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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Questions From A Worker Who Reads

Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished
Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
Did the masons go? Great Rome
Is full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song
Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis
The night the ocean engulfed it
The drowning ...

Read the full of Questions From A Worker Who Reads

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