Book & Lyrics: Erich Moechel

Music: Sergei Dreznin

Directed by Harald Posch
Sets and Video: Klaus Karlbauer
Costumes: Roswitha Schreiner
Choreography: Jesse Webb

Production Manager:
Bernadette Stummer

Vienna,Theater Scala
September 10 – October 2, 1999


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(Security Through Purity 1.72M mp3)

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My fascination with Joerg Haider, Austria’s leading populist politician for 15 years, began shortly after Alison and I have moved to Vienna in 1987. At same time Haider became a head of Austria’s Freedom Party which was surviving with marginal 9% votes. By the time I’ve learned some German – it didn’t take much German knowledge to understand simple slogans of Haider’s like “Vienna shouldn’t become Chicago” or “Foreigners should stay home” – Haider began his unstoppable rise to power scaring political establishment on both right and left. His praises of the Hitler’s employment policy made him a Demon of the international liberal circles – to his immense pleasure. Always tanned, smooth, smart without showing it, sporty and good looking, he projected an aura of modernity and accessibility in a stiff reclusive world of the Austrian politics. He was the man who had a quick answer, the man who was always “against,” who could say loudly what others whispered. Together with France’s Le Pen, Russia’s Zhirinovsky, Slovakia’s Meciar and other Europe’s populists, he served as a prototype for our Dr. Jockel.

We started working on this play in Vienna in 1992, toward the end of the Waldheim crisis, when Austria had been through six years of international isolation because of his lying about his Nazi past. If this is what it is under Waldheim, a former Secretary General of the United Nations, we thought, how much worse would it be if Joerg Haider comes to power?

But what seemed a distant anti-utopia in 1993, when we had presented our first version at a series of readings, became clear reality in 1999. In a way, we predicted the events that followed the 1999 elections – the EU boycott of Austria and the wave of condemnation when Haider’s party actually entered the government early in 2000.

With a support from the Cultural Coucnel of the City of Vienna and some private sponsors, we produced the show in the Vienna Theater Scala. Right in time for the National Elections. On October 4 1999, two days after the show closed, Joerg Haider’s Freedom Party (Die Freicheitlichen) finished as Number 2 with an astounding 27% of the votes. Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, despite his promises, formed a coalition with Haider, which resulted in 200.000 people on the streets protesting, the EU sanctions and a freeze on any state visit to Austria. Life imitating theater?