30 Jahre euro-scene Leipzig

F. Zawrel – erbbiologisch und sozial minderwertig
(F. Zawrel – genetically and socially inferior)

Theatre play with puppets
Nikolaus Habjan / Schubert Theater (Wien)
If there is such a thing as fulfillment in theatre, then it is this piece. It is an event that you only experience very rarely. Nikolaus Habjan calls “F. Zawrel – erbbiologisch und sozial minderwertig” (“F. Zawrel – genetically and socially inferior”) his “heartfelt favourite piece” and would like to perform it for the rest of his life – in order to keep the memory of Friedrich Zawrel alive, but also as a warning for coming generations.

Friedrich Zawrel grew up in Vienna in the 1930s. During the German occupation of Austria during World War II, he was imprisoned as a child in the “Spiegelgrund”, the second largest “juvenile home” of the German Reich. Hundreds of sick, handicapped and supposedly genetically inferior children and young adults were “treated” and murdered here. The facility doctor, Dr. Gross, determined that Zawrel was “genetically and socially inferior” … but Zawrel survived and managed to flee. After the war he was one of the most important witnesses in addressing euthanasia crimes in Vienna. Friedrich Zawrel died at 85 in February 2015.

After numerous very personal talks with Friedrich Zawrel, Nikolaus Habjan and Simon Meusburger created an unbelievably enthralling, touching and disturbing piece. Nikolaus Habjan’s emphatic performance and his clacking-mouth puppets generates simultaneous alienation and identification. In 2012, the piece received the most important Austrian theatre award, the Nestroy Prize, in the category of “Best independent production”. euro-scene Leipzig already showed this piece in 2016 and would like to offer the audience a second chance to have this encounter.
The performance will be followed by a public discussion with Nikolaus Habjan and Simon Meusburger.

Event as part of „euro-scene Leipzig, festival of contemporary European theatre and dance“, 03. November – 08. November 2020
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14 years and older


Conception and text (based on narrations by Friedrich Zawrel): Nikolaus Habjan, Simon Meusburger
Puppet building: Nikolaus Habjan
Staging and light design: Simon Meusburger
Costumes: Lisa Zingerle
Actor and puppetry: Nikolaus Habjan

The guest performance in Leipzig will take place with the kind support of the Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin.

euro-scene Leipzig

03. Nov. – 08. Nov. 2020
“Alles nichts wahr”
(“It simply ain’t so”)

euro-scene Leipzig, Festival of contemporary European theatre and dance, will celebrate its 30th anniversary from 03. – 08. November 2020. The stages of Schauspiel Leipzig are home to 6 guest performances in 9 performances in total.

Further guest performances at Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Theater der Jungen Welt, Schaubühne Lindenfels and LOFFT – Das Theater. The fringe programme includes audience discussions with some of the artists and three wonderful films.

phone: 0341 – 980 02 84
Tickets may be ordered at Schauspiel Leipzig and at the festival box office at the Englandladen from now on.
Further information