Erwin Piscator

Erwin Piscator

1893 (Ulm, heute Greifenstein)–1966 (Starnberg)

The hell of the trenches during the First World War transformed the philosophy student from a Calvinist industrialist family into a pacifist.
In 1920, he founded Berlin's first "proletarian" theatre. The things taken for granted today were invented by the "Piscator Bühne" of the 1920s: still projection, film excerpts and multiple stages. Piscator emigrated in 1931 to the Soviet Union, then to France and finally to the USA. McCarthy's campaign against un-American activities drove him to leave in 1951, and he abruptly returned to Germany. Piscator's political theatre experienced a renaissance in Western Germany, as it powerfully forced the Germans to confront their National Socialist past. He considered the public argument about his theatre as a "tribunal" absolutely vital: "It is impossible to raise dust without a few people coughing."