Hochhuth, Rolf

Hochhuth, Rolf

(rôlf hōkh`ho͞ot), 1931–, German dramatist. His provocative first drama, The Deputy (1963), accuses Pope Pius XII and the Roman Catholic clergy of tolerating Nazi crimes against the Jews. It received productions worldwide and caused great controversy. His second play, Soldiers (1967), initially banned in England, implicates Churchill in the fire-bombing of civilian targets and the death of Polish general Sikorski in World War II. Later works include Guerrillas (1970), The Midwife, (1972), The Survivor (1981), and the film A Love in Germany (1984).

Hochhuth, Rolf

 

Born Apr. 1, 1931, in Eschwege. German dramatist and publicist (Federal Republic of Germany).

In the drama The Deputy (1963), Hochhuth unmasked the complicity of Pope Pius XII and the Vatican in the fascist atrocities of World War II. The central theme of Hochhuth’s dramaturgy is the moral responsibility of the individual invested with authority and power; but this specific historical focus is gradually supplanted by an abstract moral orientation. Soldiers (1967), which also deals with the events of World War II, is at the same time a protest against the US aggression in Vietnam. Guerrillas (1970) treats the Utopian idea that the infiltration of the US government by revolutionaries is the only way to implement democratic changes in that country from above. The Midwife, a comedy, is pervaded by motifs of social criticism. The play Lysistrata and NATO (1973) offers a light comical solution to the struggle of the Greek people against NATO military bases.

A publicist, Hochhuth also writes on urgent topical problems, for example, in the collection War and Class War (1971).

WORKS

Der Stellvertreter. Berlin, 1965. (Foreword by E. Piscator.)
In Russian translation:
Berlinskaia Antigona. In Novyi mir, 1966, no. 8.

REFERENCES

El’vin, I. “Bunt protiv ’Namestnika.’” Nauka i religiia, 1964, no. 5.
Knipovich, E. “Ob umenii ’dumat’ vpered.’” Inostrannaia literatura, 1969, no. 3.
Gebhardt, H. “Nur Auseinandersetzung mit der Vergangenheit?” Theater der Zeit, 1966, no. 8.

A. V. KAREUSKII

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