Bertolt Brecht was born in Augsburg, Bavaria on February 10 1898. During World War I he was almost expelled from school for writing an essay against dying for the state. He is regarded as one of the pivotal figures in 20th century drama. He was an acclaimed playwright, director and poet. Fleeing Nazi Germany in 1933, Brecht came to the US with his wife. While in America, Brecht wrote some of his most famous work, including Mother Courage and Her Children (1941). He returned to East Germany in 1949, where he established the Berliner Ensemble which he directed until his death.