Heiner Müller: Der Lohndrücker [The Scab]

(1302 words)
  • John Milfull (University of New South Wales )

Heiner Müller's “first play”, Der Lohndrücker, written in collaboration with Inge Müller in 1956, consists of 15 short scenes set in a newly nationalised foundry in the GDR in 1948/9. It presents the conflicts surrounding the attempts of a “model worker” and activist, Balke, to improve productivity and develop innovative practices in restoring the furnances of the damaged and run down plant so that it can contribute to post-war recovery. Balke has to struggle not only with the scepticism and hostility of his fellow-workers, a motley crew including status-conscious engineers, opportunists, former Nazis, crooks and layabouts, but with the deep suspicion of the party secretary Schorn, whose attempts to sabotage arms …

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Milfull, John. "Der Lohndrücker". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 February 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=14462, accessed 28 November 2015.]