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Celebrating Bertolt Brecht

August 12, 2006
Image: picture-alliance/ dpa

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) is widely considered one of the most influential dramatists of the 20th century.

Born in the Bavarian city of Augsburg, the disappointment and persecution he experienced in Nazi Germany and western capitalist society brought him to communist East Germany. Though the state tried to make a hero out of him, his own politics didn't quite fit in.

In his more famous works like "The Threepenny Opera," "Mother Courage and Her Children," and "The Good Woman of Szechuan," but also in dozens of other plays and musicals, Brecht challenges both the actors and the audience to view their world in a whole new way.

Brecht's political works been well received all over the world and have made a particular impact in the developing world.

His influence, however, is not only political. He also introduced a new, austerely empty stage design, intellectually incorporated the audiences in the performance and demanded extreme flexibility from the actors.

On the anniversary of his death 50 years ago, DW-WORLD.DE offers you this dossier on Brecht's life and international influence.