Niels Höpfner

Das Tier
Stück in 37 Szenen
1 H, 1 Dek
UA: 03.10.1972 · Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt am Main · Directed by: Hans Neuenfels
The “case of Jürgen Bartsch” is considered the crime of the century. At the age of fifteen, Bartsch commits his first sex murder of a boy. Three more follow. At the age of nineteen, Bartsch is caught and convicted. In jail, he asks to be castrated and dies during the surgery.

The theatre text by Niels Höpfner takes on the experiment of outlining a psychological profile of the perpetrator, demanding sympathy from the audience. Empathy for a man whose actions transgress every moral norm. Murderers of children are human scum, they are guilty, no questions asked. “Are they really?” is the question Höpfner’s play asks and with this it touches on a central problem of society: how do we protect ourselves from the perpetrators? But can we also live with them? And if so, how?