Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf, Bd. 1&2

Broaching a banned book

Alon Kraus, Christian Spremberg, Anna Gilsbach in „Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf, Band 1&2“ von Rimini Protokoll (Haug & Wetzel) © Candy Welz

Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle) was first published in 1925/1926, and by the end of World War II, millions of copies of the propagandistic manifesto had been sold. After 1945, the Free State of Bavaria became Hitler’s successor in title and prevented future publication of the book in the German-speaking market. However, with the copyright protection set to end in 2015, a debate came up to whether and in what form the book should be published. The Kunstfest Weimar and the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, in cooperation with numerous German-speaking theatres and festivals, had commissioned the theatre collective Rimini Protokoll (Haug/Wetzel) to produce “Mein Kampf” for the stage. Using their production of Karl Marx’s “Das Kapital” (Capital) from 2006 as a basis, Helgard Haug and Daniel Wetzel focused on “Mein Kampf” as a literary text and historical document. Despite the numerous copies in print, “Mein Kampf” is one of the least read books. The question is, if no one has read it, what purpose has it served? And who would buy the book today, who would read it? Haug and Wetzel wished to investigate the mythical aura surrounding the book and examine what points of reference it offers the resurging nationalistic movements in both East and West. The research work and rehearsals had been accompanied by the Buchenwald Foundation and well-known historians. As in previous Rimini Protokoll productions, a large-scale, international casting process has been used for selecting the “everyday experts” who conveyed their personal views of the book on stage. The world premiere took place at the Kunstfest Weimar in 2015, followed by numerous national and international guest performances.

Artistic director: Rimini Protokoll (Haug & Wetzel)
Directors: Helgard Haug, Daniel Wetzel
Set and costumes: Marc Jungreithmeier
Dramaturgy: Sebastian Brünger


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