BirthdayMarch 21, 1908

Celebrity biographies

  1. About Margarete Steffin

    Full name: Margarete Steffin
    Also known as: Margarete Steffin, Steffin, Margarete
    Professions: German writer

  2. Margarete Steffin Death information

    Died: Wednesday, 4th of June, 1941 (Age: 33)

  3. Margarete Steffin Biography

    Margarete Emilie Charlotte Steffin (21 March 1908, Rummelsburg, now part of Berlin - 4 June 1941, Moscow) was a German actress and writer, one of Bertold Brecht's closest collaborators, as well as a prolific translator from Russian and Scandinavian languages.Born to a proletarian family, at the age of fourteen she went to work for the phone company but her interest in Social Democratic politics got her fired. She worked in publishing and agitprop theatre, and became secretary of the party's Lehreverband (1930) and worked at the Rote Revue. In 1931, she took a diction class from Brecht's wife Helene Weigel and became his lover. She was introduced to the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, playing a maid in Die Mutter (1932).In 1933 Brecht and Weigel went into exile in Denmark. Though soon replaced as Brecht's lover by Ruth Berlau, Steffin entered an arranged marriage to a Danish citizen to stay as Brecht's secretary and followed the Brechts to Finland and Moscow when war broke out. She died from tuberculosis (diagnosed already in 1931) while awaiting an American visa. Brecht wrote six short poems on hearing of her death, eventually published together as Nach dem Tod meiner Mitarbeiterin M. S. The second reads:My general is fallenMy soldier is fallenMy pupil has leftMy teacher has leftMy nurse is goneMy nursling is gone.Brecht's 1955 Collected Works names Steffin as the collaborator on Roundheads and Peakheads, SeƱora Carrar's Rifles and The Horatians and the Curiatians. In addition Brecht acknowledged her role in Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, Life of Galileo and Mother Courage. She is also thought to have had a large hand in Mr Puntila and his Man Matti, The Good Person of Szechwan, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle.Steffin also corresponded with Walter Benjamin and Arnold Zweig.

  4. Margarete Steffin Family

  5. Sources