German dramatist, Vatican critic Rolf Hochhuth dead at 89

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, April 17, 2024


German dramatist, Vatican critic Rolf Hochhuth dead at 89
A picture taken on March 17, 2016 shows German author Rolf Hochhuth on the fairgrounds of the book fair in Leipzig. German playwright and writer Rolf Hochhuth, who denounced the silence of Pope Pius XII against the Holocaust in his "the deputy", died on May 14, 2020 at the age of 89, German media reported. Hendrik Schmidt / dpa / AFP.

by Deborah Cole



BERLIN (AFP).- Provocative German dramatist Rolf Hochhuth, whose most famous play "The Deputy" explored Vatican complicity in the Holocaust, has died aged 89, his publisher said on Thursday.

He died unexpectedly from unknown causes at his home in Berlin on Wednesday, Rowohlt publishing house said.

Hochhuth, who demanded a bold and thorough reckoning with the German past, courted controversy throughout his six-decade-long career, most strikingly with his first stage play.

"The Deputy" argued that wartime pontiff Pius XII failed to take action to stop the Nazi slaughter of the Jews.

The 1963 play, which Franco-Greek director Costa-Gavras adapted into his 2002 film "Amen", unleashed a storm of protest against the then 26-year-old writer and sparked an international debate about the Church's moral authority.

In March, the Vatican opened its archives to historians hoping to understand Pius XII's fateful silence about the extermination of six million European Jews.

The German government said Hochhuth "never ducked a confrontation" while "loving provocations and remaining true to himself as an iconoclastic contemporary" of the post-war republic.

Germany's Central Council of Jews mourned Hochhuth's death, calling him a "courageous taboo-breaker" who "touched off an overdue debate in Germany" about the role of the Church during the Nazi period.

'Never forgiven and forgotten'
Born in 1931 in central town of Eschwege the son of a shoe manufacturer, Hochhuth grew up under the Nazi dictatorship which would become the defining theme of his work.

"The Holocaust can never be forgiven and forgotten," he once said.

Hochhuth's "A Love in Germany" in 1978 about the role of former Nazi jurists helped bring about the resignation of then Baden-Wuerttemberg state premier and former naval judge Hans Filbinger, who had passed down death sentences during the war.

Two years after German reunification in 1990, Hochhuth raised hackles again when he denounced the "annexation" of East Germany by the West with "Wessis in Weimar".

In 2001, "Hitler's Dr. Faust" took as its subject the rocket scientist Hermann Oberth and his star pupil, Wernher von Braun, who built the Nazis' most advanced weapon, the V-2 rocket.

"I wanted to portray a pact with the devil -- that of a pioneer of space exploration -- with Hitler, the man who created Auschwitz," Hochhuth told AFP at the time.

His vicious 2004 indictment of global capitalism, "McKinsey is Coming", enraged bosses.

The chairman of the German Federation of Industry, Michael Rogowski, called the play at the time "the embodiment of bad taste," and accused Hochhuth of advocating the murder of top executives as a form of political protest.

In his final years, Hochhuth gained notoriety for often bizarre public comments including a full-throated defence of British Holocaust denier David Irving that he later rescinded.

The Central Council of Jews said even this "baffling" transgression could be forgiven "because of his contributions to the reckoning with social and Church elites' entanglement with the Shoah".

"He should serve as a role model for writers who call out social wrongs and stand up for the ongoing process of working through the German past," its leader, Josef Schuster, said in a statement.


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

May 15, 2020

When the virus came, some museum curators lost years of work

My weekend binge online at Frieze

Sainsbury Centre acquires a group of 29 major works by Elisabeth Frink

Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Malmö to reopen on June 16

Sotheby's scales up 'Watches Weekly' to three sales per week

Online sale featured a generous offering of advertising, toys and historic objects

Jonathan Crockett named Chairman of Asia at Phillips

Thomas Sokolowski, 70, dies; put art in the service of AIDS activism

Galerie Miranda reopens with he exhibition 'The Place of the Dry, Dry', by Chloe Sells

Royal Collection Trust publishes 'Japan: Courts and Culture'

Richard Gilder, donor to parks, museum and history, dies at 87

NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery launches first-ever digital archive

Jonathan Adewumi, who made everyone feel at home, dies at 57

LaiSun Keane announces a solo exhibition of Native American artist and sculptor Raven Halfmoon

Takesada Matsutani presents a series of previously unseen works at Hauser & Wirth

How lockdown spelled stardom for 3 play-at-home musicians

De Buck Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Hiba Schahbaz

Artangel and Freelands Foundation launch new initiative to support emerging artists

National Gallery and Art Fund foster new museum talent

Solo for flute, airport terminal and one listener

James Hyman Gallery presents online exhibition to address physical and mental health

German dramatist, Vatican critic Rolf Hochhuth dead at 89

Turner Auctions + Appraisals to offer collection of posters from World Wars I & II

With galleries closed, a moment for net artists to shine

Best skincare advice from Consulting Dermatologists that you should be aware of

Advantages of approaching Portland Temporary Staffing Agency

What Is A Firewall And How Does It Work?

How to Top up Wechat Wallet for Foreigner without China bank Card in 2020




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful