Becher, Johannes Robert (yōhänˈəs rōˈbĕrt bĕkhˈər) [key], 1891–1958, German poet and essayist. After an early association with the Expressionist movement, Becher turned to Communism. His anti-imperialist poetry, notably Der Leichnam auf dem Thron [the corpse on the throne] (1925), led to exile from Nazism (1935–45) in the USSR, where he produced such volumes of poetry as Wiedergeburt [rebirth] (1940) and Deutschland ruft [Germany calls] (1942). After the war he settled in East Germany, founded the literary review Sinn und Form, and was appointed Minister of Culture (1954). His postwar writings (including Macht der Poesie [poetic power, 1955] and Das poetische Prinzip [poetic principle, 1957]) stressed socialist humanism and the artist's responsibility to society
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