Outside the door

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Poster of the world premiere as a play in the Hamburger Kammerspiele

Outside the door is a drama by German writer Wolfgang Borchert that he wrote down within eight days. The period of origin is assumed between autumn 1946 and January 1947. On February 13, 1947, it was broadcast for the first time as a radio play on Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk , and on November 21, 1947, it was premiered as a play in the Hamburger Kammerspiele . In addition to shorter prose texts, thedrama remainedthe main work of Wolfgang Borchert, who died the day before the premiere at the age of 26.

At the center of the plot is the German war returnee Beckmann, who does not manage to reintegrate into civilian life after three years as a prisoner of war . While he is still shaped by the experiences of the Second World War , his fellow human beings have long suppressed the past. On the stages of his search for a place in post-war society, Beckmann directed demands for morality and responsibility to various types of people, God and death. In the end, he remains excluded from society and receives no answers to his questions.

Both the radio broadcast and the stage premiere of Outside in front of the door - according to the subtitle "A play that no theater wants to play and no audience wants to see" - were great successes and made the hitherto unknown Borchert famous. Many contemporaries could identify with Beckmann's fate. Borchert's play was seen as an outcry by a previously silent young generation and is now considered one of the most important post-war dramas . Although weaknesses in terms of content and form were increasingly criticized in later years, there was an often staged play in front of the door that was widely read in its book edition.


War returnees in conversation with Renate Rössing , Leipzig 1950, photo by Roger Rössing

Place and time of the action, prologue

The drama Outside the Door takes place on a single evening, three years after the Battle of Stalingrad . The place is defined several times in the text as Hamburg , more precisely than the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken and the suburb of Blankenese on the banks of the Elbe .

In the prologue which is the protagonist of the piece introduced. Beckmann, who is always mentioned by his last name, is a former soldier in the German Wehrmacht who is returning to his homeland after the war against the Soviet Union and three years as a prisoner of war in Siberia . He is physically damaged, has only one kneecap, limps, is hungry and freezes. His external hallmarks are an old soldier's coat and gas mask goggles fastened with ribbons , a war tool with which the short-sighted Beckmann has to make do with after losing his glasses.


A funeral director and an old man watch the silhouette of a man who stands on the edge of a pontoon on the Elbe and finally jumps into the water. It is not explicitly stated whether this is Beckmann. The funeral director reveals himself to be death. He is well fed, burps continuously and is in a good mood. His business is flourishing, people are dying in great numbers. The old man reveals himself to be God and laments the fate of his children, which he is unable to change. While people no longer believe in him, death has become their new god. God is going off. Death calls after him that he should not weep for those who have gone into the water. This is just one of many and his death makes no difference.

The dream

Beckmann swims in the Elbe. He jumped in the river to end his life. The Elbe appears to him in the form of an old, resolute woman. Beckmann justifies the decision to attempt suicide : he is hungry, limp and his wife's bed is occupied by someone else. But Beckmann rejects the Elbe. His young life was too poor for her. He should first live properly, be kicked and step back. Only when it is actually over can it return. Downstream she throws him on the bank at Blankenese.

1st scene

Beckmann is lying on the beach. A stranger who calls himself the "other" comes up to him. He is the one who is always at Beckmann's side, from whom Beckmann can never escape. He is the yes-man, the optimist who always believes in what is good and drives Beckmann on when he no longer wants to go on. Beckmann rejects the other's affirmation of life. He explains why he no longer has a first name: his wife just called him "Beckmann" when he returned home after three years and found her at the side of another man. And he tells of his child, who lies dead under the rubble without ever seeing it.

A young woman comes up. The girl, as her role designation is, feels sorry for Beckmann because he looks so sad. She tenderly calls the wet and freezing man “fish” and takes him home. What remains is the other who ponders about people: they just want to kill themselves, but meeting a woman is enough to bring them back to life.

2nd scene

In her apartment, the woman makes fun of Beckmann's appearance. With his gas mask goggles he reminded her of a ghost. She takes off his glasses, without which he is helpless, and leaves him the jacket of her husband, who has been missing in Stalingrad for three years. Beckmann feels uncomfortable in the stranger's too loose jacket. Suddenly he hears the knocking noise of crutches and the one-legged man appears, reproachfully calls Beckmann's name and demands his jacket and his wife back. Beckmann flees the apartment.

The other prevents Beckmann from looking for the way to the Elbe again. Beckmann explains that he was the sergeant of the one-legged man during the war, whose mutilation he attributes to his order to hold the position. He also feels responsible for the deaths of eleven soldiers from a twenty-man reconnaissance force entrusted to him. The other suggests visiting Beckmann's former colonel and giving him responsibility back.

3rd scene

The colonel is having dinner with his family. His wife and daughter shudder at Beckmann, the son-in-law gives himself up. Beckmann tells the colonel about a dream that haunts him every night: a general with prosthetic arms on a xylophone made of human bones plays the entry of gladiators and old comrades . An unmistakable crowd of soldiers rise from their graves to march music. The general handed Beckmann responsibility for the army of the dead, which kept shouting his name until Beckmann cried out in his sleep and woke up.

Beckmann demands that the Colonel take back responsibility for the eleven perished men of his troops, which he once transferred to him. Then he hopes to finally be able to sleep peacefully. When the Colonel reveals that the concept of responsibility is just an empty phrase for him, Beckmann asks about the number of dead who visit the Colonel at night. The colonel laughs out loud and dismisses Beckmann's appearance as a comedian's cabaret act. He advises the shabbily dressed visitor to first become human again. Beckmann yells out whether the colonel and his family are human, grabs bread and a bottle of rum and leaves.

4th scene

After enjoying the alcohol, Beckmann also sees the world as a laughable circus and speaks to a cabaret in the hope of earning a living . He performs the sarcastically rewritten war hit Brave Little Soldier's Wife. But the director of the cabaret fears that Beckmann might scare off his audience. For him, the lecture is not too cheerful and relaxed, too clear and striking. In response to Beckmann's objection that he was describing the truth, the director replied that truth and art had nothing in common; Nobody wants to know anything more about the truth. Beckmann becomes bitter and leaves.

Beckmann wants to go to the Elbe again, but again the other holds him back. He reminds Beckmann of his parents. With newly awakened hope, he sets off to his former home.

5th scene

Beckmann notices a strange name tag in front of his parents' apartment door. A Mrs. Kramer opens the door and informs him reservedly that the apartment is now hers. Then she becomes affable and tells Beckmann that his parents killed themselves because the father was an active Nazi and his pension and apartment were taken from him after the war. So the two would have " de-Nazified " themselves . Ms. Kramer only regrets the wasted gas. Beckmann sinks desperately and exhausted on the steps in front of the door.

Beckmann confronts a dream with the characters in the play. He asks God who actually called him a "dear God" and when he was dear during the war. God defends himself that people have turned away from him and he goes off complaining about his poor children. Death appears as a street sweeper and promises Beckmann that his door will be open to him at any time. The other tries to tear Beckmann out of the dream. He wants to convince Beckmann that people are good and do not ignore his death carelessly. But one person after the other pulls past Beckmann, who is lying on the floor. For the Colonel, he's just someone who would have gone to the dogs anyway. The cabaret director sees Beckmann as predestined for tragic roles, unfortunately nobody wants to see them anymore. Ms. Kramer takes the “boy” to the heart, but she is robust, you can't weep everyone. Beckmann's wife walks past in an embrace with another man without recognizing him. Finally the girl appears. Beckmann has been looking for it since they met and wants to be alive with him. But the one-legged man appears in his wake. He went to the Elbe when he found Beckmann with his wife. Now he demands from Beckmann not to forget the murder of him.

Beckmann wakes up. He is alone. In a final charge, he sums up his homecoming and denounces that people murder and are murdered every day. He asks about the meaning of life and its continued existence, demands answers, calls for the other and for God, but both are silent. So it ends with the threefold outcry as to whether there was no answer.

