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This brutality under the mask of pleasure

Oktoberfest probably ended as many relationships as it created new ones.

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This brutality under the mask of pleasure

Oktoberfest probably ended as many relationships as it created new ones. Couples are particularly fond of falling out when they really want to have fun at all costs. The young couple Kasimir and Karoline – he a chauffeur, she an office worker – went on a trip to the Wiesn, which was ill-fated from the start.

Kasimir was "dismantled" the day before, i.e. dismissed (it is the year 1932, there is an economic crisis in Germany), but Karoline has no desire for his sadness and pessimism: "Maybe we are too heavy for each other." What the self-pitying Kasimir on brings to the point: "Or isn't it strange that on that day you realize that we two might not be a good match--on that day I was taken down?"

Ödön von Horváth's "Folk Play" is one of the saddest dramas in German-language literature. The fact that his backdrop is the Oktoberfest - which will open for the 187th time next week - only makes his message even darker and bleaker. Because not only do the two constantly talk past each other, hurt and insult each other half on purpose, half by mistake, and thus drive the other into roles in which he proudly carries his worst in front of him. Here no one understands the other, and everyone misunderstands himself.

Between roller coaster and giant slide, cabinet of abnormalities and hit-and-run, people turn out to be horror figures from the cabinet of horrors: here the innuendos of horny dignitaries, there the cruel rebuffs of the girls enjoying their little erotic power: "That would suit you, old shithouse - – Better to think of dying than of the opposite.”

Verbal and physical violence is ubiquitous under the guise of amusement, especially against women. The greater the dependency, the more brutal. "A girl without a bottom is not a girl," says the commercial councilor Rauch. "Women are like crap" is the proletarian version from the mouth of "Merkl Franz".

The general brutalization that shortly afterwards will seize all power in Germany can be felt at every beer stall here. "Despite the crisis and politics - my old Oktoberfest, that doesn't kill me a Brüning," says the plump businessman Rauch to the regional court director. "The porter is still sitting next to the privy councillor, the minister next to the worker - - that's how I praise democracy."

Ödön von Horváth called the core of his dramatic method “unmasking of consciousness”. In the tradition of Georg Büchner's "Woyzeck", language becomes a medium of misunderstanding. Horváth's radical criticism of society and the system made him persona non grata for the Nazis; In 1936 he had to leave Germany. On June 1, 1938, he was killed by a falling branch in Paris. Horváth, one of the greatest German-speaking playwrights, was only 37 years old.

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