Trespassing (Böll)

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Trespassing is a radio play by Heinrich Böll that was broadcast on NDR on February 24, 1969 . In the same year Kiepenheuer & Witsch brought out the printed version in Cologne and Berlin.

The lawyer Merkens left his wife Maria and lived with his childhood sweetheart Anna in - as he says - " sacramental community". Anna is with Dr. Kuckertz married. Both marriages resulted in two children. Remembering adulterers calls the Catholic Church on the scene. This feels “responsible for questions related to marriage law ”.


Good and evil

In the radio play, Böll neatly separated the good from the bad. Young Schlohr, one of His Excellency's informers, is the villain. This informant comes from the ranks of the Church. Now for the good ones. First, the canon lawyer Prof. Perz gives a damn about marriage law and takes the side of the two abandoned Maria and Dr. Kuckertz. Perz does not want to allow Schlohr to ensure “order” by persuading the abandoned to take the children away from the lovers as punishment. Perz even shows understanding for the lovers. Second, the abandoned posture is amazing. Both still love their respective partners and cannot find themselves ready to take legal action against the adulterer. And thirdly, the lovers cannot be angry because they stand there as a symbol of Böll's understanding of unbreakable love. This “sacramental communion” has not been approved by any church, but the couple belong together. All the other characters in the radio play accept this as a matter of course.

Breach of peace

The fathers of Anna and Merkens, who belong to different denominations, had thwarted the marriage of the young couple. Anna had even been locked up. Merkens, the sensible one, later married into a law firm and worked as a divorce lawyer. Anna made a good match too. She married Dr. Kuckertz, director of the church coordination council. When Merkens leaves his wife and children and wants to live with Anna from now on, Anna first has the intruder removed from her house by the police. The fact of trespassing exists. But then she moves into a tenement house with him. Schlohr, the tireless fighter against disorder wants to try the landlord for pandering to let prosecute.


Prof. Perz realizes that time is running against the current ecclesiastical marriage law. That is why he wants to take sides with the adulterers against the opposition of his church. Out of consideration for the two abandoned partners Maria and Dr. Kuckertz - and the children, of course - knocked out the offered hand of the cleric.


  • "The game gives a Böll variant of swapping partners."
  • Karl-Josef Kuschel takes the side of Böll's "laboratory experiment" trespassing and tries to prove the following in his contribution: Because marriage also has "a mystical component", the competence of the church in questions of marriage has not been proven beyond doubt.


  • Heinrich Böll: trespassing. Radio play. Leprosy. Acting . Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne and Berlin 1969, ISBN 3-462-00715-7
  • Heinrich Böll: trespassing. Radio play. Leprosy. Acting . Pp. 7-55. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition September 1985. 118 pages, ISBN 3-423-01439-3


Individual evidence

  1. Bellmann, p. 167, entry 1969.4
  2. ^ HeinrichBöll: Trespassing (1985), p. 33, 11. Zvu
  3. ^ Heinrich Böll : Hausfriedensbruch (1985), p. 52, 13. Zvo
  4. From a discussion in the SZ , quoted in Heinrich Böll: Hausfriedensbruch (1985), p. 1, 9. Zvo
  5. Kuschel, pp. 168–170