36 Arrested in Swiss Town During Clash over ‘the Deputy’ Play

The most violent reaction yet to a presentation of the internationally debated play, “The Deputy,” was reported today to have taken place in the small Swiss town of Olten where 36 foes of the play were arrested.

They were part of a mob which invaded the theater during the play, smashed the theater’s windows and fought with spectators and ushers. The play, by West German author Rolf Hochhut, is based on the charge that the late Pope Pius XII failed to protest publicly against the Nazi slaughter of European Jewry.

A crowd of several hundred young men gathered around the Olten theater. They booed and whistled. Some of the demonstrators ran into the theater and tangled with ushers. Others busied themselves with smashing theater windows. Police broke up the riot and dispersed a crowd of 3,000 attracted by the melee. A similar clash marked the Swiss premiere of the play in Basle last month.

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