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BREIVIK

Berlin set for Breivik murder monologue

The words of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik explaining the thinking behind his killing spree will be read in Berlin theatres next month. The aim: to shock the audience with the familiarity of his arguments.

Berlin set for Breivik murder monologue
Photo: Heiko Junge/Scanpix

A Turkish-German woman will be reading the script, edited from Breivik’s 17-page, hour-long speech he made in an Oslo court in April before being jailed for 21 years for the 77 murders he carried out last July.

The transcript was never published in full, the judge deeming it unhelpful to give Breivik a public platform and the media shying away from giving his xenophobic, nationalist beliefs too much attention.

Now a German-Swiss political theatre group will stage Breivik's Erklärung – Breivik's Explanation – to give the audience a nasty shock, as director Milo Rau said he feels the speech contains arguments which would find acceptance in much of Europe.

The choice of Sascha Soydan to perform the piece was to detach the Breivik “character” from his arguments, Rau told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.

“I am not going for similarity here, but trying to produce an intellectual event,” he told the paper. There will be no courtroom set and the piece will not be dramatised.

“The first thing Sascha Soydan said after reading the script was that the scandal of the text was that it isn't really scandalous,” said Rau.

“It is a relatively rational, self-contained and, I think, widely spread view in Europe.” The major difference being that most people would not go on a killing spree, like Breivik did when he murdered 77 people, mostly teenagers, in Utøya and Oslo last summer.

The 35-year-old director from Bern, Switzerland, suggested that 80 percent of the arguments Breivik put forward in his speech would not be out of place in the conservative Die Weltwoche Swiss newspaper. Around 20 percent could be aligned with views held by the staunchly left-wing German paper the taz, he said.

“There is not a causal, basic relationship between thinking and acting. One cannot say that because a person is a right-wing nationalist, they are a murderer.

“Clearly, he is an unhinged, radical right-wing extremist” but, Rau added, it was Breivik's ability to exercise perspective during his explanation in court that “makes him a rational, complex, but also mundane speaker.”

The performances are part of Rau’s International Institute for Political Murder (IIPM) group’s “Power and Dissent” project, and will be staged along with discussions afterwards, at the Weimar National Theatre on October 19th and in Berlin's Theatrediscounter on October 27th.

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BREIVIK

Norway mosque shooter ‘has admitted the facts’: Police

A Norwegian man suspected of killing his step sister and opening fire in a mosque near Oslo last weekend, has admitted to the crimes though he has not officially entered a plea, police said on Friday.

Norway mosque shooter 'has admitted the facts': Police
Philip Manshaus appears in court on August 12. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB Scanpix / AFP
Philip Manshaus, 21, was remanded in custody Monday, suspected of murder and a “terrorist act” that police say he filmed himself committing.
   
Answering police questions on Friday, “the suspect admits the facts but has not taken a formal position as to the charges,” Oslo police official Pal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said in a statement.
   
Manshaus is suspected of murdering his 17-year-old step sister Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, before entering the Al-Noor mosque in an affluent Oslo suburb and opening fire before he was overpowered by a 65-year-old man.
   
Just three worshippers were in the mosque at the time, and there were no serious injuries.
   
Manshaus appeared in court this week with two black eyes and scrapes and bruises to his face, neck and hands.
   
Police have said he has “extreme right views” and “xenophobic positions” and that he had filmed the mosque attack with a camera mounted on a helmet. He had initially denied the accusations.
   
The incident came amid a rise in white supremacy attacks around the world, including the recent El Paso massacre in the United States.
   
Norway witnessed one of the worst-ever attacks by a rightwing extremist in July 2011, when Anders Behring Breivik, who said he feared a “Muslim invasion”, killed 77 people in a truck bomb blast near government offices in Oslo and a shooting spree at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utøya.