Text by Klaus Meyer and Bertold Hummel
Anton J. Benjamin / Simrock
The dictator has lost the war. Images of the battle are followed by growing hope and awakening joy. The children are playing again, the possibility of love and beauty, symbolized by the last flower, appears in a metaphysical vision. But when second dictator comes to persuade the reeling crowd of the necessity of another war, this time with even more effective weapons, the people applaud. They cheer again when democracy is abolished. Thus the final catastrophe is inevitable. In the end, white nuclear waste falling over the stage, engulfing everything, is all that remains. The music fades into a melancholy murmur. – The original, an optimistic picture story by the caricaturist James Thurber on the lack of sense in history, was made into an eschatological parable on the hopelessness on modern war technology in Meyer's/Hummel's version. Instead of a new beginning and eternal recurrence of the same, the ballet has a fatal ending.