New Article: Kühne, The Death Penalty and Talion in Sammy Gronemann’s Drama (in German)

Kühne, Jan. “‘Das schönste Theater bleibt doch das Gericht.’ – Todesstrafe und Talion im Drama Sammy Gronemanns.” Aschkenas 24.2 (2014): 305-23.





Biblical death penalty becomes practically inapplicable through talmudic legislation, though it is supported by the authority of the Torah. Consequently, death penalty remains a potential means of punishment, at least theoretically so, constituting a motif in the dramatic texts of the German-Jewish Zionist, lawyer and writer Sammy Gronemann (1875–1952). Following his immigration to Tel Aviv in 1936, difficulties in the application of this topos and of »Talion« in general become apparent in his dramatic works, particularly with regard to Germany. In face of the emerging horrors of the Shoah, Gronemann struggled to preserve the humanist-talmudic moment of the suspension of death penalty. He did so despite Zionist attempts to return to the biblical origins of Judaism, with its implied denial of cultural achievement in the Diaspora.



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