Juller 15 plus

Play based on the biography of the German-Jewish national football player Julius Hirsch

Kurzinfo: Gefeiert, verfolgt, ermordet: Das Leben des deutsch-jüdischen Fußballnationalspielers Julius Hirsch, der ab 1933 verfolgt und im Holocaust ermordet wurde, sensibilisiert für das Eintreten gegen Antisemitismus, Rassismus und Ausgrenzung.

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Director: Jürgen Zielinski
Set and costume design: Steffen Wieser
Set and costume design: Jürgen Zielinski
Set and costume design: Carsten Schmidt
Costumes: Doreen Winkler
Dramaturgy: Jörn Kalbitz
Video: Falk Johnke

Cast of play

Sonia Abril Romero
Laura Hempel
Martin Klemm
Philipp Oehme
Sven Reese

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Patroness: Claudia Roth (Member of the Bundestag, vice president of the 19th Bundestag)

Promoted by: DFB-Kulturstiftung  Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future) 
The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media

One of the heroes of the early stages of football in Germany was the striker from Karlsruhe Julius Hirsch, called »Juller«. He was famous for his stooping running style and feared for his two-footed shot strength, he became German Champion twice, was seven times national football player and took part at the Olympic Games in 1912. Once Hirsch was idolised as a striker in the DFB-shirt and 30 years later he was deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz and murdered in the Holocaust.

In April 2017 the Theater der Jungen Welt Leipzig (Theatre of the Young World TdJW) brought in a world premiere the life of the German footballer of Jewish origin Julius Hirsch for the first time on stage. In a play version of the renowned theatre author Jörg Menke-Peitzmeyer and directed by Jürgen Zielinski sensitizes the production for the commitment against anti-Semitism as well as against racism and xenophobia and encourages reflection.

From autumn 2017 »Juller« can be seen on tour throughout Germany. Primarily tour places are in focus, where winner of the since 2005 awarded »Julius Hirsch Award« are located. With the award honours the DFB social commitment for freedom, tolerance and humanity. The kick off of the guest performance tour took place in the Deutsches Fußballmuseum Dortmund (German Football Museum) in October 2017. A further performance took place at the Musiktheater im Revier (Music Theatre in the Ruhr/Saar mining area) in Gelsenkirchen. Performances in Karlsruhe and Dresden will follow in spring 2018.

A theatre-pedagogical action sports-bag was developed as an accompanying workshop offer for »Juller«. It gives teachers and pupils the opportunity to create their own workshop individually. Providing the facts of Julius Hirsch is only one part of the information. Rather it aims to ensure that youth playfully deal with selected aspects of the situation of Jewish athletes and refers it to their political time context.

The production was also accompanied by the book »Playing with the others. Football between integration and discrimination« by the Leipzig sportswriter Ullrich Kroemer. It collects stories about and interviews with the protagonists of football, who have today called for diversity and integration as well as against discrimination, right-wing-extremism, racism and violence. Edited by the Theater der Jungen Welt and published by the high reputed publishing house Die Werkstatt it should stimulate reflection and thinking ahead.

»A theatre play allows the direct experience and the change of perspective to experience and to empathize, it reaches people in a different, multiple new and highly emotional way. That is why I am particularly very impressed of the educational concept, which was specially developed for this production: Guest production and workshops in Bundesliga cities and in cooperation with the football clubs and fan projects, the story of Julius Hirsch can be tangibly and linked to our present in a special way. »The Jews« were not just the others, but each person had to be affected by exclusion and terror – as a human being. I a time when the world seems to fall apart, theatre plays like »Juller« offer us orientation and morality and remind us for the future.«
Claudia Roth (MdB, vice president of the 19th German Bundestags)

»No matter whether young or old: A theatre play and the playful approach through an action-sports-bag brings us closer to the person Julius Hirsch. We can put ourselves in his position. It does not remain a name with abstract life dates, we get to know the person with all his strengths and weaknesses. A former football idol, whose life ended in Auschwitz. And it is precisely this empathy, which leads us even today to look closely and not simply accept discrimination or even participate in it, but stand up against it and stand up for those who need our help.«
Dr Josef Schuster (President of the Central Council of Jews)

»Playing football means to be fair with each other, to respect players and opponents, same rules for everyone, no matter what jersey colour we wear. Little unites us more than football. Who knows having Jewish roots in Germany? Therefore I am very pleased, that the Theatre of the Young World brings us closer to Juller’s history. The foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future combines the engagement with our history to a just, tolerant and open society. The fate of Julius Hirsch reminds us, that we have to show the red card early to those, who want something else.«
Dr Andreas Eberhardt (CEO Foundation »Remembrance, Responsibility and Future«)

»Gradually makes Zielinski the story of Julius Hirsch in striking scenes along the rise, error and annihilation of Juller accessible for the predominantly youthful audience . [...] To show that there is also history behind the turf, »Juller« has impressively succeeded as a scenic arc over a destroyed legend.«
Excerpt of critic of Theater der Zeit, September 2017

»The evening closes with rhythmic "Sieg" calls [victory], as can be heard today in German arenas, and briefly closes the plot with the present. When you have seen the piece, at the latest you hear a sinister echo resonate in this stadium cheers.
Excerpt of critic of Leipziger Volkszeitung, April 2017

»Knowledge, I think, matures its best, when you turn something emotionally. And that is the great advantage of theatre, I think. Especially, we do not want to be didactic. Theatre is not the continuation of a curriculum with other means. Therefore, we need to use our professional theatre knowledge and to ask questions in a time of linguistic shortening, how theatre even has a charm.«
Jürgen Zielinski in an interview with Deutschlandfunk, Oktober 2017