Taken at midnight

Hans Litten

Hans Litten

Taken at Midnight, a new play by Mark Hayhurst, tells the story of a mother’s fight for her son’s freedom.  Hans Litten was a young German lawyer who represented opponents of the Nazis, defending their human rights. In 1931 he subpoenaed Adolf Hitler to appear as a witness at the trial of four SA men (storm troopers) accused of murder. During a brilliant three-hour cross-examination he demolished Hitler’s attempts to deny that the leadership of the Nazi Party approved the murderous violence of the SA. However he paid dearly for this. In 1933 he was taken into “protective custody” with hundreds of other opponents of the Nazis and incarcerated in a series of concentration camps where he was horribly tortured. Despite strenuous attempts by his mother to obtain his release, he committed suicide in Dachau in 1938.

Canterbury Group members meet Penelope Wilton and Allan Corduner after the performance of ‘Taken at Midnight’

Canterbury Group members meet Penelope Wilton and Allan Corduner after the performance of ‘Taken at Midnight’

Members of Canterbury Group saw this remarkable and moving play at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in May.  The trip was arranged by Barbara Rogers, a Canterbury member who is related to the Littens.  Afterwards the group was privileged to meet Penelope Wilton and Allan Corduner, who play Litten’s parents Irmgard and Fritz, together with the writer Mark Hayhurst.  Penelope Wilton spoke of her admiration for Irmgard Litten, who campaigned so tirelessly to get justice for her son.  She said it was sad and worrying to see that intolerance of minority groups, especially anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred, is on the increase again in Europe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.