Form and language

Outside the door there are several introductions: the prologue is followed by a prelude and a dream. There is no aftermath that corresponds to the prelude , so the structure of the drama is not balanced. According to Bernd Balzer, the viewer should do the aftermath himself. The sequence of the five scenes of inconsistent length follows the open form of a station drama , in whose loose sequence of stations the other characters in the play only gain importance through their influence on the development of the main character. This dramatic form was the era of Expressionism characteristic in the early 20th century. Borchert also tied in with them through the use of various stylistic devices: nameless, typified figures such as the girl or the colonel, constant alternation between reality and unreality in the plot, concentrated, repetitive and expressive language. It is not known how consciously Borchert took up the tradition of this bygone era. However, he declared in a letter from 1940: "I am an expressionist - more in my inner disposition and birth than in the form."

The relatively short play is dominated by its protagonist Beckmann, who repeatedly gives monologues and closes the drama with one. He has a speaking share of over 60% of the piece, whereas Beckmann's antagonist , the other, only speaks around 8% of the text. Through the use of colloquial language Beckmann is characterized as an average person - "one of those", as he is introduced in the personage of the drama, the Landser uses expressions such as "sleep", "drown" and "booze". The other figures are also given plastic contours through everyday language. Mrs. Kramer is characterized by her usual vocabulary as a petty bourgeois , the personified Elbe as a coarse, but maternal, robust woman.

Various structural elements serve as leitmotifs : Beckmann's dreams and dreamlike elements regularly permeate the reality of the plot. A door falling into the lock ends each of the stages of Beckmann's search, after which he finds himself “outside the door”. Beckmann's gas mask goggles repeatedly provoke negative reactions and are a symbol that Beckmann's view of the world is still determined by his war experiences. As a further core element, questions run through the piece. Beckmann's questions, which he directs to a wide variety of addressees in the course of the play, remain essentially unanswered until he intensifies them in the final climax : “Is there no answer? No answer ??? Is there no one, no answer ??? "

Linguistically, Borchert uses a staccato style when he wants to emphasize Beckmann's excitement or create tension. The staccato is created by ellipses , idiosyncratic punctuation and the use of conjunctions and adjectives as the beginning of sentences. The stylistic device of repetition is often linked , which underlines the urgency of what is spoken and sometimes increases to obsession: “Since yesterday. Since yesterday my name has been Beckmann. Simply Beckmann. As the table is called table. […] I was gone for three years. In Russia. And yesterday I came home again. That was the misfortune. You know, three years is a lot. Beckmann - said my wife to me. Simply Beckmann. And you were gone for three years. Beckmann said it as you say table to a table. Beckmann furniture. Put it away. The Beckmann piece of furniture. ”In Beckmann's dialogue with the Colonel, the choppy style turns into shortened military jargon:“ Yes, Colonel. I got on somewhere. In Stalingrad, Colonel. But the tour went wrong and they grabbed us. We got three years, all a hundred thousand men. "

Influenced by Borchert's early poetry , the linguistic flow of the drama is often composed rhythmically, for example when in Beckmann's dream the wave of the dead is linguistically supported by rhythmic harmony: “A terrible flood they wash up, unmistakably in number, unmistakably in agony! [...] And the roar grows and rolls and grows and rolls! "The stylistic device of alliteration is mainly used to emphasize and also supports the rhythm: the sea of ​​the dead is" wide, mushy, breast-like and bloody ". In addition, Borchert's language is repeatedly characterized by unusually used attributes as well as compound words and neologisms . The wet Beckmann becomes a “fish man” for the girl, the old man becomes a “fairytale love god” and the street sweeper becomes a “German general street sweeper” through the stripes on his trousers.

Despite the tragic plot, Outside the door contains numerous comical elements. The Canadian German scholar Erwin Warkentin saw Beckmann with his gas mask glasses not as realistic, but as the grotesquely exaggerated version of a homecomer. His ruthless rebellion classifies him like the Elbe goddess, who Beckmann and the audience is allowed to tell the truth in the crudest way, as a comic figure . When powerless God like the over-eaten death, the usual characteristics of the two figures on are absurd kind reversed. The figures of the cabaret director, the colonel and the figure of God serve Borchert as targets for satirical tips against society, the military and religion. At various points in the drama, reality and the opposite world stand opposite each other, Beckmann's world repeatedly corresponds to his dream world turned upside down, for example when the Elbe does not reveal itself to him as romantic Ophelia , but rather stinks of oil and fish. In terms of language, too, Borchert often makes use of a comedy fund and uses puns , under - and exaggeration as well as euphemisms up to irony and sarcasm . Warkentin saw the intention of the comic elements in the conveyance of truths, which should have their effect not directly as tragedy , but indirectly as comedy. For Karl S. Guthke , the drama became a tragic comedy , in which laughter at human tragedy does not cancel it out, but intensifies it.


Reality, Allegory and Dream

The action is located in reality, here the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken in Hamburg, 2005

In contrast to the contemporary reception, which primarily perceived a faithful, deliberately artless image of reality in Borchert's drama, the Scottish Germanist and temporary chairman of the International Wolfgang Borchert Society saw Gordon JA Burgess outside the door as a mixture of reality, an allegory and dreams, which gain their effect precisely from the interactions between the opposing levels of reality. The place and time of the action classify the play in reality, Beckmann, like the other characters who appear, is shaped and damaged by reality. But even the role names do not stand for specific individuals, but for representative types . Beckmann is explicitly introduced as "one of those", the funeral director is an allegorical embodiment of death, the old man such a god.

After the prelude and Beckmann's surreal dream, the following five scenes seem to be located in reality through introductory, realistic place descriptions. However, reality shifts in its sequence, Borchert reports to the Colonel about a nightmare , or fictional characters such as the one-legged or the other appear. While the one-legged man becomes the embodiment of the past and his responsibility for Beckmann, Burgess saw in the other “one of the most enigmatic characters in German modern drama”. Beckmann - unlike the Elbe, for example - does not dream it, but it does not appear in reality either. Burgess did not see him merely as an unconscious part of Beckmann or his alter ego , since the other cast a look at Beckmann from the outside, the look of a stranger who did not know much about Beckmann. Instead, he embodies a universally human attitude, which is expressed in his affirmation of life and the repressive handling of problems. For Beckmann he represents his fellow human beings and points beyond his specific fate.

With a scope of over two thirds of the 5th scene, Beckmann's second dream is the climax of the drama. All three levels of reality are linked in it and all the characters in the piece appear again. While Beckmann at first positively longs for death, the appearance of the girl ushers in a turning point. In contrast to his previous experiences, he was not rejected by her, but accepted for the first time. But the girl belongs to Beckmann's past, has not participated in his development and therefore offers him no future. The girl is replaced by the one-legged man, who for Beckmann becomes a reflection of his own situation. With his suicide he demonstrates a choice, but at the same time lets Beckmann recognize the senselessness of death. With the death of the one-legged man, Beckmann exorcises his own longing for death and finds the first step from the will to die to the will to live. The other, who always countered Beckmann's pessimism with his optimism, was missing in the end. Beckmann has developed internally and will no longer need him in the future. So there remains an open ending , in which it depends on Beckmann alone, how he will dispute his confrontation with reality in the future.

Classification of the drama

Outside the door was perceived in many reviews as a “scream” or “outcry” of the author and his entire generation. The recording was also determined by Bernhard Meyer-Marwitz 's epilogue in Borchert's complete works, who stated: “This piece was burned in the embers of an earthly limbo, it is more than a literary matter, the voices of millions are condensed in it, of the dead and the living, of the day before yesterday, yesterday, today and tomorrow, for accusation and warning. The suffering of these millions becomes a cry. This is Borchert's play: Scream! Only in this way can it be understood and evaluated. ”Other voices contradicted this requirement. In the opinion of the Borchert biographer Claus B. Schröder Borchert composed his drama much more soberly and consciously than the “scream” metaphor would suggest. He referred to the scene between Beckmann and the cabaret director, in which he himself spoke of the “scream” and “outcry” of the hearts of a passionate youth, which for him only became an easily sellable scam.

