Bertolt Brecht

(10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956 / Augsburg)

Bertolt Brecht
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Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht; was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director.

An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble — the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht and his wife, long-time collaborator and actress Helene Weigel.

Life and Career

Bavaria (1898–1924)

Bertolt Brecht was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, (about 50 miles (80 km) north-west of Munich) to a conventionally-devout Protestant mother and a Catholic father (who had been ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''What they could do with round here is a good war. What else can you expect with peace running wild all over the place? You know what the trouble with peace is? No organization.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. The sergeant, in Mother Courage and Her Children, sc. 1 (1939), trans. by Eric Bentley (1941).
  • ''Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. The Singer, in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, prologue (1944).
  • ''Food first, then morality.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. "What Keeps Mankind Alive?" Act 2, sc. 6, The Threepenny Opera.
  • ''Science knows only one commandment—contribute to science.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. Andrea, in The Life of Galileo, sc. 14 (1939), trans. by Howard Brenton (1980).
  • ''Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring factions.''
    Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), German dramatist, poet. repr. In Brecht on Theatre, ed. and trans. by John Willett (1964). "A Short Organum for the Theatr...
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Best Poem of Bertolt Brecht

From A German War Primer

AMONGST THE HIGHLY PLACED
It is considered low to talk about food.
The fact is: they have
Already eaten.

The lowly must leave this earth
Without having tasted
Any good meat.

For wondering where they come from and
Where they are going
The fine evenings find them
Too exhausted.

They have not yet seen
The mountains and the great sea
When their time is already up.

If the lowly do not
Think about what's low
They will never rise.

THE BREAD OF THE HUNGRY HAS
ALL BEEN EATEN
Meat has become unknown. Useless
The pouring ...

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