A Last Poem

A Last Poem

It has often been rumoured that Bertolt Brecht, the great German Communist poet, had been severely critical of the East German regime despite his show of Stalinist orthodoxy.

The German magazine Neue Deutsche Hefte (No. 52) now publishes an article by Wolfgang Paul in which a number of previously unpublished remarks and verses of Brecht are quoted. These include a poem written in 1953 about the East Berlin uprisings:

The Solution

After the uprising of June 17
The Secretary of the Writers’ Association
Had leaflets distributed on Stalinallee
On which one could read that the people
Had lost the confidence of the government
And could regain it only
By redoubled work and effort. Would It not
Be simpler if the government were to dissolve
The people and elect another?