Brecht’s enforced journeying during the years of Nazi rule go some way in explaining the context and the form of War Primer. After the Reichstag fire in 1933 he wandered from Prague to Paris, from London to Moscow; settled in Denmark; onto Finland and Leningrad and Validivostok; found refuge in Los Angeles and New York and, after the war, left the USA the day after testifying before the House of Un-American Activities Committee. Responding to the chilling rapidity with which the Nazis were conquering Eruope, allied to the growing exactness and concentration of his poetry, Brecht developed a practice that...
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