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EUGEN BERTHOLD FRIEDRICH BRECHT was born on February 10th 1898 in Augsburg Germany and died on August 14th 1956 in East Berlin He was a German poet playwright and theatrical reformer whose epic theatre departed from the conventions of theatrical illusion and developed the drama as a social and ideological forum for leftist causesUntil 1924 Brecht lived in Bavaria where he was born He studied medicine at the University of Munich from 1917 until 1921 and served at an army hospital in 1918 From this period dates his first play Baal produced in 1923 His first success Trommeln in der Nacht won the Kleist Preis in 1922 His first professional production was Edward II in 1924 This period in his life showed his great admiration for Wedekind Rimbaud Villon and KiplingDuring this period he developed an antibourgeois attitude that reflected his generations deep disappointment in the civilization that had come crashing down at the end of World War I Among Brechts friends were members of the Dadaist group who aimed at destroying what they condemned as the false standards of bourgeois art through derision and iconoclastic satire The man who taught him the elements of Marxism in the late 1920s was Karl Korsch an eminent Marxist theoretician who had been a Communist member of the Reichstag but had been expelled from the German Communist Party in 1926 He moved to Berlin in 1924 where he worked briefly for the directors Max Reinhardt and Erwin Piscator but mainly with his own group of associates With the composer Kurt Weill he wrote the satirical successful ballad opera Die Dreigroschenoper 1928 The Threepenny Opera and the opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny 1930 Rise and Fall of the Town of Mahoganny In these years he developed his theory of epic theatre and an austere form of irregular verse He also became a Marxist In 1933 he went into exile He started off in Scandinavia 1933-41 mainly in
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