Fritz Martini saw in Outside in front of the door the only German drama in the immediate post-war period that had found a language and a representative weight in the middle of the time. In the middle of the action Beckmann stands as a completely lonely person, cast out by God and society. The other characters only serve as a mirror of his soul, there is no real dialogue with his fellow man. The drama becomes a monodrama , a single monologue and a recurring scream. Beckmann's split between the world and his self takes the place of a dramatic plot. Not the cleansing death, the catharsis of a classical tragedy concludes the play. In the end, Beckmann is exactly where he was at the beginning, only more desperate. The conclusion remains open, do not follow the redemption, but as in plays by Samuel Beckett , the Nothing . For the literary historian Theo Elm , Outside stood in front of the door in the tradition of the compassionate poetics of Lessing , Büchner or captain , in which the focus is not on big ideas and cool thoughts, but on the audience's sympathy and solidarity with the characters.

Franz Norbert Mennemeier reminded the dramatic structure of a medieval mystery play . Man stands between heaven and the realm of the dead, whereas life itself has become hell. In contrast to the classic mystery play, people are not judged, but Beckmann, although harassed by a guilt himself, changes from the accused to the accuser. His complaint has the features of emotional, rousing and morally motivated protest, which was typical of the bygone era of Expressionism . Beckmann's idealism fails, however, with which the drama traces the development of Expressionism up to its end in resignation. In the final monologue, Beckmann addresses the audience, making them jointly responsible for his fate in a moment of shaking. The structure of the piece follows a psychological drama. The sequence on the stage becomes a projection of Beckmann's inner life, which also makes the play lose its view of the real: Concrete political or social issues are largely excluded. It is not they who become the cause of the personal catastrophe outside the door , but human indifference. For Borchert, the focus is on the individual fate, which, however, became representative of the fate of an entire generation in its time.

Beckmann as a German everyone

Portrait of a man returning from the war in Leipzig in 1950, photo by Roger and Renate Rössing

From the point of view of the Borchert biographer Peter Rühmkorf , Borchert had endowed his likeness in the figure of Beckmann with so many general and time-related features that numerous contemporaries could see their own self in Beckmann and he became a German Jedermann. The hero of the piece is portrayed as an antihero and thus corresponds exactly to the expectations of a generation tired of myths and heroism . For the short period of the post-war years, many people felt they were social outsiders and victims and could identify with Beckmann's role. For Rühmkorf, the fact that Beckmann only asked a new question for every answer corresponded to the inner state of youth after the war.

For Jan Philipp Reemtsma , the identification of the war generation with Beckmann can also be explained in his handling of his personal war guilt: Beckmann strives to pass on his guilt. He did not ask how he could have acted differently, but simply no longer wanted to be the bearer of responsibility. The piece depicts him as a victim; even when he became a perpetrator in the war, he merely carried out orders. In addition, the drama narrows the view of one side of the war: the German fallen, the German war invalids , the German widows and orphans. Beckmann only feels responsibility towards them. In an interview with Ms. Kramer, the repression of the Holocaust emerged in particular : The text remained unclear with regard to the anti-Semitism allegations against Beckmann's father. In this way the murderer and the fellow traveler to the victim merge in his person. Gas, of all things, was said to be the means of his suicide, whereby Ms. Kramer's lamentations about wasting it were a common post-war cynicism applied to the extermination camps , which Borchert uses in reverse. Beckmann's subsequent complaint that tomorrow there might be six million dead in mass graves reinterprets the reality of the Holocaust into a future possibility. Beckmann's war would thus be any war and move away from the reality of World War II and National Socialism . Reemtsma drew the conclusion: " Outside the door provided the formulas and images with which a German audience could break away from their past without asking the question of responsibility and guilt, let alone having to answer."

Relation to Borchert's life and work

Because Borchert's early death coincided with the world premiere of his drama Outside Front Door , the author's life was often equated with what happened on stage from Rühmkorf's point of view, which made Borchert a myth that is often critical Confrontation outshone. Rühmkorf himself also examined Borchert's connection to his work in his biography. In the process, he discovered in the adolescent Borchert those tendencies towards fear of attachment, inner restlessness and disunity that later stood in the way of Beckmann's reintegration into civil society. From Rühmkorf's point of view, Borchert had projected the problems of his own youth into the drama. Thus, in the encounter between Beckmann and the girl, the experience of an erotic disappointment is exaggerated by the connection with a general question of guilt. Beckmann's foreplay in cabaret becomes a mirror of Borchert's own professional dilemma: Encrypted by the concept of truth, he only has to counter the world of art with his unresolved experiences. Rühmkorf traced the figure of the other, the yes-man, back to a part of Borchert's personality who optimistically covered up his serious illness until the end. Beckmann's claim to absoluteness reminded him of the adolescent Borchert's demands for truth, freedom and love.

Memorial stone for Wolfgang Borchert at the Outer Alster in Hamburg-Uhlenhorst with a text from Generation Without Farewell

Outside the door, Reemtsma also traced it back to an adolescent attitude towards life, which finds its expression in self-centered lack of loyalty and self-exaggeration. Beckmann's questions about where and why are the typical questions of puberty, expressed in the tone of an adolescent. By asking naive questions and formulating knowing accusations, Beckmann demands to be taken seriously as a child and as an adult at the same time. In a pubescent mixture of defiance and dependence, Beckmann hesitated before stepping into the world. The other seduced him to enter society from a seemingly adult point of view. Beckmann, however, mistrusts her due to bad experiences and longs for the lost family security of childhood.

The Bulgarian Germanist Bogdan Mirtschev saw the protagonists in Borchert's other works mostly in a comparable personal life crisis as a result of loneliness, fear of life, the lack of love and security. They are less typical returnees to post-war Germany than prototypes of people in inner need, where they are not looking for a way out of their life crisis, but remain in pessimism or despair. They belong to a “generation without […] protection”, “cast out from the playpen of childhood” too early, and now lament their “cuckoo fate”, their “cuckoo-less, this fate imposed on us”. Just as Beckmann escapes the offered role as a man in Outside the Door , Borchert's protagonists mostly prove to be incapable of long-term relationships and are constantly on the run: “There is no valley in which to escape. I meet everywhere. Mostly in the nights. But you keep piling up. The animal love reaches for you, but the animal fear barks in front of the windows [...] and you pile up. ”Nevertheless, Borchert's protagonists rarely lapse into final resignation. In the short story The Long Long Street , burdened with a war guilt comparable to that of Beckmann, the enfeebled lieutenant Fischer ordered himself to march on to the yellow tram at the end of the street, which symbolized the human community. And in a conversation over the roofs , one of the dialogue partners made the decision to go on living “out of spite? Out of sheer defiance. "

Existentialism and Psychoanalysis

A 2008 performance of the drama Closed Society

With increasing distance from the historical background, the investigations from Outside the Door focused more on the dimensions of the drama pointing beyond time, in particular the reference to existentialism and existential philosophy . The American Germanist Karl S. Weimar started from a comparison with Jean-Paul Sartre's drama Closed Society . In an opposite initial situation, the three protagonists remain locked in society, whereas Beckmann is excluded from society. Both dramas are all about the fact that the protagonists suffer from the intersubjective position towards their fellow human beings and seek to improve it. The initial situation is a state of alienation , the goal of the search is the existentialist concept of an “ authentic existence”.

In contrast to Sartre's existentialist humanism , which is atheistically shaped, Beckmann's existentialism searches for answers and for God until the final monologue. In this position, Weimar saw Borchert more closely related to Martin Heidegger's existential philosophy. Beckmann's attempts to open up his being correspond to Heidegger's conception. Beckmann strives to no longer be one of the mass of returning soldiers, but an individual self . After Beckmann was thrown into life by the Elbe, the other served him as a "call of conscience ", which apparently drove Beckmann back into society, but initiated his preoccupation with himself, from which Beckmann first his individuality and the path to the real Can be found. In the meaning of death, Borchert moves away from Heidegger's “Being to Death” and approaches Sartre, because death remains meaningless for Beckmann too. Like a closed society , there is no closure outside the door , but only an excerpt from an event that continues outside of the drama. Beckmann was thrown back on himself at the end, but in contrast to the beginning of the drama, he had become aware of his situation. So despite all past and future disappointments, both dramas end with a principled hope.

