Thomas Bernhard is widely considered to be one of the most important German playwrights in the post-war era. Highly acclaimed, he has written over twenty plays and novels and gained a reputation as one of Austria s most controversial authors. He wrote Heldenplatz in 1988 as a response to the fiftieth anniversary of the Anschluss (annexation) of Austria by Hitler s Germany. Highly controversial in Austria, the play concerns a Jewish professor who returns to Vienna after the Second World War and discovers that his fellow Austrians are as anti-semitic as ever. Heldenplatz is the square in Vienna where the Austrian-born Hitler made his first speech after the Anschluss. The play has been translated by the acclaimed author, playwright and critic Meredith Oakes, an Australian playwright who has lived in London since 1970. She has written plays, adaptations, translations, opera texts and poems. She taught play-writing at Royal Holloway College and for the Arvon Foundation, and wrote music criticism for The Independent in London and The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, and is a regular contributor to magazines including The Listener.