Seven people, that’s six too many. That is how everyone in this Jewish family sees it – no one can endure the others. Adults only make an exception with Sarah, the only child. The eleven-year-old has not said a word for eight years. “Because she has nothing to say,” as her father Shimon constantly emphasizes. He’s annoyed that everyone keeps talking about the same meaningless things over and over again. And reliably get into an argument about it.
Shimon is in no way inferior to his relatives, he is just as irritable and ungracious as they are. Is not interested in their topics, is an egocentric like the others. So he doesn’t open the door for his sister-in-law for a few minutes because he wants to finish watching an athletics competition on television. He is enthusiastic about walking, which irritates his brother-in-law Daniel: What should be appealing about a sport that looks like running, only slower?
Every little thing is puffed up into a monstrosity
Nobody takes this seriously anyway, he has simply converted to Judaism. What would you expect from someone like that – apart from Daniel’s wife Chawah, everyone agrees. The spokesman is Grandpa Marek, he has the most feared weapon in this family struggle: the Auschwitz club. Because he was in the camp as a teenager, he has no understanding for sensitivities for less serious reasons. So for none at all.
The author Juri Sternburg needs in his radio play 60 square meters of hate, Staged with a great sense of rhythm by Chehad Abdallah, only half an hour to let an everyday family quarrel escalate in a grotesque way. Every little thing is puffed up into a monstrosity, other things are played down in bizarre ways. The family members turn the words around in each other’s mouths until nothing can be said anymore. In the end, Sarah tries to prevent her parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle from drowning a budgie in a saucepan filled with water.
For one thing, that’s very strange. On the other hand, it is also tragic and terrifying. Because Sternburg shows characters who are in a pitiful inner captivity and who are not to blame for it themselves.
60 square meters of hate, DLF culture, September 12, 6:30 p.m.