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Bertolt Brecht

1898 - 1956

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Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956), known professionally as Bertolt Brecht, was a German theatre practitioner, playwright, and poet. Coming of age during the Weimar Republic, he had his first successes as a playwright in Munich and moved to Berlin in 1924, where he wrote The Threepenny Opera with Kurt Weill and began a life-long collaboration with the composer Hanns Eisler. Immersed in Marxist thought during this period, he wrote didactic Lehrstücke and became a leading theoretician of epic theatre (which he later preferred to call "dialectical theatre") and the Verfremdungseffekt. During the Nazi Germany period, Brecht fled his home country, first to Scandinavia, and during World War II to the United States, where he was surveilled by the FBI. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Bertolt Brecht has received more than 3,923,240 page views. His biography is available in 101 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 100 in 2019). Bertolt Brecht is the 57th most popular writer (down from 55th in 2019), the 48th most popular biography from Germany (down from 35th in 2019) and the 5th most popular German Writer.

Bertolt Brecht is most famous for his theories of theater and the alienation effect. Brecht believed that theater should be a tool for social change and not just entertainment. He coined the term "alienation effect" to describe the process of making the audience aware of the artificiality of the play.

Memorability Metrics

  • 3.9M

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  • 79.22

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 101

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 10.35

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.13

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

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Among writers, Bertolt Brecht ranks 57 out of 5,755Before him are F. Scott Fitzgerald, Émile Zola, Hesiod, Gabriel García Márquez, Daniel Defoe, and Li Bai. After him are Stendhal, Umberto Eco, Gustave Flaubert, Thomas Mann, Rabindranath Tagore, and Jack London.

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Among people born in 1898, Bertolt Brecht ranks 1After him are René Magritte, Alvar Aalto, Erich Maria Remarque, Sergei Eisenstein, Federico García Lorca, Golda Meir, M. C. Escher, Enzo Ferrari, Zhou Enlai, George Gershwin, and Umm Kulthum. Among people deceased in 1956, Bertolt Brecht ranks 1After him are Irène Joliot-Curie, B. R. Ambedkar, Jackson Pollock, Konstantin von Neurath, Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, Pietro Badoglio, Jules Rimet, Frederick Soddy, Robert Walser, Emil Nolde, and Lucien Febvre.

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In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Bertolt Brecht ranks 48 out of 6,142Before him are Alexander von Humboldt (1769), Adolf Eichmann (1906), Felix Mendelssohn (1809), Bernhard Riemann (1826), Marlene Dietrich (1901), and Hannah Arendt (1906). After him are Georg Ohm (1789), Thomas Mann (1875), Karl Benz (1844), Eva Braun (1912), Werner Heisenberg (1901), and Joseph Goebbels (1897).

Among WRITERS In Germany

Among writers born in Germany, Bertolt Brecht ranks 5Before him are Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749), Anne Frank (1929), Hermann Hesse (1877), and Friedrich Schiller (1759). After him are Thomas Mann (1875), Heinrich Heine (1797), Charles Bukowski (1920), Erich Maria Remarque (1898), Heinrich Böll (1917), Novalis (1772), and Friedrich Hölderlin (1770).