Foreign News: Back Insurance

The Civic Theater of Mannheim on the Rhine, in the U.S. zone of Germany, was enjoying a fine season until the time came to rehearse the next play in the repertory: Arthur Koestler's powerfully anti-Communist Darkness at Noon.

Actor Gerhard Just, billed for the leading role of the purged Bolshevik Rubashov, grumbled uncomfortably that the play was "unsuitable." The whole cast refused to appear for rehearsals. Company Manager Hans Schueler thought he knew the trouble: his performers were not necessarily Communists—they were simply taking out Rückversicherung, which literally means "back insurance." This is the German word for forehanded protection against occupation...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!