Bertolt Brecht

February 10, 1898

August 14, 1956







Greeting Message of Solidarity


Greeting message of the Comintern (SH) on occasion of the 120th anniversary of

Bertolt Brecht

10. Februar 1898 - 2. Februar 2018


We greet all Brecht friends around the world for the 120th birthday of Bertolt Brecht!

Our birthday present for Bertolt Brecht and all his friends around the world that is our publication of many of his works in 16 (!!) languages.

120 years Brecht
100 years German November revolution

This year, we not only celebrate the 120th birthday of Brecht. We are also celebrating the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, whose main work "Das Kapital" has impressed Bertolt Brecht, who has already matured, in his own words as follows:

"When I read Marx's 'Capital', I understood my dramas."

Bertolt Brecht had just turned 20 in the November Revolution and had just finished high school. By that time World War I had already killed millions of people. In 1918 he composed a song in an Augsburg military hospital, in which he sang to the wounded soldiers with his guitar. Later Brecht wrote about it:

"In the spring of 1918, the imperial General Ludendorff combed through whole of Germany from the Meuse to the Memel, from the Adige to the Belt, for human material for his great offensive." The seventeen-year-olds and fifty-year-olds were clothed and driven to the front The word "kv", meaning "usable for war," frightened millions of families once again. "People are digging the dead for military service."

Brecht's song was called "Legend of the Dead Soldier". It starts with the verse:

"And it was in the fourth springtime

No peace in sight

The soldier drew his conclusions

And died the hero's death. "

In his song, Brecht unmasked the imperialist war and the glorifying hurray propaganda of the "hero's death for emperor and empire". How deep this anti-militaristic song must have hit the German imperialists, that - 20 years later - the Nazi-Fascists justified Brecht's expatriation with the writing of this song.

Later Brecht wrote self-critically about his early writing years:

"My political knowledge was shamefully low at the time, but I was aware of major discrepancies in people's social lives, and I did not think it was my job to formally neutralize all the disharmony and interference I felt strongly about the events of my dramas and in the verses of my poems. And all that long before I had realized their true character and their causes. "

The end of the First World War and the November Revolution experienced Brecht still in the military hospital. He experienced the beginning and end of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and saw through the betrayal of the USPD leaders (independent social demorats). Brecht was elected by the soldiers as their representative in the revolutionary Soldiers' Council. After the defeat of the revolution in 1919 Brecht wrote the drama "Spartakus", which was performed a short time later under the different name "Drums in the Night" in the Munich Theater.

The play: "Spartacus" is about the November Revolution in Berlin.

A Berlin factory owner and war profiteer scolds:

"I made good money out of the war, The sausage begins where the sow ends. The government is too weak to fight the vultures of the overthrow, the whipped-up masses have no ideals, but the worst is the front soldiers, feral, gone to rack and ruin, weaned from work Adventurers to whom nothing is sacred anymore."

It is reported to the factory owner that Spartacus is mobilizing the "red witch's Sabbath", that "Spartakus has got hugely weapons" that "newspapers will be occupied". Artillery fire in Berlin.

The counterrevolutionary reaction of the Berlin capitalist to the November Revolution meets exactly the historical truth: "Those who are dissatisfied, must be put up against the wall!"Although the November Revolution threatens the bourgeoisie in its existence, the Berlin war profiteer is even happy about his business with the the Civil War. For him, the suppression of the November Revolution and reconstruction means much more profit than his former production of garnet baskets. But Brecht not only characterizes the bourgeoisie in the November Revolution, but also the cowardly "revolucency" of the petty bourgeoisie, who stabbed the revolution in the back, who were not interested in building socialism, which instead stopped halfway with the revolution. The petty bourgeoisie was already contented with the destruction of the hated old regime.

The petty bourgeois whines: "You can throw stones at me, here I stand: I can take off my shirt for you, but I do not want to hold my neck at the knife, I do not want that."

