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Bertolt Brecht

1898–1956

Bertolt Brecht was born on February 10, 1898, in Augsburg, Germany. He attended the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where he studied medicine.

A poet and essayist, he was most notably a playwright whose theatrical works portrayed social issues. Among his more than forty plays are the influential works The Threepenny Opera (1928), written with the composer Kurt Weill, and Mother Courage and Her Children (1941). Brecht challenged the genre by creating "epic theatre," which was inspired by German Expressionism and Marxism, and portrayed non-linear events in an objective manner that presented an argument meant to prompt social change. 

During World War II, he lived in exile, first for several years in Denmark. His collection of "Svenborg Poems" was published under the title Poems in Exile in Copenhagen in 1939. The book included the epigraph, "In the dark times/ Will there also be singing?/ Yes, there will also be singing./ About the dark times."

Brecht moved to the United States in 1941, and worked in the film industry in Los Angeles, California. In 1947, he returned to Europe ultimately settling in Berlin. He died on August 14, 1956. 

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