KONSTANZ, Germany—A theatrical performance based on Edgar Hilsenrath’s novel “The Story of the Last Thought” premiered in the sold out Drama Theatee of the German city of Konstanz, Public Radio of Armenia (ArmRadio.am) reports, citing the Russian Service of Deutsche Welle. The piece tells about the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
The theatre received a number demands to cancel the performance before the premiere set for March 21. The Turkish Consulate General in Kalsruhe asked the theatre to present different interpretations of the events to the spectators.
Turkish news agency DPA reported on March 23, quoting the Konstanz Police, that a rally of about 100 people was organized in front of the theatre on the day of the premiere. The protesters were angry over the poster advertizing the performance, which picturs a man lying on the ground covered with white cloth, with a Turkish flag waving above him. The poster also features a quotation by the Turkish Prime Minister saying, “There has been no genocide in our history.”
The Armenian community of the German state of Baden-Württemberg expressed its dismay regarding the act of protest. “Turkey’s ongoing denial of the fact of the Armenian Genocide speaks about its ignorance. Its demand to distort the history even in Germany is madness. Here in Konstanz we witness an absurd struggle against the historic truth and the freedom of art.”
The mission of art is to challenge society, Peter Friedrich, member of the government of Baden-Württemberg, said. According to him, the reaction shows that art has hit the target.
“The Story of the Last Thought” retells the events that took place during the First World War. It is a story of an Armenian in the Ottoman Empire, a witness to the Armenian Genocide.