ROTTERDAM - A group of a hundred protesters tonight a try-out of the controversial play "The dirt, the city and the death prevented. According to the activists, the piece of Rainer Fassbinder antisemitic.

The Amsterdam Theater, Theater Lantaren and Jewish organizations have been busy after the cancellation. A first call did not return tonight.

The performance would start tonight at 8:30 in theater De Lantaren on the Gouvernestraat. But even before the show's opponents had already occupied the stage.

Outside was a demonstration going on with several hundred protesters. The several hundred demonstrators in Gouvernestraat held banners with slogans like '2000-year persecution of Jews is enough'.

Among the protesters was the Jewish actor Jules Croiset.

“I'm wearing two hats here, as iodine and as actor. We feel deeply offended by this piece!”

(actor Jules Croiset, Telegraph 19-11-1987)

Besides Croiset were also journalists Frits Barend and Henk van Dorp, historian Lou de Jong and rabbi Soetendorpstraat at protesters. The latter also joined the conversation after the canceled meeting.

"Be happy that we can protest", said Mrs J. Knieseyer of Anne Frank. "For forty years ago we could not."

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In the audience were about 250 people present. Of these, about half comes from the Jewish community.

Some visitors were verbally also know that they were against the cancellation of the part of the Amsterdam Theater. They chanted words like 'censorship'.

“Thereupon ensued between a visitor in the room and a rabbi Soetendorp heated dispute: “I want to see it!”, Thus the visitor, which responded with Soetendorpstraat “You can read it.” The visitor: “Theater you must see.” But Soetendorpstraat was not intimidated and outraged viewer added: “Good, we disagree, but I have to fight the pastoral responsibility to antisemitism.”

(TVNZ, 19-11-1987)

"Under these circumstances, it can be no question of a theatrical performance", was theater director Fred van Hilst know the microphone to the audience. "Everyone is invited calm and dignified to leave the room."

But the people in people in the room refused to go away, as if they were afraid it would still be staged the piece after their departure.

Occasionally Rabbi Soetendorpstraat Sonke and director of the Theater were just talking. In the audience were then tufts of people waiting for what would happen. Even an attempt to steer everyone out by turning on the music of the theater failed.


When it became clear in the outside Gouvernestraat that would not go through the offending performance, broke loose a deafening noise. Some even did a victory dance.

Agents seized or threatened when someone in "throwing a bomb". The man was taken away by police.

That joy was hard to find with the people of the Amsterdam Theater. Weber deputy director of the theater was emotional about the cancellation.

"We have been silenced. This is as bad as the book burnings of the past. "

(adjunct Weber, Amsterdam Theater, Telegraph 19-11-1987)

A spokesman for the theater is precisely a "very honest" piece. The director and the actors did not show tonight.

The opveoring of play by the German writer and director Rainer Werner Fassbinder is the graduation project coming director Johan Doesburg.

The play is about a wealthy Jewish developer who benefits from the demolition of an old historical district. In the play, the protagonist takes a whore (daughter of a former Nazi) killed and he escapes punishment by his good connections with the corrupt city council.

According to the activists, the piece purely anti-Semitic and anti-Semitic prejudices highlighted by the writer and confirmed.

In Germany the play was never performed for the same reason. Fassbinder wanted eight years ago with the Frankfurter Theater the play even further boost, but within that theater took the piece for quite some resistance. Fassbinder resigned. A film was a year later trouble premiere. The film was first shown in Rotterdam.


The prosecution has announced it will investigate the piece. Then a trial performance yesterday was behind closed doors. Attorney Sin Shu could not make any statement yet about possible anti-Semitism.

There is prior to the tryout yet been agreed between the top prosecutor and mayor Pepper. But who saw based on the content of the play seems no reason to stop it, to the annoyance of the Jewish organizations.

"What we are asked is to intervene with the means of censorship. A weapon that we can not and will not handle. A weapon that is also inextricably linked to a society by almost everyone hated in this country. " (Art Alderman Linthorst, Het Vrije Volk, 17-11-1987).

Jewish organizations such as the Anne Frank House and even Korthals Altes Minister of Justice had asked the manufacturer to remove the piece.

Hoe ging het verder?

A day after the deleted tryout two sides came to a compromise: a private performance came with a discussion afterwards. Only people from the Jewish community were in the audience.

One of the most prominent opponents of the play, Jules Croiset, would have been threatened several times by letter. Partly because of the threats the play was deleted permanently. Thus stopped the investigation of justice.

However, a month later the news came out which Croiset would be kidnapped by a fascist youth organization. But that turned out to be put in scene, like all the threatening letters.

A few months later, the piece was still really premiere, in New York, near Broadway.

Came the piece ever return to Netherlands? Ja. In 2002 the piece is staged. This time there was no hear some dissonance. The director was again ... Johan Doesburg.

To prevent noise was given in advance to minimize publicize the performances.

The above piece is written in the context of the History Month 2018. The year's theme is rebellion. Attractions 1987 yet was able to induce an uprising, Years later absolutely no reason for any anger, zo blijkt.


Het Vrije Volk – 18-11-1987 – Justice investigates' Fassbinder’

Het Vrije Volk – 19-11-1987 – "You want what we want, no anti-Semitism, no fascism’

Telegraph – 19-11-1987 – Protesters prevent play by Fassbinder

TVNZ – 19-11-1987 – Violent clash of views about Fassbinder

Trouw – 26-10-2002 – 'The dirt, City and Death’ can now

Author: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-2018

story number: 211

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