Kotzebue, August von [key], 1761–1819, German dramatist and politician. He wrote some 200 plays, including Menschenhass und Reue (1789, tr. The Stranger, 1798), Die Spanier in Peru; oder, Rollas Tod (1795, tr. Rolla, 1797), and Die beiden Klingsberg (1801, tr. Father and Son, 1914). His comedies and operatic librettos remained popular throughout the 19th cent. Among those who set his librettos to music were Beethoven, Schubert, and C. M. von Weber. After a stay in Russia, Kotzebue returned to Germany as an agent of Czar Alexander I. He was detested for his reactionary propaganda; his assassination at Mannheim by a student led to the suppression of German student organizations through the Carlsbad Decrees.
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