He is considered the "father of the atomic bomb" and was the director of laboratories in Los Alamos, where this "patent toy" was developed; he oversaw the detonation of the bomb over Hiroshima right through to its ignition height: Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer. Barely ten years later, in April 1954, he was interrogated by the Atomic Energy Commission in Washington and had to answer – in political, moral and scientific terms – for the weapon he created, for the speed of its development and his loyalty to America. The actual interrogations, which Heinar Kipphardt, one of the defining playwrights of documentary theatre, has condensed for this stage production, are a prime example of the dilemma of responsibility in technological progress. This has long ceased to concern nuclear technology alone, and now includes digitization, genetic research and the development of artificial intelligence. The creation of new possibilities of destruction, surveillance and human transgression, including overcoming mortality in the sense of "transhumanity", describes the two-faced nature of man-made processes whose consequences can neither be measured nor controlled. And yet, once started, they seem irreversible.
Live video editing Sebastian Peise
20 January 2019, Deutsches Theater