Is it possible to better express the petty bourgeois fear of the about the revolution, the betrayal of the revolution, than the young Brecht has masterfully did it here, and that at the age of only 21?

The petty bourgeoisie and the lumpen proletariat threw "the moon" and "drums" (both these symbols of the armed uprising of the Spartacists) into the same river into which the bourgeoisie had thrown the corpses of the leaders of the Spartacists - Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht!

* * *

It is no secret that the bourgeoisie is always spreading only literature that serves their profit interests and never what harms them. That is why the bourgeoisie has always made sure that the later, open communist writings of the communist Bertolt Brecht are not well known to the public. The bourgeoisie preferred to form their bourgeois "Bertolt Brecht" according to their own image.

Brecht's books were burned by the Nazis!

And today, Brecht's books are sold just as a pure commodity for profit making. The rich have bought the copyright.

Brecht would have asked the question:

What is the difference between the burning of his book at the stake of the Nazis and the monopolists who have bought the right to enrich themselves capitalistically with its revolutionary content?

So there is no fundamental difference. In the end, the broad masses of the exploited and oppressed are denied access to Brecht's works, one way or another. On behalf of Bertolt Brecht, who fought against exploitation and oppression, we therefore publish free of charge the largest international Brecht archive in the service of the poor people of the world. The Marxist Brecht does not belong to the bourgeoisie. He belongs to the working class, to all humanity. Down with the rich capitalists who fill their pockets with Brecht's anti-capitalist works!

In any case, Brecht would have never allowed that nobody. That would completely contradict his moral attitude.

As soon as we are in power, we will abolish the capitalist private property of the material and cultural productive forces and means of production, so that Bertolt Brecht finally belongs to all people in the world. Then, all existing private ownership of the works of Bertolt Brecht will have become superfluous.

Proletarians of all countries,

Unite! - and you are free:

Your great regiments

Break any (copyright) tyranny!

Forward, and do not forget

The question put to everyone

Should all read Brecht or forget him?

Whose Brecht is Brecht?

Whose world is the world?

This world is our world!

Brecht is ours !


10th of February, 2018




Ernst Busch/Hans Eisler

Ernst Busch played in the "Dreigroschenoper" of Bertolt Brecht (in 1928).




What Has Happened?


The industrialist is having his aeroplane serviced.
The priest is wondering what he said in his sermon eight weeks ago
about tithes.
The generals are putting on civvies and looking like bank clerks.
Public officials are getting friendly.
The policeman points out the way to the man in the cloth cap.
The landlord comes to see whether the water supply is working.
The journalists write the word People with capital letters.
The singers sing at the opera for nothing.
Ships' captains check the food in the crew's galley,
Car owners get in beside their chauffeurs.
Doctors sue the insurance companies.
Scholars show their discoveries and hide their decorations.
Farmers deliver potatoes to the barracks.
The revolution has won its first battle:
That's what has happened.


Bertolt Brecht

and Socialist Realism

Jakup Mato, Rinush Idrizi, Vangjush Ziko, Anastas Kapurani











Mother Courage



The Three Penny Opera




The Life of Galileo


Stories of Mr. Keuner

Der Gute Mensch von Sezuan





Fear and Misery in the Third Reich





Kuhle Wampe




June 17, 1953

(Brecht against the social-fascist regime of the GDR)

The Solution

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?













United Front Song

And because a man is human
He'll want to eat, and thanks a lot
But talk can't take the place of meat
or fill an empty pot.

So left, two, three!
So left, two, three!
Comrade, there's a place for you.
Take your stand in the workers united front
For you are a worker too.

And because a man is human
he won't care for a kick in the face.
He doesn't want slaves under him
Or above him a ruling class.

So left, two, three!
So left, two, three!
Comrade, there's a place for you.
Take your stand in the workers united front
For you are a worker too.

And because a worker's a worker
No one else will bring him liberty.
It's nobody's work but the worker' own
To set the worker free.

So left, two, three!
So left, two, three!
Comrade, there's a place for you.
Take your stand in the workers united front
For you are a worker too.




