Yang is the good one

Summary of The good man from Sezuan

Escape from Nazi Germany

As a result of the global economic crisis, the German economy also collapsed in 1929; the number of unemployed doubled to 5 million. In order to be able to implement crisis measures against the will of Parliament, the Reich Chancellor ruled Heinrich BrĂ¼ning increasingly through emergency ordinances and thus heralded the end of the democratic Weimar Republic. The NSDAP, its chairman, was able to take advantage of the uncertainty among the population Adolf Hitler took over political power in Germany on January 30, 1933. The National Socialists used the fire in the Reichstag on February 27, 1933 to intensify their policy of repression: tens of thousands of members of the opposition were taken into "protective custody", the right to freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the right of assembly were restricted, house searches and the confiscation of property were legalized .

The first major book burnings took place on May 10, 1933. Works by over 200 authors were destroyed, including Bertolt Brecht's books with the express permission of the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. In response, numerous artists emigrated abroad. Among the Jews living in Germany and those who think differently politically, there was a first wave of emigration after the Nuremberg Race Laws were passed and after the so-called Reichskristallnacht. In September 1939 the Second World War began with the German attack on Poland. Millions of Jews and many political opponents of the Nazis were murdered in the concentration camps before the war ended on May 8, 1945 with Germany's unconditional surrender. About half of those politically persecuted returned to the divided country after the war, and only about 5 percent of those who were racially persecuted.


Motifs The goodMan of Sezuan have accompanied Brecht for at least 15 years. He had one of the basic ideas as early as 1926: Because he and his poet friends Arnolt Bronnen and Alfred Doblin did not feel adequately appreciated at a poetry reading in Dresden, he wrote the poem Matinee in Dresdenin which three gods are not duly received in the city. In 1927 he had the idea for a play with a "trouser role": A whore plays a tobacco dealer to help other whores, but they betray each other (Fanny Kress or the whore's only friend). Brecht's concern with economic questions is reflected in a draft from 1930 entitled The commodity love Again: love relationships can be bought just as much as prostitution and are an expression of capitalist alienation. From 1939 to 1941, in exile in Denmark, Sweden and Finland, Brecht then worked on the piece in the narrower sense. Because of the political situation shortly before the Second World War, he assumed that he would initially have no opportunities to perform. He used this situation to further develop his epic theater. With his colleague Margarete Steffin he kept changing individual scenes. He was troubled by the question of how to introduce Shui Ta into the play and worried that the Chinese setting might make the parable too folkloric. He noted that the piece troubled him more than any other before. In 1942 he stopped work without considering it really finished.

Impact history

The good man from Sezuan is Brecht's most frequently performed play. It was premiered when Brecht was in exile in February 1943 at the Zurich Schauspielhaus. The first performance in the GDR, where Brecht had now settled, did not come until 1956; in the Federal Republic the piece was shown as early as 1952.

In the GDR it was received rather cautiously, probably because it did not correspond to the prevailing ideas of socialist realism. Basically, however, the GDR used Brecht as evidence of its classical humanistic legacy: he had his own theater and a prominent position in the cultural life of the GDR. The stagings in the GDR were mostly directed against capitalism in the Federal Republic of Germany and suggested that in the end the solution would lie in a socialist transformation of society.

Brecht was controversial in the FRG: some rejected him as a Marxist playwright, others valued him for his poetic qualities and depoliticized him, also in the production of the Good people from Sezuan. Brecht's status as a classic was emphasized. After the student unrest of 1968, however, the socio-critical aspects of the play also came back into focus in the FRG.

Since the end of the East-West conflict after 1989, there has been a noticeable effort in the theaters to break away from earlier interpretations and also from the knowledge of Brecht's ideological ties to communism and the depicted inhumanity and attempts to overcome it as something more comprehensive To see timeless.