What is Kurt Vonnegut's masterpiece

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Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse 5 or: The Children's Crusade (Part 2)

A compulsory dance with death


Template: Slaughterhouse 5: or The Children's Crusade (novel, American)

Editing (word): Leonhard Koppelmann

Dramaturgy: Andrea Oetzmann

Technical realization: Thomas Monnerjahn, Alexander Nottny, Robert Stokowy

Assistant director: Cordula Dickmeiß


Director: Leonard Koppelmann

One of the most important anti-war novels in world literature and a masterpiece of American postmodernism as a radio play: Billy Pilgrim survived the Ardennes offensive as a US soldier and the Dresden bombing in February 1945 as a prisoner of war. Back in his homeland, he literally falls out of time. At random he visits different parts of his life and the planet Tralfamadore, where he is exhibited as a representative of the human species. What does war do to a person? What are the pictures and memories doing? Kurt Vonnegut creates a kaleidoscope of madness and absurdity and describes less the destruction of a city than that of a person. Billy Pilgrim flees from his memories of the hail of bombs in Dresden into a science fiction world. The images in his head follow one another associatively, erratically and without any temporal connection. "Schlachthof 5" is a collage of fragments that belong to different time levels and storylines, based on the narrator's assumption that humans are unable to survey life and learn from history. Because of its criticism of the ›American Way of Life‹, sarcastic expressions, drastically realistic scenes from the life of a soldier and clear sexual content, »Schlachthof 5« was one of the often forbidden works of American literature and was often banned from schools, libraries and curricula .

Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - 2007), born in Indianapolis, died in New York. His ancestors come from the Westphalian Münsterland. At the beginning of 1943 he volunteered for the US Army and was taken prisoner by Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. He experienced the bombing of Dresden in the cellar of a former slaughterhouse, an experience that flowed into his novel "Schlachthof 5", which made him world famous in 1969. Until his death in 2007, there was a sign on Kurt Vonnegut's front door in New York that read: "Be the damned, friendly."