By John J. White
Brecht's Furcht und Elend des Dritten Reiches (Fear and distress of the 3rd Reich) supplies a compelling documentary photo of existence in Nazi Germany. shut readings of person scenes are followed by means of a close research in their function in the play's total constitution. opposite to the idea that it's a paintings of Aristotelian realism, Brecht is proven to hire covert alienation units which are a vital part of his literary crusade opposed to 3rd Reich Germany. this primary learn in English as regards to Brecht and fascism deals a corrective to the overconcentration at the play's creative features. It considers Brecht's courting to the preferred Front's crusade opposed to the nationwide Socialist regime. awareness is paid to the play's genesis, and on the subject of the English model from Brecht's exile interval, the personal lifetime of the grasp Race, to the partial shift in concentration from the 3rd Reich of 1933-38 to the conflict estimated within the unique Furcht und Elend cycle. The play's primary topic of resistance, its propaganda price, and its political and inventive reception are addressed inside of their historic and ideological framework. the result's a difficult overview of the play's strengths and boundaries as a reaction to German totalitarianism.
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Extra info for Bertolt Brecht's Furcht und Elend des Dritten Reiches: A German Exile Drama in the Struggle against Fascism (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
12 A further jigsaw piece in Brecht’s picture of the German petty bourgeoisie’s lamentable role during the Weimar period and the early years of the Third Reich was the result of a tendency on the German KPD Left to associate the petty bourgeoisie with social democracy. ). Although primarily targeting neutral Sweden’s Social Democratic Party, the essay’s principal charges — reformism, short-termism, a combination of revolutionary rhetoric with slow delivery, and a predilection for abstract utopianism — are also largely relevant to the alleged shortcomings of the German SPD during the Weimar Republic years and beyond.
While rejecting “true” stories (the very bedrock of documentary literature), Brecht still stresses the need for “characteristic” illustrations, interpreted in Furcht und Elend essentially in class, political, region-specific, and historical terms. But this only raises further questions about the relationship between veracity and ideological stance — the nature of antifascist counter-propaganda (especially in a work so dependent on indirect sources and one having to reckon with a constricting Popular Front aesthetic).
30 Like Furcht und Elend, the Sopade end product was intended to be used as a basis for informative counterpropaganda (“aufklärerische Gegenpropaganda”31). However, coming largely from Social Democrat victims of the NS regime or from homeland informants in various respects dissatisfied with life in the Third Reich, the reports had a tendency to be more personal, impressionistic, and less ideologically perspectivized than Brecht’s evocation of Third Reich Germany’s fear and misery. 32 In the assessment of the Sopade leadership, “jede Emigration, je länger sie dauert, [ist] der Gefahr ausgesetzt [.
Bertolt Brecht's Furcht und Elend des Dritten Reiches: A German Exile Drama in the Struggle against Fascism (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture) by John J. White