The Anatomy of Prejudice: Andorra

  • Michael Butler


Without doubt Andorra represents, thematically at least, Max Frisch’s most ambitious play. It has also proved to be his most contentious. No other work for the stage — including the latest, Triptych — has split critical opinion so profoundly and on so many different points. In 1961 the play clearly touched a highly sensitive nerve which the Adolf Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem (1960) and the mammoth Auschwitz Trial which began in Frankfurt in 1961 did nothing to alleviate. Indeed, these coincidental events helped to fuel the controversy by obscuring the broader theme of Frisch’s play in restricting it for a long period to the category of Holocaust literature.1


Wild Boar Fire Raiser False Identity Wilful Ignorance Sensitive Nerve 
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  1. 9.
    Cf. Peter Pütz, ‘Ein Modell für Mißverständnisse’, Text+Kritik 47/48 (third edition, July 1983) p. 42. Thomas Hürlimann’s recent play, Großvater und Halbbruder, returns to this issue, using several motifs borrowed from Andorra. But unlike Frisch, Hürlimann aims his polemic overtly at contemporary Swiss attitudes. For a preliminary comparison of the two plays, see A. Feinberg, ‘Andorra — Twenty Years On’, New German Studies 10, 2 (1982) pp. 175–90.Google Scholar
  2. 30.
    See, for example, J. C. Hammer, ‘The Humanism of Max Frisch. An Examination of Three of the Plays’, German Quarterly 42 (1969) esp. pp. 722–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Michael Butler 1985

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  • Michael Butler

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