Rolf Hochhuth's Play 'The Deputy' Opens to Controversy Hot

Rolf Hochhuth's play "Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel" (The Deputy, a Christian tragedy) opens to widespread literary, political, and religious controversy. The play depicts Pope Pius XII deliberating about how to respond to secret information that Germany had begun to exterminate the Jews.

Pope Pius XII decides to take the politically expedient course of not protesting or doing anything that might put Roman Catholics and the Vatican at risk. According to Hochhuth's portrayal, Pope Pius XII viewed Hitler as a necessary barrier between the Christian West and the godless communism of the Soviet Union. Both Roman Catholic clergy and laity protest the play and there are even riots at the premiere in Basel, Switzerland.

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Der Stellvertreter - Rolf Hochhuth

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