Bertolt Brecht - An die Nachgeborenen

(Aufnahme 1939)


Bertolt Brecht singt sein

'Lied von der Unzulänglichkeit menschlichen Strebens'

- Kurt Weill

The Brecht Document 1


Popular Videos - Bertolt Brecht & Hanns Eisler


Popular Bertolt Brecht & Opera videos

Macky Messer

Hanns Eisler / Bertolt Brecht: Die Mutter



Das Lied vom Klassenfeind | Bertold Brecht


Lob des Kommunismus - (Helene Weigel)

Die Teppichweber von Kujan-Bulak ehren Lenin

Bericht zum 1. Mai





Image result for Brecht Solidarity Song

Solidarity Song

Peoples of the world, together
Join to serve the common cause!
So it feeds us all for ever
See to it that it's now yours.

Forward, without forgetting
Where our strength can be seen now to be!
When starving or when eating
Forward, not forgetting
Our solidarity!

Black or white or brown or yellow
Leave your old disputes behind.
Once start talking with your fellow
Men, you'll soon be of one mind.

Forward, without forgetting
Where our strength can be seen now to be!
When starving or when eating
Forward, not forgetting
Our solidarity!

If we want to make this certain
We'll need you and your support.
It's yourselves you'll be deserting
if you rat your own sort.

Forward, without forgetting
Where our strength can be seen now to be!
When starving or when eating
Forward, not forgetting
Our solidarity!

All the gang of those who rule us
Hope our quarrels never stop
Helping them to split and fool us
So they can remain on top.

Forward, without forgetting
Where our strength can be seen now to be!
When starving or when eating
Forward, not forgetting
Our solidarity!

Workers of the world, uniting
Thats the way to lose your chains.
Mighty regiments now are fighting
That no tyrrany remains!

Forward, without forgetting
Till the concrete question is hurled
When starving or when eating:
Whose tomorrow is tomorrow?
And whose world is the world?

Image result for Brecht Solidarity Song





Bertolt Brecht on theatre:

"'Theatre' consists in this: in making live representations of reported or invented happenings between human beings and doing so with a view to entertainment. At any rate that is what we shall mean when we speak of theatre, whether old or new." Bertolt Brecht, 1949

"Human beings go to the theatre in order to be swept away, captivated, impressed, uplifted, horrified, moved, kept in suspense, released, diverted, set free, set going, transplanted from their own time, and supplied with illusions. All of this goes so much without saying that the art of the theatre is candidly defined as having the power to release, sweep away, uplift, et cetera. It is not an art at all unless it does so." Bertolt Brecht, 1940


Bertolt Brecht on actors:

"...nobody who fails to get fun out of his activities can expect them to be fun for anybody else." Bertolt Brecht, 1926, "Emphasis on Sport.

"A firm believer in the use of theatre as an instructional medium, Brecht...sought to prevent audiences from becoming too involved emotionally with the events portrayed on stage. He considered it a shameful waste of the theatre's resources to mesmerize an audience and purge its emotions through an identification with the characters and situations. All such empathic theatrical experiences he identified as 'Aristotelian.' He called theatre that existed solely to give sensual pleasure without provoking socially meaningful thought 'culinary.' Theatre should inform the spectator; it should make him ponder the drama's Marxist implications--the need for societal change




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 still bawled for their slaves.

The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Did he not have even a cook with him?

Philip of Spain wept when his armada
Went down. Was he the only one to weep?
Frederick the Second won the Seven Year's War. Who
Else won it?

Every page a victory.
Who cooked the feast for the victors?
Every ten years a great man?
Who paid the bill?

So many reports.
So many questions.






Radio Poem

You little box, held to me escaping
So that your valves should not break
Carried from house to house to ship from sail to train,
So that my enemies might go on talking to me,
Near my bed, to my pain
The last thing at night, the first thing in the morning,
Of their victories and of my cares,
Promise me not to go silent all of a sudden.