Karl S. Guthke described Weimar's treatise as a “perhaps too profound and Borchert too philosophical interpretation”. For Tennessee Williams , on the other hand, obscured by the time-relatedness of the topic, with Outside in front of the door “the departure for a psychoanalytic drama in Germany happened”. The American Germanist Donald F. Nelson followed up a depth psychological interpretation in which he classified the characters in the play not just as types, but, according to CG Jung, as archetypes located in the collective unconscious . The water, embodied by the Elbe, became a maternal element for him, her rejection of suicide at Beckmann's second birth and his subsequent search for the open door to longing for a return to the womb. Nelson also emphasized Borchert's strong mother bond. His colleague A. Leslie Wilson went in a different direction. For him, the whole piece represented the dream-like experience of a drowning person, in whose changed perception under water the noises of the piece such as the door slamming take on a special meaning. According to Bernd Balzers, these two interpretations “moved from the lowlands of reality to the level of an exclusively symbolic understanding”.

Contemporary and literary historical context

Ruins in Borchert's hometown Hamburg in 1947

The end of World War II was often referred to as the “ zero hour ” for German literature . The collapse of the old order and the ruins of the German cities led to a reorientation and radically changed forms of expression in literature, which were later given the terms clear-cut or rubble literature and for which Wolfgang Borchert's short stories are considered exemplary.

In contrast to prose and poetry , however, the drama did not yet show a new beginning in the first post-war years. According to Bernd Balzer, the bureaucracy of the theater as an institution initially prevented the new forms of expression. On the stages of the 1945 and 1946 seasons, mainly foreign plays were staged. In September 1946, Hans Werner Richter formulated the question in the magazine Der Ruf : “Why are the young people silent?” With such an expectation of Borchert's generation, the drama emerged, whose first broadcast as a radio play Ernst Schnabel praised with the words: “We have the question a hundred times heard: Why are young people silent? Doesn't she have anything to say? - And today we are announcing the radio play Outside in front of the door by Wolfgang Borchert. We have been waiting for this piece ”. In retrospect, Hellmuth Karasek rated the world premieres of Borchert's Outside Front Door , Carl Zuckmayer's Des Teufels General and Günther Weisenborn's resistance drama Die Illegalen 1973 as the "beginning of the drama in the Federal Republic".

He returned from the war in Leipzig in 1950, photo by Roger and Renate Rössing

The fate of the German prisoners of war and the returnees released from captivity were central issues in everyday German life in the post-war period, which were also frequently taken up in contemporary art. Outside in front of the door there was a large number of similar works relating to the subject of the homecomers. In a radio play competition advertised by Berliner Rundfunk in 1946, for example, out of 1200 manuscripts submitted, the returnee's lot, viewed from different perspectives, was the most frequently processed motif. Fritz Erpenbeck also commented in May 1947 on plays sent to the magazine Theater der Zeit : “The main part was the time piece […]. About half of the pieces deal with the topic of the returnees. "

The vast majority of radio plays with returnees in central roles that were produced in the post-war years focused on their private problems, for example the subject of adultery was often the focus. War experiences were largely ignored. The returnees were mostly portrayed as an outsider, through whose eyes an alienated view of the present was possible. However, in its criticism of post-war society , Outside Outside the Door went well beyond most contemporary pieces. What the pieces had in common was the pedagogical appeal and great moral gesture, which is also evident in Beckmann's pathos in Outside in front of the door . Despite the numerous adaptations of the topic, the homecoming radio plays had no lasting effect, just as hardly any of the German theater plays with homecoming motifs achieved a stronger public perception after 1945 and none achieved long-term significance. Even in the early reviews, Out in front of the door was not placed in the context of contemporary literature, but rather the reference to pieces from earlier times , such as Ernst Toller's homecoming tragedy from the First World War The German Hinkemann - Peter Rühmkorf called Beckmann the "Hinkemann the Second World War "- or Georg Büchner's Woyzeck - Alfred Andersch judged:" The Woyzeck is finished ". Borchert biographer Helmut Gumtau saw a direct contemporary influence on Outside the Door in Theodor Plievier's novel Stalingrad , for which Borchert had written a review, the style of which was later reflected in the monologues of his drama.

History of origin

Although Wolfgang Borchert had written poetry since his youth and wrote three unpublished and unplayed youth dramas between 1938 and 1941, for a long time he saw himself less as a writer than as an actor. Even after the war, this was still the job that he stated on an identification form. But a progressive liver disease, which he had contracted as a result of the war against the Soviet Union and two imprisonments for so-called degradation of military strength , prevented physical expression, and Borchert turned increasingly to literature. Between January 1946 and his departure to the St. Clara Hospital in Basel , where Borchert died two months later, over 50 prose texts and his drama Outside the Door were written on his sick bed between January 1946 and September 1947 .

The exact time of origin outside the door is unknown. Peter Rühmkorf dated the creation to January 1947, Borchert's friend and publisher Bernhard Meyer-Marwitz gave the late autumn of 1946 and went on to say: “Borchert wrote this piece in just under eight days. He was so overwhelmed by the material that he forgot all consideration for himself. He found no rest before the last stroke of the pen was done. ”Without expecting a future performance, Borchert paid no attention to formal questions or dramaturgical laws. After finishing his work, Borchert suffered a fit of weakness, but as soon as a machine copy was available, he declaimed his piece in a three-hour reading in front of a few friends. The name of the protagonist goes back to a friend of Borchert, the sculptor Curt Beckmann . The original title of the drama was A man comes to Germany . In addition to the well-known subtitle “A play that no theater wants to see and no theater wants to see”, Borchert had also put a programmatic motto in front of his drama : “An injection of nihilism often causes you to regain the courage to live out of sheer fear.” The sentence became deleted in the later print version; Claus B. Schröder suspected that this was done to avoid an overly pessimistic and provocative effect.

Although Borchert had originally conceived his drama for the theater, it was not performed on stage but as a radio play on the radio. A friend of Borchert's who worked for the Northwest German Radio , presented the manuscript to the radio play editor Günther Schnabel . He was able to interest his brother, the chief dramaturge Ernst Schnabel , in a radio play implementation. Ernst Schnabel changed the title of the piece to Outside the Door . He later stated that A man is coming to Germany had sounded “too much like a Ufa film ” and that Borchert had shown himself to be very open to the change. The recordings took place on February 2, 1947 under the direction of Ludwig Cremer , Beckmann's role was spoken by Hans Quest . The radio play had a total length of 79 minutes 15 seconds and, following an introduction by Ernst Schnabel, was first broadcast in the evening program on February 13, 1947. Due to a power cut, Wolfgang Borchert, who lived in his parents' apartment in Hamburg-Alsterdorf , was unable to receive the radio play himself. Only a repetition of the broadcast on NWDR gave Borchert the opportunity to follow his own piece. In a letter to Ernst Schnabel's wife Gudrun, he confessed: “It was an experience for me to hear my own words for the first time, and Hans Quest in particular left me completely speechless. Hardly anyone could have done it better. ”The author and his leading actor valued each other. Borchert dedicated the book from Outside the Door to Quest, Quest read the text on the anniversary of Borchert's death. Then there is only one! in the NWDR.

Even before the radio play was broadcast, Ida Ehre , founder and director of the Hamburger Kammerspiele , had knowledge of the outside world . Their reaction was enthusiastic: “This is something for the theater! The text made a tremendous impression on me. ”Together with the director Wolfgang Liebeneiner , she visited the bedridden Borchert and convinced him of the implementation at the Kammerspiele. In a later interview, Ida Ehre reported that the seriously ill and already bedridden Borchert initially no longer dared to make the necessary changes for the stage version. However, she and the director appealed to him so urgently that he finally started work after all and, in the truest sense of the word, finished it with his last bit of strength.

