125th Anniversary of the Birth of Bertold Brecht
February 10, 1898
Excerpts from Plays and Poems
In Praise of Communism – a song from Brecht’s 1931 play, The Mother:
It is reasonable.
You can grasp it. It’s simple.
You’re no exploiter, so you’ll understand.
It is good for you. Look into it.
Stupid men call it stupid, and the dirty call it dirty.
It is against dirt and against stupidity.
The exploiters call it a crime.
But we know:
It is the end of all crime.
It is not madness but
The end of madness.
It is not chaos,
It is the simple thing
That’s hard to do.
Questions From a Worker Who Reads
Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will read the names of Kings.
Did the Kings haul up the lumps of rocks?
Demands for Freedom
Even the narrowest minds
In which peace is harboured
Are more welcome to the arts than the art lover
Who is also a lover of the art of war.
United Front Song
Comrade, there’s a place for you.
Take your stand in the workers united front
For you are a worker too.
In Praise of Learning
Hungry man, reach for the book:
It is a weapon.
You must take over the leadership!
Praise of the Party
Who do you think is the Party?
Does it sit in a big house with a switchboard?
Are all its decisions unknown, all its thoughts wrapped in secrecy
Who is it?
We are it.
To the Students of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Faculty
So there you sit. And how much blood was shed
That you might sit there. Do such stories bore you?
Well, don’t forget that others sat before you
who later sat on people. Keep your head!