To Posterity



Indeed I live in the dark ages!
A guileless word is an absurdity. A smooth forehead betokens
A hard heart. He who laughs
Has not yet heard
The terrible tidings.

Ah, what an age it is
When to speak of trees is almost a crime
For it is a kind of silence about injustice!
And he who walks calmly across the street,
Is he not out of reach of his friends
In trouble?

It is true: I earn my living
But, believe me, it is only an accident.
Nothing that I do entitles me to eat my fill.
By chance I was spared. (If my luck leaves me
I am lost.)

They tell me: eat and drink. Be glad you have it!
But how can I eat and drink
When my food is snatched from the hungry
And my glass of water belongs to the thirsty?
And yet I eat and drink.

I would gladly be wise.
The old books tell us what wisdom is:
Avoid the strife of the world
Live out your little time
Fearing no one
Using no violence
Returning good for evil --
Not fulfillment of desire but forgetfulness
Passes for wisdom.
I can do none of this:
Indeed I live in the dark ages!


I came to the cities in a time of disorder
When hunger ruled.
I came among men in a time of uprising
And I revolted with them.
So the time passed away
Which on earth was given me.

I ate my food between massacres.
The shadow of murder lay upon my sleep.
And when I loved, I loved with indifference.
I looked upon nature with impatience.
So the time passed away
Which on earth was given me.

In my time streets led to the quicksand.
Speech betrayed me to the slaughterer.
There was little I could do. But without me
The rulers would have been more secure. This was my hope.
So the time passed away
Which on earth was given me.


You, who shall emerge from the flood
In which we are sinking,
Think --
When you speak of our weaknesses,
Also of the dark time
That brought them forth.

For we went,changing our country more often than our shoes.
In the class war, despairing
When there was only injustice and no resistance.

For we knew only too well:
Even the hatred of squalor
Makes the brow grow stern.
Even anger against injustice
Makes the voice grow harsh. Alas, we
Who wished to lay the foundations of kindness
Could not ourselves be kind.

But you, when at last it comes to pass
That man can help his fellow man,
Do no judge us
Too harshly.




To The Students Of The Workers' And Peasants' Faculty


So there you sit. And how much blood was shed
That you might sit there. Do such stories bore you?
Well, don't forget that others sat before you
who later sat on people. Keep your head!
Your science will be valueless, you'll find
And learning will be sterile, if inviting
Unless you pledge your intellect to fighting
Against all enemies of all mankind.
Never forget that men like you got hurt
That you might sit here, not the other lot.
And now don't shut your eyes, and don't desert
But learn to learn, and try to learn for what.






To Those Born After


To the cities I came in a time of disorder
That was ruled by hunger.
I sheltered with the people in a time of uproar
And then I joined in their rebellion.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

I ate my dinners between the battles,
I lay down to sleep among the murderers,
I didn't care for much for love
And for nature's beauties I had little patience.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

The city streets all led to foul swamps in my time,
My speech betrayed me to the butchers.
I could do only little
But without me those that ruled could not sleep so easily:
That's what I hoped.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.

Our forces were slight and small,
Our goal lay in the far distance
Clearly in our sights,
If for me myself beyond my reaching.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.


You who will come to the surface
From the flood that's overwhelmed us and drowned us all
Must think, when you speak of our weakness in times of darkness
That you've not had to face:

Days when we were used to changing countries
More often than shoes,
Through the war of the classes despairing
That there was only injustice and no outrage.

Even so we realised
Hatred of oppression still distorts the features,
Anger at injustice still makes voices raised and ugly.
Oh we, who wished to lay for the foundations for peace and friendliness,
Could never be friendly ourselves.

And in the future when no longer
Do human beings still treat themselves as animals,
Look back on us with indulgence.







My Young Son Asks Me...


