Hermanis leaves Hamburg theater over German refugee policies

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Latvian star director Alvis Hermanis, whose Brodsky/Baryshnikov recently grabbed headlines across the world, has left the Thalia Theater in Hamburg in protest against the openness of Germany for immigrants and refugees, reported LETA (via DPA) Saturday.

Hermanis said that immigration policy Berlin is threatening Europe, because in the number of refugees terrorists can slip in unnoticed.

Thalia is one of three state theaters in Hamburg. Manager Joachim Lux stated that the theater supports humanitarian assistance to immigrants, whose number in Germany this year may exceed a million.

"We never imagined that the provision of humanitarian aid to those who need it, could cause the termination of the professional relationship," said Lux, commenting on the departure of Hermanis. He also noted that this is an example of the deep political differences that prevail in Germany.

In connection with the departure of Hermanis, the theater will have to abandon a play, the premiere of which was scheduled next year. However, it will continue to show another Hermanis production - Late neighbors - about the life of Jewish immigrants in the United States.

On the website of his home New Riga Theater, Hermanis has published a statement explaining his position in three languages. He prohibits quoting it except if it's done in full.

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