In 1953, at the age of 16, Wolf Biermann—the son of communist resistance fighter Dagobert Biermann, who was murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz—emigrated from Hamburg to the GDR. There, he was active as a poet and songwriter and became known as a critic of the regime. Since his anti-fascist credentials were unassailable, Biermann was a real thorn in the side of the SED government. After Biermann’s volume of poetry “Die Drahtharfe” was published in West Berlin, he was banned from performing his songs in the GDR. Nevertheless, his music continued to circulate in cultural circles that were critical of the regime. In 1976, Biermann was invited to perform in the Federal Republic and received permission for the trip. Biermann was in the West when the SED expatriated him on November 17, 1976.

Wolf Biermann in his Apartment on Chausseestraße, East Berlin (1966)

  • Bernard Larsson


Source: Wolf Biermann, German singer, songwriter and lyricist. Date: 1966. Location: East Berlin. Photo: Bernard Larsson.
bpk-Bildagentur, image number 10013399. For rights inquiries, please contact Art Resource at requests@artres.com (North America) or bpk-Bildagentur at kontakt@bpk-bildagentur.de (for all other countries).

© bpk / Kunstbibliothek, SMB / Bernard Larsson