Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.


Adapted from the novel by Joseph Roth, in a version by Koen Tachelet.

When the Galizian-born writer Joseph Roth wrote in his 1930 novel Hiobabout the life of the family of the pious teacher Mendel Singer in a small Jewish schtetl, in fact the schtetl and its inhabitants were very close to being annihilated by the Germans. “Hell reigns …” he wrote several years later from his exile in Paris, where he died as the result of alcoholism in a hospital for the poor.

Hiobis Joseph Roth’s most famous novel and tells the saga of a family, beginning in the period just before the First World War.  Mendel’s oldest son is called up and joins the Russian army voluntarily, another son deserts, is taken out of the country by smugglers and traffickers, and then emigrates to America.  The daughter has too easy a way with Cossacks, so in order to keep her away from such things, the family follow the son, who has since become very successful, to New York.  They leave Menuchim, the youngest disabled child, behind.  Once they arrive in the New World, misfortune overtakes the family: one blow falls after the other, the one son who is a soldier falls in the First World War, the second is said to be missing, the mother dies of despair, the daughter goes mad.  Mendel Singer rails furiously against God and gives up his faith.  But then there is an extraordinary turnaround: the son who was left behind turns up in New York as a gifted musician and conductor and takes his father in his arms.  And Mendel “reposed with the heaviness of joy and the greatness of wonder …” With the knowledge of how the history of the twentieth century continued, a happiness that will turn to despair.