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Thomas Bernhard is widely considered to be one of the most important German playwrights in the post-war era. Highly acclaimed, he has written over twenty plays and novels and gained a reputation as one of Austria’s most controversial authors.
Bernhard wrote Heldenplatz in 1988 as a response to the fiftieth anniversary of the Anschluss (annexation) of Austria by Hitler’s Germany. Highly controversial in Austria, the play concerns a Jewish professor who returns to Vienna after the Second World War and discovers that his fellow Austrians are as anti-semitic as ever.
‘Heldenplatz’ is the square in Vienna where the Austrian-born Hitler made his first speech after the Anschluss.
In Heldenplatz, Bernhard's final play, he explores the shared isolation of people who have lost their bearings, along with most of their illusions.