Ilustration: Rowohlt Verlag

Rolf Hochhuth (1931-2020)

With Hochhuth’s play The Deputy (Der Stellvertreter) as a spearhead, the German post-war theatre re-entered politics and challenged historical memory.

In 1959 Rolf Hochhuth, a young editor working for the Bertelsmann book club, went to Rome to research the diplomacy of the Vatican during WW II and, more precisely, the role of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust. The play he extracted and composed from this material had the title The Deputy (German: Der Stellvertreter, ed. rem.), referring to the deputy of God on earth, and addressed the scandalous reluctance of the Vatican to protest the deportation of Jews into extermination camps.

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