Helene Weigel (12 May 1900 in Vienna – 6 May 1971 in Berlin) was one of the outstanding theatre actors of her generation. She was the second wife of Bertolt Brecht.
The daughter of a Jewish lawyer, she became a Communist Party member from 1930 and Artistic Director of the Berliner Ensemble after her husband Brecht's death in 1956.
Among the Brecht roles she is most noted for the iconic "Mother Courage".
Between 1933 and 1947, as a refugee from Hitler's Germany, she was seldom able to pursue her acting craft - even during the family's six-year stint in Los Angeles. It was only with the foundation of the Berliner Ensemble in the German Democratic Republic in 1949 that the brilliance of Brecht's theatre began to be recognised worldwide. She died in 1971, still at the helm of the company, and many of the roles that she created with Brecht are still in the theatre's repertoire today.
Here are some readings of Brecht passages by Helene Weigel. The recordings of „Der Mantel des Ketzers“, „Monolog der Antigone“, „Der Soldat von La Ciotat“ and „An meine Landsleute“ are from the archives of the Berliner Ensemble and were directed by Bertolt Brech.
Included in the file are essays by Anna Seghers and Paul Rillas which were part of the original album release.
Der Mantel des Ketzers (1937)
Vom armen B. B. (1921)
Vom ertrunkenen Mädchen (1922)
Die Liebenden (Um 1928/29)
Monolog der Antigone des Sophokels (1947)
Legende von der Entstehung des Buches Taoteking auf dem Weg des Laotse in die Emigration (1937)
Gleichnis des Buddha vom Brennenden Haus (1938)
An die Nachgeborenen (1938)
Der Soldat von La Ciotat (1928)
Das Lied vom Klassenfeind (1933)
An den Schwankenden (1933)
Die Teppichweber von Kujan-Bulak ehren Lenin (1927)
An meine Landsleute (1950)
Helene Weigel liest Brecht (LITERA 1966)