Treuhand War Panorama



variable cast, ca. 7 actors

When the Thomas Müntzer potash factory in Bischofferode, Eichsfeld was closed down on the 31st of December 1993 despite a hunger strike by the workforce, it seemed to be just the end of another ailing East German operation. It was not until 2014 that it was made public that the factory was indeed unprofitable at the time of reunification but could possibly have been rehabilitated: there were new, more efficient machines, investors and buyers for the potash salts. But the rescue was unwanted from the start because the West German potash industry felt threatened and put pressure on the Helmut Kohl government and especially on the Treuhandanstalt (privatisation agency). In his play, looking back with clear sight and without nostalgia, Thomas Freyer traces the extent to which the events of that time continue to have an effect today and how, almost as a prime example, they have led to frustration, disenchantment with politics and mistrust in democratic processes. He assembles a number of documents from the Treuhand period into the private story of a miner’s family and overlays both with Werner Tübke’s monumental Peasants’ War panorama painting from nearby Bad Frankenhausen. This results in an oscillating image in which different positions come into focus – those of the people directly affected with their disappointed hopes, as well as those who pushed ahead with the structural change from the point of view of the market economy. Treuhand War Panorama opens up a space of possibility that asks questions rather than providing answers, and at the same time aims right at the heart of current debates. 

World premiere
20.01.2022 Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar (Director: Jan Gehler)

Commissioned by Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar

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