Communication between the well-known Svendborg chess partners recalls the royal game: It employed tiring tactics, surprise attacks, retreat, strategic partnership, checkmate – and a new game. The essays and artistic commentary in the book turn the spotlight on an extraordinary constellation, in which Benjamin and Brecht appear as contemporaries in a century of extremes. They developed models for art, for politics, thought processes and for life itself; sometimes "extreme on a trial basis" and sometimes playful. With texts by Minou Arjomand, Broomberg & Chanarin, Zoe Beloff, Durs Grünbein, Barbara Hahn, Alexander Kluge, Mark Lammert, Bernd-Peter Lange, Burkhardt Lindner, Thomas Martin, Ursula Marx, Frank-M. Raddatz, Jan Philipp Reemtsma, Kristin Schulz, Marcus Steinweg, Steffen Thiemann, B. K. Tragelehn, Edmund de Waal and Erdmut Wizisla.

Benjamin and Brecht decided to write a crime novel in autumn 1933. Steffen Thiemann has turned Brecht’s plot into woodcuts and set down Benjamin’s ideas as footnotes. It’s a story about blackmail that ends fatally. With texts by Steffen Thiemann and Erdmut Wizisla.