Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, (German: Furcht und Elend des Dritten Reiches), also known as The Private Life of the Master Race, is one of Bertolt Brecht's most famous plays and the first of his openly anti-Nazi works. It was first performed in 1938. The production employed Brecht's epic theatre techniques to defamiliarize the behaviour of the characters and to make explicit the play's underlying message.
The play consists of a series of vignettes, portraying National Socialist Germany of the 1930s as a land of poverty, violence, fear and pretence. Nazi antisemitism is depicted in several of the sketches, including "the Physicist", "Judicial Process", and "the Jewish Wife".
It was followed by many more plays that were openly anti-Nazi (Arturo Ui ...) and attempted a Marxist analysis. They were written while Brecht was in exile in Denmark and were inspired by a visit to Moscow, where he experienced the growing significance of the anti-Nazi movement there.
In 1974, the postmodern East German dramatist Heiner Müller wrote an 'answer' to Brecht's play, entitled The Battle: Scenes from Germany (revised from a text first written in the early 1950s; first theatrical production opened on the 10th October, 1975 at the Volksbühne). Tony Kushner's 1985 play A Bright Room Called Day was also based on this play.