Guy Cassiers tackles Jonathan Littell’s almost one-thousand-page novel The Kindly Ones about the destruction of Jews during the Second World War. When it was published in 2006, the book provoked heated reactions, both positive and negative.
Littell makes us realize that the Third Reich was not unduly populated by monsters or perverts but by ordinary citizens who collectively moved toward total madness under and because of Nazi socialism. Littell takes the readers with him into the head of the perpetrator, thereby placing them in the uncomfortable position of identifying with him.
In De welwillenden Guy Cassiers confronts the darkest side of human behaviour: the Nazi ideology and the destruction of the Jews. What happened in order to make this catastrophe in the heart of Europe possible? What political, ideological, psychological and social transformations brought about this violence and let it take its course? Europe’s current shaky political foundations and the rise of far-right, xenophobic and anti-European parties give this project a special urgency.
The Toneelhuis ensemble is joined by five actors from Toneelgroep Amsterdam and together they set in motion a carousel of characters around Max Aue (performed by Hans Kesting).