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THE NSU MONOLOGUES: A PERFORMANCE BY ACTORS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
September 29, 2018 - New York City

Photo by Bühne für Menschenrechte

In times of the rise of the far right in Germany and worldwide, extremist voices get increasingly normalized. In lockstep with the electoral successes of right-wing populist parties, ethno-nationalist and neo-Fascist sentiments are more and more popularized. They find their ways onto protest banners or are chanted in the streets, and they often motivate racist hate crimes.

Between 2000 and 2007, a far-right terrorist group known as the National Socialist Underground (NSU), murdered ten people in Germany, nine of them with immigrant backgrounds. The group’s neo-fascist ideology echoed the belief systems of other right-wing organizations, like the white supremacist Blood & Honour, demonstrating the international reach of far-right extremism.

In 2011, after a failed bank robbery, two members of the NSU committed suicide while the third member turned herself in. In the ensuing trial, which was concluded in July of this year, it became clear that a number of factors—including the destruction of investigative files on informants—are indicative of the collusion of German intelligence agencies with the NSU. The failures of the security authorities in the NSU case also point toward structural racism in Germany. Many of the 815 witnesses heard during the trial reported of their experiences with institutional racism among the German police and intelligence services.

The performance The NSU Monologues features the voices of three relatives of victims of the NSU—Elif Kubaşık, Adile Şimşek, and İsmail Yozgat. Telling of their struggle to defend the memory of their loved ones, the stories of Elif, Adile, and İsmail are testimony to the survivors’ courage and willpower. Whether they marched in the very front of a funeral procession or demanded that a street be renamed in memory of the victims, their small acts of resistance defied the narrow “official” truth of the German authorities. With their testimonies, they reclaim the space for a very personal, historically accountable, and anti-racist mode of remembrance.

Considering the 2017 electoral successes of the right-wing party AfD in Germany, as well as recent reports of far-right rioters in the town of Chemnitz, The NSU Monologues are as timely as ever. In the style of documentary theater, the performance is raw and immediate, granting us intimate insights into the survivors’ struggle for truth and justice.

“Deeply personal and highly political.”—RBB Kulturradio

“The play’s succinctness grabs our attention; it does so without exaggerated dramatization, touching the audience simply by way of retelling.”—Deutschlandradio Kultur

Featuring actors Nicole Aiken, Zoe Hutmacher, Moses Leo, and Namakula, as well as cellist Peter Sachon!

The performance of The NSU Monologues is free and open to the public. It will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2018, at 6:30pm at the Kraine Theater (85 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003). Doors open at 6:00pm. Featuring a Q&A with Antonia von der Behrens, lawyer in the NSU trial. 

This event is organized by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office together with the Bühne für Menschenrechte (Actors for Human Rights).

 

Download the flyer here. Watch the trailer for the performance on YouTube.

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Photo: Matthias Lambrecht/Flickr

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Photo: Matthias Lambrecht/Flickr

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