Fearing persecution, Brecht left Germany in February 1933, when Hitler took power. He went to Denmark, but when war seemed imminent in 1939, he moved to Stockholm, Sweden, where he remained for a year. Then Hitler invaded Norway and Denmark, and Brecht was forced to leave Sweden for Finland where he waited for his visa for the United States until 3 May 1941.

During the war years, Brecht expressed his opposition to the National Socialist and Fascist movements in his most famous plays: Galileo, Mother Courage and Her Children, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, and many others. Brecht's poetry continued to garner attention during the war. 

 

“The Burning of the Books”

 
When the Regime commanded that books with harmful knowledge
Should be publicly burned on all sides
Oxen were forced to drag cart loads of books
To the bonfires, a banished
Writer, one of the best, scanning the list of the
Burned, was shocked to find that his
Books had been passed over. He rushed to his desk
On wings of wrath, and wrote a letter to those in power.
Burn me! he wrote with flying pen, burn me. Haven’t my
 books 
Always reported the truth? And here you are
Treating me like a liar! I command you:
Burn me! 

-Bertolt Brecht
(Translated by John Willet)