The main role was also played in Liebeneiner's production, Hans Quest. In a letter, Borchert gave information about the performance: “[…] the whole thing must be played through without a break. The quick change of scene, which Beckmann suddenly leaves standing alone on the street, can be brought out very well through the effects of light and shadow. Of course there must be no stage design and only the respective furniture can be on the stage. "

Title page of the printed stage manuscript (July 1947)

A total of three versions of the play can be distinguished: Borchert's original version, the radio play version broadcast by the NWDR and the book and stage version published by Rowohlt Verlag . While the original version was not preserved, the versions for funk and theater differ in some places, the most serious in the Kramer scene. There, in the radio play adaptation, there are no references to the Third Reich, the persecution of the Jews and the guilt of Beckmann's father. Borchert himself briefly noted the differences: “The radio play version and the stage version are identical. The radio play version in Hamburg was only shortened for programming reasons. ”Borchert biographer Helmut Gumtau, however, perceived political reasons for changing the radio play version and cited Borchert's mother that even her son's manuscript was more cautious out of consideration for the American occupation forces than the original version. The book and stage version was based on the original version, without adopting the changes to the radio play version. In July 1947, Rowohlt Verlag issued it to theaters in printed form as an unsaleable stage manuscript. A second edition for the book trade followed in May 1948. The first performance at the Hamburger Kammerspiele was based on this version; the later theatrical performances also followed her.

Borchert himself was critical of his own piece even after the initial successes. In a letter to Henry Goverts he admitted that he would “ never have offered it to a publisher on his own initiative - precisely because it seemed too unfinished and immature to appear as a book.” In another letter he explained: “It suited me nothing about writing a good piece. It should only be true and lively and say what moves a young person today. ”And he added an interpretation of the piece:“ Beckmann doesn't go to the Elbe in the end. He screams for an answer. He asks about God! He asks about love! He asks about the next man! He asks about the meaning of life in this world! And he doesn't get an answer. There is none. Life itself is the answer. Or do you know one? ”Shortly before his death in Basel, he judged in an interview about the looming success of his play:“ That a number of theaters are performing my play is pure embarrassment - what else should they do? [...] Because my piece is only a poster. Tomorrow nobody will look at it. "


Contemporary reception of the radio play

The first broadcast from Outside the Door on February 13th on NWDR was an immediate success. The broadcaster's reach over three federal states and Berlin, as well as the broadcast date at 8 pm in the series “The Great Thursday Evening Radio Play” attracted a wide audience. In the following weeks, the NWDR repeated the radio play and all other West German and West Berlin stations followed. Its chief dramaturge, Ernst Schnabel, recalled: The effect on the first broadcast of the radio play Outside the Door was “tremendous: I've never experienced anything like it before.” Meyer-Marwitz described the effect: “Borchert's scream released a thousand tongues in devastated and starving Germany . The listeners shouted back: torn up, tormented, frightened, liberated, angry, shaken, defensive, grateful. [...] This cry has not been overheard. Nobody could miss him. "

After the broadcast, numerous letters were received by the NWDR. The listeners' reactions to the 150 letters still stored in the Wolfgang Borchert Archives today are divided roughly half into enthusiastic approval and violent rejection. The positive letters particularly emphasized the “truth” of the play and felt their own suffering reflected in Beckmann's experience. Rejecting letters criticized the " blasphemy " and "decomposition" of the radio play and called for a more escapist orientation of the station in order to divert attention from reality . One listener summed up the criticism: "If this Mr. Beckmann had drunk in the first [n] minutes of the radio play - many listeners would have been spared a disgusting game."

Outside the door there was also strong echo in the press . The photographer Fritz Kempe commented on the broadcast: “The radio gave a young poet the opportunity to speak and argue, to ask and to scream: for the truth and against indifference.” A reviewer of the Hamburg Free Press said: “The often asked Question 'Where are the youth?' has been answered abruptly. From the mouth of a talented poet, the youth spoke, clearly and stirringly. Out of the deepest need and in the greatest distress, she asks the great question about the meaning and purpose of this life, demanding an answer from God and man. "For the criticism of the mirror , the radio play was" the tentative attempt to dress a tremendous experience in poetic form . "

In retrospect, Gordon Burgess stated: “ Outside the door was the right piece at the right time.” Helmut Gumtau also remarked that Borchert “had the luck at the right moment and he found the actor who made the show an event - Hans Quest "And he added:" The success was not based on poetry ". For Borchert, whose previous publications had hardly met with any response, the success of the radio play meant his artistic breakthrough. As a result, he received numerous letters, visits and inquiries from the publisher, so that in June 1947 he himself experienced a real “Borchert hype”.

Contemporary reception of the play

On November 21, 1947, one day after Borchert had died in Basel, outside the door at the Hamburger Kammerspiele had its premiere. The artistic director Ida Ehre stepped on stage before the performance and informed the theatergoers of Borchert's death. She recalled in 1985: “The audience got up. We spent a few minutes in silence before the performance began. The concern was so great that at first there was no applause. I don't know whether it was the dismay that Wolfgang Borchert was dead or whether the impressive piece had touched the audience in such a way. In any case, it was silent for an infinite amount of time - until thunderous applause broke out. ”The criticism of Der Spiegel also conceded:“ Seldom has a play so shocked the audience as Wolfgang Borchert's Outside the Door . ”

Gerhard Sanden wrote in Die Welt : “This work was torn from death's throat [...]. The idiosyncratic power of language and the violence of apocalyptic stories will keep poetry in Germany its fame. " Friedrich Wolf saw" in Borchert's play the reflection of hundreds of thousands of the young generation of our country ", Josef Müller-Marein " the biography of a whole generation ". The title of the drama became the general catchphrase. Hans Weigel summarized: “In the fate of this author and his play, the great tragedy of our time comes to light in multiple refractions. It is the 'time' piece par excellence with all its virtues and flaws. It is the piece that columnists scream for and that only poets can write. "

But Borchert's drama also met with severe criticism and rejection. Friedrich Luft , for example, judged : “There is no question here of an advancing, thought-promoting action. […] A Job with such arrogance in crouching down from the blows of fate that our contemplative pity is already very exhausted after the first images full of symbolism. The rest is torture to have to listen to a neurotic lament to the vague end. ”Opposition came in particular from the Soviet zone of occupation . For Falk Harnack , Beckmann's accusation was not directed against “the war instigators and profit hunters”, but rather a “clouded concept of fate”, and he demanded: “Borchert's thesis that there is no room for the returnees is untrue and must be fought vigorously!” Fritz Erpenbeck apologized: "Borchert was a beginner, he had absolutely no idea about dramaturgy". But he condemned both form and content of the piece: “His statement is of a primitiveness that I have not found taken seriously by an audience for a long time. This homecomer Beckmann is simply full of resentment of the cheapest kind, which he carries in front of him like a treasure. This Beckmann is sentimental down to the soft bones. "

In the months that followed, up to the end of 1948, 36 productions of Borchert's drama were created. For Gordon JA Burgess, the contemporary reviews indicated that the success of Borchert's play was primarily due to its time reference and the appeal to contemporary morality. The fact that its author died early also led to his popularity, and comparisons were soon drawn between Borchert and Georg Büchner , who also died early . With the currency reform in 1948 and the founding of the Federal Republic in 1949, as well as the accompanying growing self-confidence of the West German population, public interest in Borchert's play declined. The US premiere at the New York "President Theater" on March 1, 1949 by the German emigrant and director of the Dramatic Workshop Erwin Piscator was very well received by the American press. Like many US colleagues, the New York Times critic emphasized the universal claim of a play that “transcends nationality and ideology. It shows that the common man, selfish and complacent, is ultimately responsible for the atrocities that accompany and emerge from global disputes. "

Later reception

On the 10th anniversary of Wolfgang Borchert's death in 1957 there were again a large number of performances from outside the door . But in the meantime the reality of life and people's attitudes had changed, and the view of the drama had become historical. Christian Ferber said in Die Welt , “Beckmann's scream is no longer our scream”, and he emphasized the difference between the “rich restoration in the parquet” and the “lean avant-garde on the boards”. With increasing distance from the historical background, objections in terms of content and form to Borchert's play were raised. So was Giinter Blocker 1962 "weaknesses that are overlooked stirred once, pushing itself as such on. The monotony of Borchert's tone of woe, its unfiltered sentimentality, the pathos that has shrunk from the 'O Mensch' of the father generation to a 'Du Menschlein' [...] - none of that really gets caught up anymore. “For Hans Egon Holthusen , the piece was he it had already been described as “sour kitsch” in 1954, but in 1961 it had become “a weak or immature piece of post-war literature”. And Hans Mayer summarized in retrospect in 1967: "[Borchert's] drama Outside in front of the door had all the traits of a descendant whose appearance in the world made an impression, but at the same time had to appear a bit out of date."

Nevertheless, outside the door was still staged in large numbers on German stages, whereby a special attention for Borchert's play was often linked to current political issues. After 1957, when the productions coincided with protests against the establishment of the Bundeswehr , between 1979 and 1981, during the debates about the NATO double resolution, there was another high performance number. Beckmann was also no longer seen as a mere historical representative of the post-war generation. For Horst Köpke in 1977 he was “a current figure in the Frankfurter Rundschau ”, as he anticipated the moral rigor of our current youth. ”In an investigation of the history of the drama’s reception, the historian Ulrike Weckel recognized two complexes of topics in which directors were outside the door adapted their productions to the current situation. In its theme of anti-militarism , the piece was linked to current conflicts by mentioning it by name, the visual or musical reference, and the post-war piece was often reinterpreted as a potential pre-war piece. The motif of social isolation and interpersonal indifference was applied to the most varied of marginalized social groups, depending on the director's point of view, from guest workers, politically persecuted people to the homeless.

In the GDR, the assessment of outside the door changed in the 1960s , and the originally sparse number of performances of Borchert's drama rose significantly. The volume Theater der Zeitenwende , published in 1972 by the Institute for Social Sciences at the Central Committee of the SED , explained the earlier "unease of criticism in East Germany [...] and the defense against the pessimistic effects of the play" as "misjudgments" that were explained as a reaction to the Borchert's supposed criticism of East German post-war society, although in this an “anti-fascist alternative of Germany” would have already taken shape. The new ideological reading, on the other hand, was: “ Outside the door arose in the realm of reality in West Germany and not in any 'all-German' reality. It is the sphere of experience of the restoring imperialism ”. Based on this interpretation, Borchert's piece was now valued as an “irreconcilable conflict between the anti-fascism of the returnees figure and the anti-progressive nature of the environment” and Borchert himself was recognized as an anti-fascist.

Outside the door there has been over 250 productions since 1947 in the Federal Republic and the GDR, and another 27 new productions were added in Germany from 1989 to 1999. The play was translated into 40 languages ​​and performed in the most important theater cities in Europe according to Bernd Balzer, in Japan and the United States. At the end of 1995, the paperback edition of Outside Front Door and selected stories had a circulation of over 2.25 million. Notwithstanding the continued popularity of the drama and its inclusion in the teaching canon in German schools, the scientific investigations into Borchert's work in Germany remained both less numerous and more distant than those in foreign German studies.

Nevertheless, Gordon JA Burgess rated outside the door as the “anti-war piece par excellence” in German literature of the 20th century. The “specific details of Beckmann's past” did not interfere with “the universal aspect of the piece […], but rather they contributed to conveying the universal: by anchoring the plot in reality and awakening our sympathy for Beckmann, they made the audience receptive for the general problems expressed there and also force him to take a position on these problems. ”And in 2008 Marcel Reich-Ranicki emphasized the significance as a piece of time:“ This homecoming piece is scream and outcry, complaint and accusation rolled into one, it is an expression of Despair of the generation betrayed by the fatherland, tortured by the war and excluded from post-war society. "


Erich Ponto , the performer of the old man from love 47 , in 1945

After Borchert's drama, the film Liebe 47 was made in 1949 . The director was Wolfgang Liebeneiner , who had also directed the premiere at the Hamburger Kammerspiele. Representing the fate of women in post-war Germany, he placed Beckmann - played by Karl John  - the newly created figure of Anna Gehrke - played by Hilde Krahl  . The film was so for Erika Müller in time "a film that especially to the women speak", but not a box office success, for which Burgess both Liebeneiner processing and the changed economic and political situation in Germany blamed. In 1959, Rudolf Oertel considered the film “[z] u of the few films that knew how to convincingly shape the post-war situation in Germany,” said Adolf Heinzlmeier in 1988: “The director distorts and disfigures the original, turning it into a seemingly problematic, shallow homecoming smack with optimism and happy ending ”.

In 1957 Rudolf Noelte directed a television version under the original title for NDR . Paul Edwin Roth took on the leading role . This version was also edited, the unreal appearances of God, Death and the Elbe were deleted, the anti-Semitism of Beckmann's father was not mentioned by name. In the German television broadcast of the GDR followed in 1960, a television production directed by Fritz Bornemann with Reimar J. Baur as Beckmann. The theater production by Claus Leininger at the Städtische Bühnen Essen from 1970, the directing work by Andreas Kriegenburg at the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel 1997 and the new production at the Hamburger Kammerspiele with the participation of Ulrich Waller and Ulrich Tukur from 1995 were also broadcast on television .

The radio play version from 1947 was long considered to be no longer broadcastable due to technical defects, which is why the NDR produced a new version of the radio play in 1957. Again Ludwig Cremer is directing and Hans Quest took on the leading role, which prompted Paul Hubrich in a review in the Ruhr Nachrichten to perceive Beckmann as a "now well-pegged" Beckmann. In May 1965, the original version from 1947 was technically restored and has since been broadcast several times and published on sound carriers. Another radio play version comes from Bayerischer Rundfunk and was first broadcast on April 14, 1948. Under director Walter Ohm said Hanns Stein starring. The playing time is exactly 90 minutes. The audio document is still preserved. In 1985, Georges Wagner-Jourdain produced an edited and shortened version of the radio play with Walter Gontermann as Beckmann for Deutsche Welle .

Outside the door also served as a template for musical adaptations and was edited twice as an opera and once as a ballet . The Hungarian opera Az ajtón kívül was by Sándor Balassa and was premiered on October 20, 1978 at the National Opera in Budapest . On behalf of the Hanover State Opera , Xaver Paul Thoma wrote a chamber opera titled Outside the Door , which premiered on January 30, 1994. Ulrich Schultheiss composed the music for a ballet of the same name based on Borchert's drama between 1995 and 1996.


Text output

  • Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door . A piece that no theater wants to play and no audience wants to see. Rowohlt Verlag , Hamburg 1947 ( first edition ).
  • Wolfgang Borchert: The Complete Works . Rowohlt, Hamburg 1949, ISBN 3-498-09027-5 (With a biographical afterword by Bernhard Meyer-Marwitz; the edition (492,000) from May 1986 was used for the page numbers).
  • Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door and selected stories . Rowohlt, Hamburg 1956, ISBN 978-3-499-10170-0 (with an afterword by Heinrich Böll).
  • Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door . Insel Verlag , Leipzig 1960 (one-time edition of the Insel-Bücherei , volume 699).
  • Wolfgang Borchert: The Complete Works . Rowohlt, Reinbek 2007, ISBN 978-3-498-00652-5 (expanded and revised new edition, edited by Michael Töteberg , with the collaboration of Irmgard Schindler; as a paperback ibid. 2009, ISBN 978-3-499-24980-8 ) .
  • Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door and other works . Edited with commentary and epilogue. by Axel Dunker. Reclam, Stuttgart 2018. ISBN 978-3-15-019466-9 .

