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Breivik's mass murder speech hits the stage
Photo: DPA

Breivik's mass murder speech hits the stage

Published: 26 Sep 2012 10:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Sep 2012 10:07 GMT+02:00

The words of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik explaining the thinking behind his killing spree will be read in Berlin theatres next month - to shock the audience with the familiarity of his arguments.

A Turkish-German woman will be reading the script, edited from Breivik’s 17-page, hour-long speech he made in an Oslo court in April before being jailed for 21 years for the 77 murders he carried out last July.

The transcript was never published in full, the judge deeming it unhelpful to give Breivik a public platform and the media shying away from giving his xenophobic, nationalist beliefs too much attention.

Now a German-Swiss political theatre group will stage Breivik's Erklärung – Breivik's Explanation – to give the audience a nasty shock, as director Milo Rau said he feels the speech contains arguments which would find acceptance in much of Europe.

The choice of Sascha Soydan to perform the piece was to detach the Breivik “character” from his arguments, Rau told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.

“I am not going for similarity here, but trying to produce an intellectual event,” he told the paper. There will be no courtroom set and the piece will not be dramatised.

“The first thing Sascha Soydan said after reading the script was that the scandal of the text was that it isn't really scandalous,” said Rau.

“It is a relatively rational, self-contained and, I think, a widely spread view in Europe.” The major difference being that most people would not go on a killing spree, like Breivik did when he murdered 77 people, mostly teenagers, in Utøya and Oslo last summer.

The 35-year-old director from Bern, Switzerland, suggested that 80 percent of arguments Breivik put forward in his speech would not be out of place in the conservative Die Weltwoche Swiss newspaper. Around 20 percent could be aligned with views held by the staunchly left-wing German paper the taz, he suggested.

“There is not a causal, basic relationship between thinking and acting. One cannot say that because a person is a right-wing nationalist, they are a murderer.

“Clearly, he is an unhinged, radical right-wing extremist” but, Rau added, it was Breivik's ability to exercise perspective during his explanation in court that “makes him a rational, complex, but also mundane speaker.”

The performances are part of Rau’s International Institute for Political Murder (IIPM) group’s “Power and Dissent” project, and will be staged along with discussions afterwards, at the Weimar National Theatre October 19 and in Berlin's Theatrediscounter October 27.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:48 September 26, 2012 by raandy
They should never let this melt down in front of a camera. This is exactly what he wants,it is his plan. No contact with the media would enhance his punishment.
12:44 September 26, 2012 by Masala
I don't agree at all, Raandy. It's not healthy for our society to just ignore something. It needs to be 'dealth with' in the same way that we deal with all things, good/bad/atrocious ...
13:27 September 26, 2012 by zeddriver
This is one of those situations that comes up now and again concerning free speech and free press. Should we always try to hide or ban speech that might upset us? I say no! Putting our heads in the sand will only get sand up our noses. I do think there is a huge difference between being a nationalist and resorting to murder for one's nationalism.
14:02 September 26, 2012 by michael4096
"It is a relatively rational, self-contained and, I think, a widely spread view in Europe."

Probably quite familiar to readers of this forum also.
17:36 September 26, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Some 'sane' people kill because their neighbors dog makes too much noise. Where is the reading about that? Bottom line is that killing people is wrong. His opinion is moot, and not necessary to read from. Publish it, if people want to read it for themselves.
18:57 September 26, 2012 by Mirza.mm9
Are we justifying murder now? How disgusting world can get !
20:11 September 26, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@mizra.mm9

It's is not quite like the international solidarity rallies for the murder of a diplomat. Nor or are the readers justifying his actions. Still unnecessary.
13:50 September 28, 2012 by pjnt
Just because you can say something does not mean you should.

I suppose if you were a student in a field of study that this can be incorperated, then there would be educational value.

The easiest solution is not to partake in this theatrical offer. If people do not support these rights of free speech, they will go away.
19:17 October 1, 2012 by alf2
Most Europeans think there are too many third world economic immigrant in their countries.
01:57 October 2, 2012 by Pakistani
europe needed these immigrants............ do you see the "german miracle" without arab and turkish immigrants????? what I cannot understand is that why nations like germans, french and so on were so much in need of "man"-power to prosper in the first place...............

Hail "deutschland"...........I think eu residents who complain about too many foreign immigrants should start working really hard in factories reaaallly hard so the next generations of these "immigrants" would be out of jobs and would go away............. leaving a flawless germany behind... u know, with no theft, drugs and so on...........
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