Is your surname Brecht?

Research the Brecht family

Helene Weigel's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Helene Brecht (Weigl)

Birthdate: (70)
Birthplace: Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Death: May 6, 1971 (70)
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Siegfried Weigl and Leopoldine Weigl
Wife of Bertolt Brecht
Mother of Stefan Brecht and Barbara Brecht - Schall
Sister of Stella Zweig

Managed by: Itai Hermelin
Last Updated:

About Helene Weigel

Helene Weigel (12 May 1900, Vienna – 6 May 1971, East Berlin) was a distinguished German actress. She was the second wife of Bertolt Brecht, and together they had a daughter Barbara (b. 28-Oct-1930).

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 creating are: Pelagea Vlassova, The Mother of 1932, Antigone in Brecht's version of the Greek tragedy, the title role in his civil war play Señora Carrar's Rifles and, most famously, 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.

view all

Helene Weigel's Timeline

May 12, 1900
Vienna, Vienna, Austria
November 3, 1924
Age 24
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
October 28, 1930
Age 30
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
May 6, 1971
Age 70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany