Kantgrad is a play about humanity

In recent weeks, the play of the theater group Teatr.doc "Kantgrad" has been portrayed as "unpatriotic" and supposedly "extremist" in various media, on the Internet and on Russian television. We strongly reject these allegations.

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Сцена из спектакля "Кантград"

In recent weeks, the play of the theater group Teatr.doc "Kantgrad" has been portrayed as "unpatriotic" and supposedly "extremist" in various media, on the Internet and on Russian television. The critics also slandered the work of the Moscow office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation that supported the production of the play. There were accusations of historical revisionism and "re-Germanization". We strongly reject these allegations.

They are completely groundless, which is obvious for all those who have seen "Kantgrad". The play is a discreet and thoughtful reflection on the grief that war brings to people. It was a criminal war of conquest and an extermination campaign on the part of Germany, which set the continent on fire and caused immense suffering. The memories of people who experienced it bear witness to this. Precisely this focus on the victims and their experience is an important part of any historical contemplation.

The play is based on the protocols of the interviews that Kaliningrad historians conducted with post-war eyewitnesses in the city well over 20 years ago. "Kantgrad" is the best documentary theater - an artistic processing of historical source material. The play shows how the remaining Germans and the new Soviet settlers lived together in post-war Kaliningrad. Those who were mortal enemies before now had to live next to one another. The aggression and contempt for humankind, which stood at the basis of this war and accompanied it, also shaped the years after the war’s end. The wounds were too big and aching.

But despite their experiences of hatred, death and destruction, despite all their internal injuries, many of Kaliningrad's new citizens admirably managed to preserve their humanity. This may - however dramatic and sad the memories of the witnesses are - even be encouraging for spectators of the play. The memory of this tragic period of Russian-German relations should be preserved as a reminder for the future. "Kantgrad" contributes to it.

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