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The Circumvention (also Hygiene-Demos ) was a multi-week performance spectacle that took place for the first time in March 2020 on the Platz and was later reproduced in many other places and cities of the German Federal Republic. It is considered the archetype of the Querdenker-Movement, an art form that felt inspired by a well-known comic shop in Torstrasse.


The first circumvention took place on March 28, 2020 on the Platz. The performance collective Haus Bartleby owned by Anselm Lenz had gained some debatable respect in the Feuillitonestablishment (a very german word that does not want to sound german at all) by collecting not only collecting invitations of the big players with the programme Karriereverweigerung (career refusal), but also made a lot of ca$h. However, since the mesh did not last long enough to satisfy the need for attention of those responsible, one quickly looked around for more performative art forms. During the occupation of Volksbühne in 2017, parts of the Bartleby House appeared disguised as Maoists. [1] Lenz himself acted in the role of war correspondent on the front line against the Empire of Darkness (aka Dercon). [2] [3] In the Posse A pile of shit Lenz and some of his colleagues appear as nameless secondary characters who sign season books with Mein Kampf in the occupied Volksbühne. Even if the action was canceled after a few days, the collective had now discovered its tendency towards radical chic. The interest in the Platz as a stage for future actions was thus aroused.

In spring 2020, the time for the next coup by Lenz and his entourage then seemed perfect: A slowly but steadily spreading new virus caused increased bowel movements in the German population (which probably also affected Lenz), which resulted in a shortage of toilet paper. They founded the collective KDW (likely for Kaufhaus des Westens), grabbed a couple of megaphones, phoned some cultural journalists who were friends and asked for the first flash mob under the code name Hygiene demo with the motto "We want to buy toilet paper!".[4]

First actions and breakthrough

On a Saturday morning in March 2020, around 50 people reenacted scenes from 1931 that led to the police murders. One borrowed cheerfully from quotations from Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg and mixed their rhetoric with the behavior of some notorious Horsts. Accompanied by this, a tabloid magazine was installed, which stylistically copied on the Stürmer and aesthetically the Bild-Zeitung and named the (clueless) Volksbühne as the publisher. The actual publisher (AL hilmself) later called it the newspaper with the highest circulation of the Republic (just wondering of which one?). With the next editions of the cicrumenvention, the staging became more and more sophisticated: Saxon shamans and Swabian Goaists drew chalk circles around the sidewalks of Linienstraße and Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße, around the new residential lots and practiced cultural appropriation meditated. At the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus the extras wore black and played the counter-revolutionaries who protested against rising rents, rising temperatures and against Gegen (the party in the KitKat, or better said that is didn't happen). Everything together resulted in a big happening which, if it had been captured by Hieronymus Bosch or Jonas Burgert, would have been entitled bellum omnium contra omnes. In any case, something like this was what the organizers had hoped for.

Even after the premiere, the attention was so great that follow-up events were planned very quickly on the coming Saturdays, which were joined by more extras and which were initially extended to Alexanderplatz and later to other parts of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Summer of Democracy was a proclaimed spin-off with festival character, in which anyone could join who was ready to rave to the Pippi Longstocking theme song with a self-made aluminum hat.



The residents of the Platz felt animated by the desired mood of protest and consequently protested quietly against the circumvention. The Volksbühne provided the necessary dystopian backdrop by masking the Räuberrad. [5]

Lenz became a media star and found not only comrades-in-arms but also competitors for supremacy in the movement he had initiated. Accordingly, it should not have pleased him that at some point other characters more familiar to the mainstream (such as a singing messiah, a boiling Attila and an unemployed balloon seller) drew attention to themselves and thus away from Lenz. A highlight was certainly a reennactment of the storm on the Bastille moved to the Spree in late summer 2020, where Lenz was only perceived as what he was over and over again throughout his life: a dramaturge-Daniel a.k.a. not a real protagonist. Accordingly, he never got tired of constantly planning new editions of the circumvention.[6]


The circumvention is generally misinterpreted, as it is nothing more or less than a congenial staging by a German theater horst (a.k.a. dramaturge) who wants attention. It serves no other purpose than to put the personal ego of its creator in the foreground and uses the classic means of the charade. Anyone who wants to participate can think of a reason for themselves, ultimately anything is allowed that can explain a bad mood and hardened bowel movements. In order to jump on the step of the Diversity Train, Lenz himself assumed the pseudo identity of an African woman in order not to perceive his movement for what it actually was: An action by German, spoiled educational boys who also wanted to be the Anti-Hero of their very own drama for once.[7]