My young son asks me: Must I learn mathematics?
What is the use, I feel like saying. That two pieces
Of bread are more than one's about all you'll end up with.
My young son asks me: Must I learn French?
What is the use, I feel like saying. This State's collapsing.
And if you just rub your belly with your hand and
Groan, you'll be understood with little trouble.
My young son asks me: Must I learn history?
What is the use, I feel like saying. Learn to stick
Your head in the earth, and maybe you'll still survive.

Yes, learn mathematics, I tell him.
Learn your French, learn your history!






Not What Was Meant


When the Academy of Arts demanded freedom
Of artistic expression from narrow-minded bureaucrats
There was a howl and a clamour in its immediate vicinity
But roaring above everything
Came a deafening thunder of applause
From beyond the Sector boundary.
Freedom! it roared. Freedom for the artists!
Freedom all round! Freedom for all!
Freedom for the exploiters! Freedom for the warmongers!
Freedom for the Ruhr cartels! Freedom for Hitler's generals!
Softly, my dear fellows...
The Judas kiss for the artists follows
Hard on the Judas kiss for the workers.
The arsonist with his bottle of petrol
Sneaks up grinning to
The Academy of Arts.
But it was not to embrace him, just
To knock the bottle out of his dirty hand that
We asked for elbow room.
Even the narrowest minds
In which peace is harboured
Are more welcome to the arts than the art lover

Who is also a lover of the art of war.




O Germany, Pale Mother!


Let others speak of her shame,
I speak of my own.

O Germany, pale mother!
How soiled you are
As you sit among the peoples.
You flaunt yourself
Among the besmirched.

The poorest of your sons
Lies struck down.
When his hunger was great.
Your other sons
Raised their hands against him.
This is notorious.

With their hands thus raised,
Raised against their brother,
They march insolently around you
And laugh in your face.
This is well known.

In your house
Lies are roared aloud.
But the truth
Must be silent.
Is it so?

Why do the oppressors praise you everywhere,
The oppressed accuse you?
The plundered
Point to you with their fingers, but
The plunderer praises the system
That was invented in your house!

Whereupon everyone sees you
Hiding the hem of your mantle which is bloody
With the blood
Of your best sons.

Hearing the harangues which echo from your house,
men laugh.
But whoever sees you reaches for a knife
As at the approach of a robber.

O Germany, pale mother!
How have your sons arrayed you
That you sit among the peoples
A thing of scorn and fear!






On The Critical Attitude



The critical attitude
Strikes many people as unfruitful
That is because they find the state
Impervious to their criticism
But what in this case is an unfruitful attitude
Is merely a feeble attitude. Give criticism arms
And states can be demolished by it.

Canalising a river
Grafting a fruit tree
Educating a person
Transforming a state
These are instances of fruitful criticism
And at the same time instances of art.






Write me what you're wearing! Is it warm?
Write me how you lie! Do you lie there softly?
Write me how you look! Is it still the same?
Write me what you're missing! Is it my arm?

Write me how you are! Have you been spared?
Write me what they're doing! Do you have enough courage?
Write me what you're doing! Is it good?
Write me, who are you thinking of? Is it me?

Freely, I've given you only my questions.
And I hear the answers, how they fall.
When you're tired, I can't carry it for you.

If you're hungry, I have nothing for you to eat.
And so now I leave the world
No longer there, as if I've forgotten you.






From A German War Primer


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.

Meat has become unknown. Useless
The pouring out of the people's sweat.
The laurel groves have been
Lopped down.
From the chimneys of the arms factories
Rises smoke.

The forests still grow.
The fields still bear
The cities still stand.
The people still breathe.

Every month, every day
Lies open still. One of those days
Is going to be marked with a cross.

The merchants cry out for markets.
The unemployed were hungry. The employed
Are hungry now.
The hands that lay folded are busy again.
They are making shells.

Teach contentment.
Those for whom the contribution is destined
Demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry
Of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss
Call ruling too difficult
For ordinary men.

The common folk know
That war is coming.
When the leaders curse war
The mobilization order is already written out.

Are of different substance.
But their peace and their war
Are like wind and storm.

