War with the Newts (1936) is Karel Capek's darkly humorous allegory of early twentieth-century Czech politics. Captain van Toch discovers a colony of newts in Sumatra which can not only be taught to trade and use tools, but also to speak. As the rest of the world learns of the creatures and their wonderful capabilities, it is clear that this new species is ripe for exploitation – they can be traded in their thousands, will do the work no human wants to do, and can fight – but the humans have given no thought to the terrible consequences of their actions.
Karel Capek (1890–1938) was one of the most influential Czech writers of the 20th century. He introduced and made popular the frequently used international word robot, which first appeared in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) in 1921. Karel credited his brother, Josef Capek, as the true inventor of the word robot.
Capek was born in Malé Svatonovice, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic).
Karel Capek. Wikipedia.