Audio book

Secondary literature

  • Bernd Balzer : Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door. Basics and thoughts . Diesterweg, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-425-06087-2 .
  • Winfried Freund , Walburga Freund-Spork: Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door. Explanations and documents . Reclam, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-15-016004-9 .
  • Harro Gehse: Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door. The dog flower and other stories , Beyer, Hollfeld 2007, ISBN 978-3-88805-134-0 .
  • Wilhelm Große: Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door. Materials . Klett, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-12-355800-2 .
  • Alexander Koller: Wolfgang Borchert's “Outside the Door”. On the timeless dimensions of a drama . Tectum, Marburg 2000, ISBN 3-8288-8140-8 .
  • Karl Migner: The drama “Outside the door” . In: Rupert Hirschenauer, Albrecht Weber (ed.): Interpretations of Wolfgang Borchert . Oldenbourg, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-486-01909-0 , pp. 7-56.
  • Reiner Poppe: Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door. King's Explanations and Materials Volume 299 . C. Bange, Hollfeld 2007, ISBN 978-3-8044-1804-2 .
  • Nikolaus Gatter: Beckmann (wakes up): Sixty years outside the door. In: Heidi Beutin , Wolfgang Beutin, Heinrich Bleicher-Nagelsmann, Holger Malterer (eds.): Then there is only one! About the need to create peace. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main (Bremen contributions to the history of literature and ideas 53), 2009, ISBN 978-3-631-56964-1 , pp. 73-93.
  • Ulrike Weckel: Different ways of coming to terms with the past - Wolfgang Borchert's returnee and his long journey through the West German media . In: Moshe Zuckermann (Ed.): Media - Politics - History. Tel Aviv yearbook 2003 for German history . Wallstein, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 978-3-89244-657-6 , pp. 125-161.
  • Manfred Orlick: 70 years ago: “Outside the door” , “Das Blättchen”, two-week publication for politics, art and economics, 20th year, number 3/2017, 30th January 2017, pp. 29–30

