Rolf Hochhuth was born in 1931 in Eschwege, and was working as a publishing editor when, on a trip to Rome, he started conceptual work on his first play, Der Stellvertreter (The Deputy). Staged for the first time in 1963 by Erwin Piscator in Berlin, the piece gained attention worldwide. Over the years, Hochhuth has produced a large body of plays, essays and poetry, for which he has received many awards. In May 2020 he died in Berlin.
Katharina von Bora is one of nine nuns who run away from their cloister in Wittenberg to join the forces of the Reformation. While bathing nude in a lake they discuss the lot of women, be they nun or witch. Katharina soon marries Martin Luther, meets the Danish king and Cranach, the painter. She sees her husband take on a variety of roles, including that of rebel and reformer; that of a power-hungry opportunist; and of the man who helped renew the German language.