Schweik in the Second World War
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Schweik in the Second World War (Schweyk im Zweiten Weltkrieg) is a play by German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht. It was written by Brecht in 1943 while in exile in California, and is a retelling of the 1923 novel The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek.
Schweik in the Second World War is set in Prague and on the Russian Front during World War II. In a summary written for potential composer Kurt Weill, it was written: "The Good Soldier Schweyk, after surviving the First World War, is still alive. Our story shows his successful efforts to survive the Second as well. The new rulers have even more grandiose and all-embracing plans than the old, which makes it even harder for today's Little Man to remain more or less alive "
As Schweyk is forced into war, he manages to survive while overcoming dangerous situations in Gestapo Headquarters, a military prison, and a Voluntary Labor Service. The ending finds Schweyk lost in a snowstorm near Stalingrad. He meets an equally lost and bewildered Hitler, whose path is blocked by snow, frozen corpses, the Soviet Army, and the German people. Finally, Hitler does a grotesque dance and disappears into the snow.
Portuguese TV made an adaptation in 1975 IMDB link'
Schweyk in the Second World War was not staged during the lifetime of its writer Brecht, though it was staged innumerable times across the world in various languages, including Bengali, since the 40s. In the recent past Red Theater Chicago staged it in October 2012. Performed by Kara Davidson and the ensemble, the music was composed by Michael Evans. Forum Three Bangalore staged it in September 2014. Directed by Ranjon Ghoshal, the original music recreating the Eastern European melodies of the 40s was composed by Sudipto Das.
- Calabro, Tony, Bertolt Brecht's Art of Dissemblance, Longwood Academic, 1990
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