This week marks the 50th death anniversary of Bertolt Brecht.
One year before the East German Revolution in 1989 the government built a Brecht monument in front of the Berliner Ensemble. The memorial demonstrates how the East German dictatorship read Brecht. There is a quote from The Mother:
Who still lives, should not say never!
The secure is not secure
So, the way it is, it will not remain
But Brecht’s concluding two lines are missing:
After the rulers have spoken
The ruled will speak
In the end, Brecht’s conclusion outlasted the East German rulers – and it is this Brecht that we should read today.
For me personally, one of the most incisive plays that I ever read was Galileo, from wherein a popular quote is:
Unfortunate is the land that needs heroes.