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Outside in front of the door , p. 34.
  2. Wolfgang Borchert: Alone with my shadow and the moon. Letters, poems and documents. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1996, ISBN 3-499-13983-9 , p. 40.
  3. See section: Gordon JA Burgess: The life and works of Wolfgang Borchert . Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture. Camden House, Rochester 2003, ISBN 978-1-57113-270-3 , p. 162 and annotation.
  4. ^ Alfred Schmidt: Wolfgang Borchert. Speech formation in his work . Bonn: Bouvier 1975. (= Treatises on art, music and literary studies; 186) ISBN 3-416-01085-X , p. 55.
  5. See Schmidt: Wolfgang Borchert. Speech formation in his work , pp. 149–152.
  6. Migner: The drama “Outside the door” , pp. 20-23.
  7. Borchert: Das Gesamtwerk (2007), p. 197.
  8. ^ Schmidt: Wolfgang Borchert. Speech formation in his work , pp. 133–136.
  9. Borchert: Das Gesamtwerk (2007), p. 127.
  10. Borchert: Das Gesamtwerk , p. 140.
  11. See section: Schmidt: Wolfgang Borchert. Speech formation in his work , pp. 106–113, 117, 121.
  12. Borchert: Das Gesamtwerk (2007), p. 145.
  13. ^ Schmidt: Wolfgang Borchert. Speech formation in his work , pp. 155, 163.
  14. Borchert: Das Gesamtwerk (2007), pp. 134, 174, 176.
  15. ^ Schmidt: Wolfgang Borchert. Speech formation in his work , pp. 164–168.
  16. Cf. Erwin Warkentin: The comical elements in Outside in front of the door . In: Gordon Burgess, Hans-Gerd Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective . Dölling and Gallitz, Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-930802-33-3 , pp. 205-217.
  17. ^ Karl S. Guthke : Wolfgang Borchert - Outside the door . In: Manfred Brauneck (Ed.): The German Drama from Expressionism to the Present. Buchners, Bamberg 1972, p. 116.
  18. Gordon JA Burgess: Reality, Allegory and Dream in "Outside the Door": Borchert's Path to Humanity . In: Rudolf Wolff (Ed.): Wolfgang Borchert. Work and effect . Bouvier, Bonn 1984, ISBN 3-416-01729-3 , p. 62.
  19. See the section: Burgess: Reality, Allegory and Dream in “Outside the Door”: Borchert's Path to Humanity , pp. 56–66.
  20. a b c Bernhard Meyer-Marwitz: Wolfgang Borchert . Biographical epilogue. In: Borchert: Das Gesamtwerk (1949), pp. 340–342.
  21. ^ Claus B. Schröder: Wolfgang Borchert. The most important voice in post-war German literature . Heyne, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-453-02849-X , p. 321.
  22. ^ Fritz Martini : The Drama of the Present . In: Wolfgang Kayser (Ed.): German literature in our time . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1959, pp. 88, 94-97.
  23. ^ Theo Elm : Outside the door: Historicity and topicality Wolfgang Borchert . In: Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , p. 276.
  24. ^ Franz Norbert Mennemeier : Modern German Drama. Reviews and characteristics. Volume 2: 1933 to the present . Fink, Munich 1975, ISBN 3-7705-1216-2 , pp. 149-153, 159.
  25. Peter Rühmkorf : Afterword . In: Wolfgang Borchert: The sad geraniums and other stories from the estate . Rowohlt, Reinbek 1998, ISBN 3-499-10975-1 , pp. 112-113.
  26. ^ Jan Philipp Reemtsma : The process of deafening after the Big Bang , Haffmans, Zurich 1995, ISBN 3-251-00302-X , pp. 41, 44-46, 55.
  27. ^ Jan Philipp Reemtsma: And also Grandpa's MG Wolfgang Borchert as a veteran. In: Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , p. 239.
  28. ^ Rühmkorf: Afterword . In: Borchert: The sad geraniums and other stories from the estate , p. 109.
  29. ^ Peter Rühmkorf: Wolfgang Borchert . Rowohlt, Reinbek 1961, ISBN 3-499-50058-2 , pp. 44-46, 124, 141.
  30. Reemtsma: The process of deafening after the Big Bang , pp. 34–35, 38–39, 50.
  31. Borchert: Generation without parting . In: Das Gesamtwerk (2007), p. 67.
  32. Borchert: In May, in May the cuckoo cried . In: Das Gesamtwerk (2007), p. 269.
  33. Borchert: Over. Over . In: Das Gesamtwerk (2007), p. 77.
  34. Borchert: Conversation over the roofs . In: Das Gesamtwerk (2007), p. 64.
  35. See section: Bogdan Mirtschev: Delivered to the Unspeakable: Daseinkrise und inner conflicts of the returning figure in the literary work of Wolfgang Borchert. In: Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , pp. 171–181.
  36. See Karl S. Weimar: No entry, no exit. A study of Borchert with some notes on Sartre. In: Modern Language Quarterly 17 (1956), pp. 153-165. Based on quotations and interpretations in Koller: Wolfgang Borchert's “Outside in front of the door”. On the timeless dimensions of a drama , pp. 86–100.
  37. Guthke: Wolfgang Borchert - Outside the door . In: Brauneck (Ed.): The German Drama from Expressionism to the Present , p. 117.
  38. Quoted from Balzer: Outside before the door , p. 43.
  39. ^ Donald F. Nelson: To live or not to live. Notes on archetypes and the absurd in Borchert's "Outside the Door" . In: The German Quarterly 48 , Volume 3 (1975), pp. 343-354.
  40. A. Leslie Wilson: Beckmann, the drowning man. To Wolfgang Borchert's “Outside the door” . In: Akzente , Volume 19 (1972), pp. 466–479.
  41. See the section: Balzer: Draußen vor der Tür , pp. 42–44.
  42. Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Outside before the door , pp. 5–11.
  43. Freund, Freund-Spork: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 33.
  44. Hans-Ulrich Wagner: "A man comes to Germany": Outside the door in the context of the radio plays returning home from the immediate post-war period . In: Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , p. 37.
  45. Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Outside in front of the door , p. 9.
  46. See Wagner: "A man comes to Germany": Outside the door in the context of the radio plays returning home from the immediate post-war period . In: Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , pp. 48–51.
  47. a b Rühmkorf: Wolfgang Borchert , p. 134.
  48. ^ Alfred Andersch : Essayist writings. Collected works in ten volumes, Volume 8. Diogenes, Zurich 2004, ISBN 3-257-06368-7 , p. 178.
  49. See Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 17.
  50. ^ Helmut Gumtau: Wolfgang Borchert. Heads of the XX. Century . Colloquium, Berlin 1969, pp. 61-62.
  51. Gordon JA Burgess: A poet in the making. Wolfgang Borchert's confessions to his poetry and prose. In: Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , pp. 76–77.
  52. a b Rühmkorf: Wolfgang Borchert , pp. 132-133.
  53. Borchert: Das Gesamtwerk (1949), p. 98.
  54. ^ Schröder: Wolfgang Borchert. The Most Important Voice of German Post-War Literature , p. 20.
  55. a b Gordon JA Burgess: Wolfgang Borchert, Person und Werk . In: Burgess (Ed.): Wolfgang Borchert , p. 23.
  56. ^ Gumtau: Wolfgang Borchert , pp. 63–64.
  57. Ulrike Weckel: Different ways of coming to terms with the past - Wolfgang Borchert's homecomer and his long journey through the West German media . In: Moshe Zuckermann (Ed.): Media - Politics - History. Tel Aviv yearbook 2003 for German history . Wallstein, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 978-3-89244-657-6 , p. 126, footnote 4.
  58. Michael Mahn: Lost and Found. The production of the radio play Outside Before the Door . In: Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , p. 219.
  59. Borchert: Alone with my shadow and the moon , p. 196.
  60. ^ Schröder: Wolfgang Borchert. The Most Important Voice of German Post-War Literature , p. 363.
  61. Rolf Italiaander : What Readers Should Know . In: Gordon JA Burgess (Ed.): Wolfgang Borchert . Christians, Hamburg 1985, ISBN 3-7672-0868-7 , p. 13.
  62. Interview with Ida Ehre in the ZDF series "Witnesses of the Century": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVSXxa07Q_8
  63. ^ Rühmkorf: Wolfgang Borchert , p. 155.
  64. Cf. Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , pp. 20–22.
  65. Warkentin: The Weird Elements in Outside the Door . In: Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , p. 207.
  66. ^ Gumtau: Wolfgang Borchert , p. 83.
  67. Borchert: Das Gesamtwerk (2007), p. 534.
  68. Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Outside in front of the door , p. 22.
  69. Borchert: Alone with my shadow and the moon , p. 209.
  70. Borchert: Alone with my shadow and the moon , pp. 194–195.
  71. ^ Rühmkorf: Wolfgang Borchert , p. 162.
  72. ^ Gordon Burgess: Wolfgang Borchert. I believe in my luck . Structure, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-7466-2385-6 , pp. 208-209.
  73. a b Gumtau: Wolfgang Borchert , pp. 70–71.
  74. ^ Burgess: Wolfgang Borchert. I believe in my luck , pp. 211–213.
  75. Bernd M. Kraske: Outside the door. Notes on the radio play reception . In: Wolff (Ed.): Wolfgang Borchert. Work and effect , p. 48.
  76. ^ Fritz Kempe : The poet Wolfgang Borchert and his radio play . In: Die Welt from February 22, 1947. Quoted from Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 53.
  77. GK in Hamburger Freie Presse of February 26, 1947. Quoted from Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 47.
  78. One was gone too long . In: Der Spiegel . No. 8 , 1947, pp. 21 ( online ).
  79. ^ Burgess: Wolfgang Borchert. I believe in my luck , p. 213.
  80. Rühmkorf: Wolfgang Borchert , pp. 146–147, 154.
  81. Italiaander: What Readers Should Know . In: Burgess (Ed.): Wolfgang Borchert , p. 14.
  82. Is there no answer? In: Der Spiegel . No. 48 , 1947, pp. 16 ( online ).
  83. Gerhard Sanden in: Die Welt from November 25, 1947. Quoted from Freund, Freund-Spork: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 58.
  84. Friedrich Wolf in: Sonntag No. 17, 1948. Quoted from: Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 47.
  85. Josef Müller-Marein: He tears his heart bloody . In: Die Zeit dated February 16, 2006, reprint of a review dated November 27, 1947. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  86. ^ Gumtau: Wolfgang Borchert , p. 10.
  87. Hans Weigel in: Die Komödie [Vienna] 1947/48, p. 194. Quoted from: Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 48.
  88. Friedrich Luft in: Die Neue Zeitung of April 24, 1948. Quoted from Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , pp. 48–49.
  89. Falk Harnack in: Sonntag No. 17, 1948. Quoted from Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 48.
  90. ^ Fritz Erpenbeck : Lebendiges Theater. Essays and Reviews . Henschel, Berlin 1949, p. 287.
  91. ^ To the section: Gordon JA Burgess: Wolfgang Borchert, Person und Werk . In: Burgess (Ed.): Wolfgang Borchert , pp. 34–35.
  92. JPS: Review of Outside the Door , in: The New York Times, March 2, 1949 [Translation: Wikipedia], quoted from Thomas George Evans: Piscator in the American Theater. New York, 1939-1951. Ann Arbor: University of Wisconsin Press 1968. p. 319.
  93. ^ Marianne Schmidt: Condemned to life. Wolfgang Borchert and the classical dramaturgy. In: Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , p. 252.
  94. Günter Blöcker: Melancholic Apocrypha . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung from June 16, 1962. Quoted from: Große: Wolfgang Borchert: Outside the door. Materials , p. 35.
  95. ^ Wulf Köpke: In the matter of Wolfgang Borchert (1969) . In: Wolff (Ed.): Wolfgang Borchert. Work and Effect , p. 84 and note.
  96. Hans Mayer : On the German literature of the time . Rowohlt, Reinbek 1967, p. 302.
  97. ^ Elm: Outside the door: Historicity and topicality Wolfgang Borcherts , p. 273.
  98. Horst Köpke in: Frankfurter Rundschau of November 17, 1977. Quoted from Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 51.
  99. Weckel: Types of coming to terms with the past - Wolfgang Borchert's homecomer and his long journey through the West German media . In: Zuckermann (Ed.): Media - Politics - History. Tel Aviv yearbook 2003 for German history , p. 147.
  100. ^ Institute for social sciences at the Central Committee of the SED (ed.): Theater in der Zeitenwende. On the history of drama and theater in the German Democratic Republic 1945–1968 . Volume 1. Henschelverlag, Berlin 1972, p. 135.
  101. See Balzer: Outside before the door , pp. 37–38.
  102. Christof Bock: The voice of the war children fell silent 60 years ago . In: Welt Online, November 19, 2007. Accessed November 9, 2009.
  103. a b Balzer: Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 52.
  104. Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , p. 9.
  105. See also the inclusion in the Zeit student library . Rolf Michaelis : A scream? A sob! . In: The time of October 31, 2002.
  106. Burgess, Winter (ed.): "Pack life by the hair". Wolfgang Borchert in a new perspective , pp. 13-14.
  107. ^ Gordon JA Burgess: Wolfgang Borchert, Person and Work . In: Burgess (Ed.): Wolfgang Borchert , pp. 30–31.
  108. Should Philip Roth finally get the Nobel Prize? Questions to Marcel Reich-Ranicki . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on June 23, 2008. Accessed on September 26, 2009.
  109. Erika Müller: "Love 47" and women . In: Die Zeit , No. 20/1949.
  110. ^ Burgess: The life and works of Wolfgang Borchert , p. 168.
  111. ^ Rudolf Oertel: Power and Magic of Film. World history of a mass suggestion . Europa, Vienna 1959, p. 444.
  112. ^ Adolf Heinzlmeier : Post-war film and Nazi film. Notes on a German topic . Frankfurter Bund für Volksbildung, Frankfurt am Main 1988, ISBN 3-927269-04-2 , p. 52.
  113. See reviews in Liebe 47 on the Film and History page of the Hanover University of Applied Sciences . Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  114. Weckel: Types of coming to terms with the past - Wolfgang Borchert's homecomer and his long journey through the West German media . In: Zuckermann (Ed.): Media - Politics - History. Tel Aviv yearbook 2003 for German history , p. 156.
  115. ^ ZDF yearbook - theater productions. In: zdf-jahrbuch.de. January 2, 2004, accessed November 1, 2018 .
  116. Berliner Festspiele: Berliner Festspiele - Theatertreffen: Theatertreffen-Chronik 1964-2018. In: berlinerfestspiele.de. May 10, 2006, accessed November 1, 2018 .
  117. Outside the Door (1995) in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  118. Paul Hubrich: There is no going back. New performance of Borchert's radio play . In: Ruhr Nachrichten of September 24, 1957. Quoted from: Balzer: Draußen vor der Tür , p. 53.
  119. ↑ Classic radio play from 1947 - Outside the door (archive). In: deutschlandfunkkultur.de. February 13, 1947, accessed November 1, 2018 .
  120. Az ajtón kívül on operone.de. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  121. Chamber Opera Outside the door on Xaver Paul Thoma's website . Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  122. Compositions ( memento of November 29, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) on Ulrich Schultheiss's website . Retrieved September 2, 2012.
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on November 11, 2009 in this version .