A theatre in West Berlin was crowded tonight (Monday) for the world premier of Rolf Hochhuth's controversial play "The Soldiers".
THEATRE SIGN; PEOPLE ARRIVING AND IN FOYER; EXTRACT FROM REHEARSAL OF PLAY (GERMAN SOF); HOCHHUTH AT PRESS CONFERENCE.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A theatre in West Berlin was crowded tonight (Monday) for the world premier of Rolf Hochhuth's controversial play "The Soldiers". It dramatises the part played by Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during the second world war, in ordering air raids on civilian populations. And the play tacitly accuses Churchill of ordering the murder of Polish General Vladislav Sikorski.
The play...due to be presented by the National Theatre in London until it ran foul of the British censor..was given enthusiastic applause when it ended. But Herr Hochhuth was booed when he took a curtain call.
A crucial scene in the play, shown in our film at the final dress rehearsal, depicts Churchill defending the killing of civilian populations against the humanitarian views of an English bishop. In other scenes the actor portraying Churchill throws a deckchair to the floor in anger, and shouts at the actor playing the part of Sikorski.
At a Press conference before the premier, Herr Hochhuth said that his play implied that Churchill ordered the murder of General Sikorski.