Bruderzwist, oder Die Versöhnung

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Bruderzwist, oder Die Versöhnung ("Brotherly strife, or The reconciliation") is a German play in five acts ("Ein Schauspiel in Funf Akten") by August von Kotzebue (1761 – 1819)[1].

Also known simply as Die Versöhnung ("The Reconciliation"), though better known under the longer title.

The original text

First produced in German at the Nationaltheater, Mannheim on 28 March, 1797 and published in Leipzig as Die Versöhnung in 1798. Published as Bruderzwist, oder Die Versöhnung in Vienna, 1804.

Translations and adaptations

Like all his works, this play has been translated and adapted into and performed in many languages.

Dutch: De Verzoening, of De Broedertwist (1798-1799)

Translated into Dutch by an anonymous translator as De Verzoening, of De Broedertwist and published by Jan Dóll, Amsterdam, 1798. Followed by two other Dutch translations, one by W.A. Iffland, 1799 and one by Dirk Onderwater, published in Den Haag at the same time. All with the same title.

According to F.C.L. Bosman, (1928, pp.133, 252), the Dutch translations may have been produced in Cape Town under various shortened titles, e.g. De Gebroeders ("The Brothers") in 1818, De Broeders (also "The Brothers") in 1826, De Verzoening ("The reconciliation") in 1829 .

English: The Birthday (1799), Fraternal Discord (1800) and The Brothers

Translated into English as The Birthday and performed in Bath in 1799.

Translated as Fraternal Discord by A.W. Dunlap, and performed in New York in 1800, published in New York in 1809.

It may also have been translated as The Brothers.

French: La Réconciliation; ou, Les Deux Frères (1799), Les Deux Frères (1802)

Translated into French and adapted for the stage as La Réconciliation; ou, Les Deux Frères by Mathias Weiss, Louis François Jauffret and J. Patrat in 1799. Performed as Les Deux Frères at the Theatre de la Republique, in 1802.

Performance history in South Africa

1809: Performed in French under the title Les Deux Frères, ou La Réconciliation by the French Amateur Company Charles Etienne Boniface and local French players in the African Theatre Cape Town on 4 February, 1809. (The text used was most probably the 1799 translation by Weiss, Jauffret and Patrat.) Followed by Le Petit Matelot, ou Le Mariage Impromptu (Le Brun).

1818: F.C.L. Bosman, (1928, p133) suggests that it may have been the play performed in Dutch as De Gebroeders ("The Brothers") in Cape Town by Tot Nut en Vermaak on 15 August, 1818. (Though this may have been The Brothers by Young.)

1825: Performed in Dutch as De Verzoening, of De Broedertwist by Tot Nut en Vermaak on 17 September in De Liefhebbery Toneel, with De Deserteur (Von Kotzebue).

1826: According to Bosman, (1928, p252), this was performed in Dutch as De Broeders ("The Brothers") on 28 October, 1826 by Door Yver Vruchtbaar, with Het Glas Water (Von Guttenberg).

1829: Performed in Dutch under the title De Verzoening ("The Reconciliation") by Tot Nut en Vermaak in De Liefhebbery Toneel, Cape Town on 18 July, with Het Zal laat Worden (Meyer).

1835: A production by Vlyt en Kunst announced for early March, with an unnamed comedy by Loosjes. However this did not materialise apparently, Valmont de Saint Priest, of De Schipbreukeling (Van Haemstede) and De Helleveeg (Loosjes) being played by popular demand on 14 March instead.

1835: Performed in Dutch under the title De Verzoening, of De Broedertwist ("The reconciliation, or the brotherly strife") by Tot Nut en Vermaak in the African Theatre Cape Town on 19 June, with De Twee Kraayen (Anon.).

1843: Performed in Dutch as De Verzoening, of De Broedertwist by Tot Nut en Vermaak, Cape Town, as on 14 July, with Wie Weet Waar Voor Het Goed Is? (Von Kotzebue)


"August von Kotzebue" in Stanley Hochman (1984) McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama: An International Reference Work in 5 Volumes, Volume 1:p. 181[2]

Heinrich Döring August von Kotzebue's Leben, 1830: p.408[3]

Text of Les deux frères, comédie en quatre actes, Google Books[4]

The Internet Archive[5]

Text of La réconciliation; ou, Les deux frères, Google Books[6]

Text of 1804 German edition of Bruderzwist, oder Die Versöhnung, Google Books[7]

Text of Fraternal Discord, Google Books[8]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [9]: pp. 125, 172, 236, 242, 248, 331, 443,

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