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Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by…

Fear and Misery of the Third Reich (1938)

by Bertolt Brecht

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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More a series of vignettes than an actual play with a beginning, middle, and end. Characters appear, and disappear again after sometimes as little as a half page of dialogue. Brecht was cataloging history as it happened; he was dramatizing what he was seeing as the world rushed into World War II, and Germany reeled under a tyrannical government, where parents were scared their own children would turn them in if they so much as grumbled about high food prices. Not as powerful from a storytelling standpoint as much of Brecht's work, but the reality grounded behind this one gives it oomph. The play stops with the invasion of Vienna, and so never deals with what most people think about when they think about World War II - the Final Solution and the Holocaust. Still, it does deal at least somewhat with the hatred of Jews, though the spectre of communism, and the hatred of the National Socialists for communists, was the biggest thread. An interesting bit of historical drama, with the strength of anger and pain driving the narrative. ( )
  Devil_llama | Dec 27, 2016 |
A true masterpiece of German literature. ( )
  hguillen | Dec 18, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bertolt Brechtprimary authorall editionscalculated
Castellani, EmilioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Federici, FedericoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
This 1938 play consists of a series of short scenes examining the ways in which oppressive Nazi policies affected families, marriage, neighbors and co-workers during the first five years of Hitler's Germany. Two of the most famous of these short plays are "The Jewish Wife," a monologue in which a Jewish woman prepares to leave her Aryan husband; and "The Informer," about a couple who suspect their young son of betraying them to the authorities.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0413772667, Paperback)

Brecht's series of twenty-four interconnected playlets describe events which took place in ordinary German households in the 1930s. They dramatize with clinical precision the suspicion and anxiety experienced by ordinary people, particularly Jewish citizens, as the power of Hitler grew.

This volume is translated by John Willett, joint editor of Brecht's collected plays in English and is accompanied by an extensive introduction and commentary.

"What Brecht shows us here is more or less harmless by comparison with what came later. Perhaps this is its greatest strength: we know the results, what we are looking for is the beginnings."-Max Frisch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:13 -0400)

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