War grows from their peace
Like son from his mother
He bears
Her frightful features.

Their war kills
Whatever their peace
Has left over.

They want war.
The man who wrote it
Has already fallen.

This way to glory.
Those down below say:
This way to the grave.

Is not the first one. There were
Other wars before it.
When the last one came to an end
There were conquerors and conquered.
Among the conquered the common people
Starved. Among the conquerors
The common people starved too.

Reigns in the army.
The truth of this is seen
In the cookhouse.
In their hearts should be
The selfsame courage. But
On their plates
Are two kinds of rations.

That their enemy is marching at their head.
The voice which gives them their orders
Is their enemy's voice and
The man who speaks of the enemy
Is the enemy himself.

The married couples
Lie in their beds. The young women
Will bear orphans.

It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.
But it has one defect:
It needs a driver.

General, your bomber is powerful.
It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant.
But it has one defect:
It needs a mechanic.

General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect:
He can think.






















































































































































































































































Biographische und bibliographische Daten




Über Bertolt Brecht

(zum 80. Geburtstag)


vom 10. 2. 1978




Zum 20. Todestag von Bertolt Brecht

"Und weil der Mensch ein Mensch ist ..."


Nr. 33 und 34

vom 14. und 21. August 1976


Verfasser: ERNST AUST




Zum 80. Geburtstag von Bertolt Brecht

"Vorwärts, und nicht vergessen..."

    Roter Morgen

    Nr. 6 - 10. Februar 1978




Zum 115. Geburtstag von Bertolt Brecht







1929 - 1932

BRECHT's Arbeit im Bündnis mit dem revolutionären Proletariat









Für Bertolt Brecht


Diese Worte sind nur für dich


Ich möchte  euch an jemanden erinnern,
ohne dabei über die ganze Scheiße auf der Welt zu wimmern.
Ich sehe die Spartakusfahnen, der Freiheitskampf
und nur für uns standst du deinen Mann!
Ist die Rede vom Klassenkampf , denkt jeder gleich an dich!
Unser Leben ist der Weltbourgoisie und Weltreaktion scheißegal !
Ich frage mich die ganze Zeit ist das noch normal ?

Ref:  Diese Worte sind  nur für dich.
Wenn wir deine Gedichte hörten, war das unser größtes Glück.
Du warst und bist der Mensch, der immer zur Arbeiterklasse hält!
Auch wenn es uns allen dreckig geht,
auch wenn der Betrieb und die Fabrik nicht mehr steht...

Und wenn wir deine Lieder singen,
Ja dann denken wir an die ganzen schönen Dinge.
Keiner, wie du, hatte so viel Herz.
Als du von uns gingst, war das der größte Schmerz.
Du wolltest keinen König in irgendeinem Staat.
Für das Proletariat war deine Treue, du warst ein roter Soldat.
Uns hast du gezeigt, was wirklich wichtig ist,
nichts war besser als dein Gedicht.

Diese Worte  sind  nur für dich.
Wenn wir deine Gedichte hörten war das unser größtes Glück.

Und was ist nun geblieben?
Das Kapitalsystem stopft uns voll mit Lügen.
Wir wissen, du hattest es nicht leicht gehabt.
Doch für den Klassenkampf warst du niemals zu schwach.
Wir hoffen nur, es geht dir gut,
denn wir wissen, was tief in deinen Herzen ruht.
Eine Truhe mit deinen Namen drauf
und dort kriegen wir deine Kampfeserfahrungen raus!

Dieses Gedicht ist nur für dich
und ein jeder weiß,  du denkst an uns nicht, nur an mich.
Und wenn es um dich dunkel ist,
dann sind wir alle da, die komplette Mannschaft, und geben dir Licht!
Dieses Gedicht ist nur für dich.
Wir hoffen das du glücklich drüber bist.
Doch wenn es um dich dunkel ist,
dann sind wir alle da, die komplette Mannschaft und geben dir Licht!