© Doc Winkler

Schlachthof 5

Music theatre by Vladimir Rannev based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut

As part of the commemoration week 13 February 2022.

"Slaughterhouse 5" is the title of a novel by Kurt Vonnegut published in 1969. Born in Indianapolis (USA) in 1922, Vonnegut volunteered for military service at the age of 21. In 1944 he was taken prisoner of war and brought to Dresden. In the cellars of Schlachthof 5, he survives the heavy bombing raids that hit Dresden on the night of 13-14 February 1945. For years Vonnegut searches for a way to record what he has experienced. When he finally published "Slaughterhouse 5" in 1969, the author became suddenly famous, his novel became a bestseller and advanced to become a cult book of the Vietnam War opponents.

The text is a collage, satire, biography, science fiction and everything at the same time: fragmentary and excerpted, the novel's narrative wanders through different levels of history and allows personal experience and lessons learned to merge with fiction and fantasy. "Schlachthof 5" not only deals with the night of the Dresden bombing, but is also a reflection on the possibilities of remembering and recording experiences.

How do we remember war events? Which experiences become part of our cultural memory? How is history (re)written? Even 77 years after the end of the Second World War, the subject matter is still topical: time and again, (neo)nationalist and right-wing populist groups exploit the bombing for their own purposes. The "Dresden myth" is constantly being perpetuated and current politics are legitimised with the past.

Already in Nazi and GDR times, the events of the night of the bombing became the plaything of a changing instrumentalisation by different political actors and camps.

"One is surrounded by these floating sounds, sometimes chanting, sometimes mere tones, pure sound, then declamation, with word entanglements and electronic recordings - everything is there, and everything aims for emotional effect."

25.09.2020 MDR Kultur by Julia Hemmerling

Schlachthof 5
© Doc Winkler
13.02.2022, 02:00pm
HELLERAU - Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden
concert production
Vladimir Rannev
Project Management
Isolde Matkey

AuditivVokal Dresden


AuditivVokal Dresden
Könneritzstraße 19
01067 Dresden