "Truemmerliterature" school (rubble literature). They melded natural-realism with a 'magic' element - is my view. Apart from the play, the article describes a little bit about that school. His most famous poem is one that is not well known by English speakers. It is Sag nein!:

"The poem’s is known as “Sag Nein!” (Say No!) a phrase that echoes through the poem. The official title is “Dann gibt es nur eins!” (Then there is only one). It was written as a Manifesto, lying on his deathbed in Basle, just weeks before his death. While I think it rings out in the original German, the power certainly comes across in translation:

“You. Man at the machine and man in the workshop. If they order you tomorrow not to make any more water pipes or cooking pots – but steel helmets and machine guns. then there is only one:

Say no!
You. Girls behind the counter and girls in the office. If tomorrow they order you to fill grenades and mount scopes for sniper rifles, then there is only one thing:
Say no!
You. Factory owner. If they order you tomorrow, you should sell gunpowder instead of powder and cocoa, then there is only one thing:
Say no!
You. Researchers in the laboratory. If they order you tomorrow to invent a new death against the old life, then there is only one thing:
Say no!
You. Poet in your room. If they order you tomorrow not to sing love songs, you should sing hate songs, then there is only one thing:
Say no!
You. Doctor at the bedside. If they order you tomorrow, you should the men write fit for war, then there is only one thing:
Say no! …
You. Mother in Normandy and mother in the Ukraine, you, mother in Frisko and London, you, on the Hoangho and on the Mississippi, you, mother in Naples and Hamburg and Cairo and Oslo – mothers on all continents, mothers in the world, if they tomorrow command you to bear children, nurses for war hospitals and new soldiers for new battles, mothers in the world, then there is only one thing:
Says no! Moms say NO!…”

"The power that this poem can wield is seen as recited by actress and artistic director of the Hamburg Theater, Ida Ehre. She announced Borchet’s death on stage after the premiere. In 1983, Ehre addressed an open air meeting (Clip is at 43 seconds in at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_4mH0MBviE ) for the “Kunstler fur den Frieden” (Artists for peace)."
Full article is at:
https://www.theleftberlin.com/theatre-review-draussen-vor-der-tur-by-wolfgang-borchert/

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