Berthold Brecht

He was a Marxist who attacked Capitalism with sardonic words. Yet he sought shelter in the motherland of Capitalism when the air in Europe became thin for him. Berthold Brecht, born on February 10, 1898, in Augsburg, was a leading figure among Berlin writers during the 1920s and early 1930s. When Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, he first fled to Scandinavia, and in 1941 he ended up in the United States. He lasted there for six years, writing some of his most important stage works -- until a Congressional committee started interrogating him as a suspect of "un-American activities." Brecht returned to Germany via Switzerland. While the newly-founded German Democratic Republic in eastern Germany accepted him with open arms, Brecht was all but forgotten in America. On the eve of his centennial, however, Berthold Brecht's works have secured a place in American theater houses, as Georg Hirsch reports.

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