Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956), born as Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht), was a German playwright and poet and created the so-called epic theatre. He is considered one of the most creative and brilliant writers of the 20th century.
Moved by a desire for individual differentiation, the young Bertolt Brecht decided to go against the tide of a well-off society with too many conventions. Although he enrolled in medical school, he soon abandoned his studies and devoted himself to writing and directing plays.
Famous phrases of Bertolt Brecht
A communist and defender of the class struggle, Bertolt Brecht was a passionate intellectual in his time, to the point that he was persecuted by Hitler and had to go into exile in various European countries.
In today’s article we will get to know the figure of this important German thinker and playwright through Bertolt Brecht’s 20 best sentences .
1. The greatest gift you can give to others is the example of your own life.
His moral precepts are summarized in this famous quote.
2. First comes eating, then comes morality.
There is no point in politics if some basic issues are not resolved.
3. Art, when it is good, is always entertainment.
Reflection on art and its capacity to move us.
4. Many judges are absolutely incorruptible; no one can induce them to do justice.
Ironic sentence about the opacity and arbitrariness of justice.
5. What is bank robbery compared to founding a bank?
Communist and true to his principles, he considered the capitalist system as the cause of certain evils and shortages in his nation.
- You may be interested in: “100 Great Sentences on Communism and Class Struggle”
6. When hypocrisy starts to be of very poor quality, it is time to start telling the truth.
Lies and double-dealing can’t last in time.
7. With war, the property of the landowners increases, the misery of the wretched increases, the speeches of the general increase, and the silence of men grows.
Those who organize wars always benefit from conflicts.
8. Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer to shape it.
Reflection on art and its social and cultural function.
9. The crisis occurs when the old does not just die and when the new is not just born.
One of Bertolt Brecht’s most famous and remembered phrases, about the passing of time and the incipient emergence of a new world order.
10. History loves paradoxes.
Excerpt from one of his letters.
11. Those who pretend, in order to reform us, to defeat our criminal instinct, let them give us first food. We’ll talk about morals later. Those who do not forget to take care of our education, without making us fat, listen to this: no matter how much they think about it, first it is to eat, and after they have had enough, morality comes!
A plea against the ruling elites.
12. Nature has perfections to show that it is the image of God and imperfections to prove that it is only an image.
Fantastic reflection on the natural environment.
13. If people want to see only the things they can understand, they wouldn’t have to go to the theater: they would have to go to the bathroom.
About the prevailing ignorance of his time.
14. The bourgeois democrats strongly condemn the barbaric methods of their neighbors, and their accusations so impress their audiences that they forget that such methods are practiced in their own countries as well.
Criticism of bourgeois thinking.
15. To be against fascism without being against capitalism, to rebel against the barbarism that is born of barbarism, is equivalent to claiming a part of the calf and opposing its slaughter.
There is no point in being alone against the superficial aspect that causes inequality.
16. There are men who fight one day and are good. There are others who fight one year and are better. There are those who fight many years, and they are very good. But there are those who fight all their lives: those are the indispensable ones.
One of Bertolt Brecht’s most memorable phrases, about the relentless effort of good men.
17. I look like the man who carried the brick around with him to show the world what his house looked like.
A metaphor to reflect on the example we set for others.
18. Some countries still manage to retain their forms of ownership by less violent means than others. However, the capitalist monopolies everywhere create barbaric conditions in factories, mines and fields. But while the bourgeois democracies guarantee to the capitalists, without recourse to violence, the possession of the means of production, barbarism is recognized in that the monopolies can only be defended by declared violence.
Sociological thinking to understand the market economy and the creation of oligopolies through the monopoly of violence represented by the State.
19. Gentlemen, don’t be so happy about Hitler’s defeat. Because even if the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch who bore him is in heat again.
The dictator’s shadow was lengthened.
20. In the dark times, will it be sung too? It will be sung about the dark times too.
Doubts born of his sad days at the height of the Third Reich.