Fearing persecution, Bertolt 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.

 

I, The Survivor

I know of course; it’s simply luck
That I’ve survived so many friends. But last night in a dream
I heard those friends say of me: ‘Survival of the fittest’
And I hated myself.
 

Bertolt Brecht
(Translated by John Willet)