The Investigation [Die Ermittlung]


Weiss uses transcripts from the Frankfurt trials of Auschwitz SS guards to create his docudrama. However, the play is not an actual documentary and some of his decisions in shaping the material have been highly controversial. Weiss structures the testimony into verse, never gives the survivors testifying names just numbers (as they were given in the camp), and never mentions Jews. Weiss uses the play to argue that the Holocaust occurred because of capitalism and suggests that the oppressed could as easily become oppressors.
Format: Docudrama
Cast Size: 28M/2F



For additional reading, see Gene A. Plunka, Holocaust Drama: The Theater of Atrocity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 114–131.

Original or Prominent Production: Commissioned and produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, 1965–66, directed by Peter Brook; Young Vic Theatre, London, 2007 (Adapted by Jean Baudrillard)
Nationality of Author:
Original Language: German
English Language Translator: Jon Swan and Ulu Grosbard

Dramatic Publishing
Marion Boyars (backlist)

Production Rights Holder:

Dramatic Publishing

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