A German theatre in Konstanz, has found itself at the center of controversy by offering free admission to any audience member willing to don a swastika armband during a play about Adolf Hitler. The play in question, Mein Kampf, is a farce which depicts Hitler as a young aspiring artist in Vienna. The play also features a character that resembles Donald Trump.
The play was written by George Tabori, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who fled to London and worked for the BBC for a time, before emigrating to the US and eventually moving to postwar Germany.
According to local reports, "Those prepared to pay for a ticket were offered the chance to wear a Star of David instead, as “a sign of solidarity with the victims of National Socialist tyranny”.
The purpose behind the publicity stunt was to show how easily people could be corrupted. However, the plan has been slammed by Jewish leaders and political groups as "tasteless." The local German-Israeli Society and the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation have both called for a boycott of the production.
It should also be noted that while wearing a swastika or other Nazi garb is illegal in Germany, except for theatrical purposes. So city officials could do nothing to stop the theatre from its offer.
The timing couldn't have been worse either for the area as the opening night came the same night as hundreds of eno-Nazis were expected to congregate in Ostritz, a small town in eastern Germany, for a festival to mark the 129th anniversary of Hitler’s birth.
While I've seen some outlandish and questionable publicity stunts in order to sell tickets, this seems a bit much. While I know the history of the Nazi Party is much different from the German perspective than our own in the U.S. but seems a bit much, even if it is trying to make an artistic point.