Heinrich von Kleist - Michael Kohlhaas

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Full text reading by Axel Grube.
Playing time: 249 min.
Audio samples

 Audio sample 1

“Forgive your enemies; do well to those who hate you too. «This is the passage from the Bible to which Michael Kohlhaase's wife points out - as an excorporated conscience, so to speak - in order to induce him to repent. But it is long too late for one. Kohlhaas has dedicated himself with exaggerated zeal to the achievement of 'public justice' and the 'business of vengeance'. With a merciless and irreconcilable fighting spirit, he seeks retribution and in the process develops a radicalism that becomes blind to the possibility of forgiveness. To what extent and from where such a striving for justice freed from its original content, like any exaggerated ideal, ultimately becomes unjust and inhuman - Kohlhaas not only becomes a mass murderer through his arson, he willingly leaves five orphans for the sake of satisfaction - remains a borderline question is always to be explored anew.

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