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.