Tanya Murat

Emil and the Detectives

Issue section: 

National Theatre, London, until 18 March

An adult's view: It is no surprise that Erich Kastner's Emil and the Detectives was so hated by the Nazis that it was one of those singled out for burning.

This exciting adventure story references all the major tensions in pre-war Weimar Germany, and comes down firmly on the side of the oppressed against the state. In one scene, most of the passengers on a tram turn on the young Emil, believing that, because he doesn't have the fare, he must be a criminal and possibly Jewish.

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