Brecht, Bertold

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Portrait of Bertold Brecht (click to view image source)
Bertold Brecht
(to view image author and license, click here)
Brecht, Bertold Gender: M
Brecht, Eugen Berthold Friedrich
born on 10 February 1898 at 04:30 (= 04:30 AM )
Place Augsburg, Germany, 48n23, 10e53
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 21°28' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 02°01 Asc.s_sagcol.18.gif 24°59'


German playwright and poet, one of the leaders of the "epic theatre movement." He wrote his first prize-winning play while at Munich University from 1917-1921, and directed his first play production on 3/18/1924. As a poet, he showed great mastery and forceful simplicity. Brecht's importance to 20th Century theater cannot be overstated. His operas and plays champion alienation the way that Kafka epitomizes anxiety. He combines text, balladry, stagecraft, imagery, movement and spoken word in a way now associated with performance art. His "Three-penny Opera" is familiar to every patron who has ever recognized theater as an art form.

A Marxist, a vegetarian, a genius and a contradictory figure, he was also considered an opportunist with an all-too-convenient ability to temporize. Despite his purposely shabby dress, unwashed stench, rotting teeth and icy persona, Brecht was some sort of modern Mesmer, able to hypnotize almost everyone he met into doing his bidding. He was considered a virtuoso in the bedroom, keeping regular revolving mistresses. When he fled Nazi Germany, he had not only his family but two other women, both of whom wrote large amounts of his work according to his specifications. Some of his major works may contain as little as 10% of his actual writing, but he served as a brilliant editor.

The saddest case - and most revealing of his character - is the story of Margaret Steffin, a young German writer from the provinces who had the misfortune to fall under Brecht's spell at an early age. She was almost single-handedly responsible for "Courage" and "Stezuan," as well as "Galileo" and at least four other major plays, a novel, and countless poems and stories, all published under Brecht's name. He was not able to read the source material in French for the works, and the manuscripts are all in Steffin's handwriting. Suffering from TB, Steffin died alone in a Moscow hospital ward after arranging for Brecht's safe passage to America. He mourned for four days then promptly swindled her family out of her royalties and took her inheritance. While Brecht became a millionaire, secretly depositing thousands of gold marks in a Swiss bank account, Steffin's family were left to subsiding on their meager income.

He was a Communist at least until the mid-1930s when Stalin began to shoot intellectuals by the thousands. After Hitler came to power in 1933, his work was banned in Germany. Brecht left his homeland and settled in Denmark with his wife, the actress Helen Weigel, and their two children, Stefan and Barbara. In 1939, after the fall of Czechoslovakia, they moved to Sweden; in 1940 with the invasion of Norway, to Finland, and in 1941, to California. Settling in the Hollywood area, he struggled to write film scripts but with not much success. He hated the genre and complained with his fellow artist-intellectuals that there was more to life than a weekly check from L.B. Meyer. "I felt an exile from my era," he wrote. After the Allied victory, they moved to Switzerland and then to East Germany in 1948, where he remained until his death.

He wrote most of his best work in exile, "The Good Woman of Szechwan," "Galileo," "Putila," "Mother Courage." Along the way, he seduced everyone he met with his charisma, for fame, attention, favors, money, sex, all the while that he unscrupulously rode roughshod over everyone, cheating and using them. He once said, "What I don't like to admit is that I myself have contempt for the unfortunate."

Brecht died on 8/14/1956, Berlin.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Death, Cause unspecified 14 August 1956 (Age 58)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Begin a program of study 1917 (Munich University)
  • Social : End a program of study 1921 (Munich University)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 18 March 1924 (Directed first play production)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change residence 1941 (Fled to U.S.)
  • Social : Return Home 1947 (Returned to Germany)
  • Family : Change residence 1933 (Moved about Europe)
  • Family : Change residence 1945 (Move to Switzerland, then East Germany)

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from Dr. Arno Muller.

His "Journals, 1934-1955" were translated from the German by Hugh Rorrison, Edited by John Willett, Routledge, 1993,

John Fuegi, "Brecht & Company, Sex, Politics, and the Makers of Modern Drama," Grove Press, 1994.


  • Vocation : Writers : Playwright/ script (Playwright)
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet (Forceful simplicity)
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Fled Germany)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Business : Director (Plays)
  • Traits : Body : Diet unusual (Vegetarian)
  • Traits : Mind : I.Q. high/ Mensa level (Mensa level: considered a genius)
  • Traits : Personality : Opportunist (Used others to his advantage, unprincipled)
  • Traits : Personality : Charismatic (Mesmerized others to his bidding)
  • Passions : Sexuality : Extremes in quantity (Sexual virtuoso, many mistresses)
  • Traits : Personality : Liar/ Fraud (Cheated his dead mistress's family)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Wealthy (Millions stashed in Swiss banks)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Many moves
  • Traits : Body : Appearance unattractive (Unwashed; rotten teeth)
  • Vocation : Politics : Party Affiliation (Marxist)