Walter Andreas Schwarz

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Walter Andreas Schwarz (born June 2, 1913 in Aschersleben , Harz , † April 1, 1992 in Heidelberg ) was a German singer, writer, cabaret artist, radio play author and speaker and translator for the BBC .


Schwarz was nine years old for the first time on a stage. After graduating from high school in 1932 at the Stephaneum high school, he left Aschersleben to work as an actor in Vienna and study German, French , English and musicology there. His first appearances took him to the Volkstheater in Vienna, he was a student at the Max Reinhardt Seminar, and engagements in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Bonn and Mannheim followed.

Because of his Jewish origins, he and his entire family were deported to the Holzen concentration camp in Lower Saxony in 1938 , where he was interned until the end of the war. His parents died and he is said to have only survived because the camp commandant was a former school friend. In January 1967, Schwarz incorporated his experience of coming to terms with the Nazi past into the radio program Wiedergutmachung , which was produced by HR and WDR. "From the point of view of a person concerned" he criticized the German bureaucracy there and regretted that after a twenty-year waiting period he or the autobiographical person whom he took as a case study had still not been given the right to "hope to find" but instead an "advance payment from a settlement offer that was suggested to him in order to finally be able to close his case". He also asked whether the official demands of the "party book officials" or the concentration camp survivors should take precedence.

In 1956 he took part in the Eurovision Song Contest with the self-composed and also autobiographical title Im Waiting Room fortunately , and was thus (together with Freddy Quinn ) the first German representative at this competition. Alluding to the extensive suppression of the Nazi past in the 1950s, the text says: "And they built on the quay of the past / A hall with a view of the sea / And with walls made of dreams against reality / Because they were not loved very". In the German preliminary decision on May 1, 1956 in the large broadcasting hall of the Cologne broadcasting house, Schwarz is said to have won and thus qualified for the international competition, although it is not certain whether this vocal show actually took place, as announced in the program magazines at the time. The placements in the final round on May 24, 1956 in the Kursaal in Lugano were not announced, apart from the winner's title. Unofficially, it was said that Schwarz had finished second. Musically, this piece remained his only major success.

Since 1948 he worked in London for the German-language program of the BBC as a spokesman and has since been an enthusiastic supporter of the radio waves there, which in his opinion are of high quality. In January 1977 he described his personal experiences in London on the WDR show Here speaks London. Radio collages with audio files from the German-speaking section of the BBC 1938-1945 . In it, Schwarz spoke about his role models, including Lindley Fraser, Hugh Greene and Carl Brinitzer . In 1990 he pointed out that the German radio play, like in Great Britain , could reach an audience of millions if the directors had a "more modest self-image". Schwarz later lived in Paris and Heidelberg and gained international renown for radio play productions, for example in Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Heinrich Mann's Der Untertan . The daily newspaper Die Welt said about the latter production : "The narrators Walter Andreas Schwarz and Heiner Schmidt bring the text so suggestive, yet unpretentious, that one feels drawn into the oppressive development of a person who is afraid from the very beginning . " Based on Johann Nestroy's satire Freiheit in Krähwinkel , in December 1988, based on the original from 1849, he set up a staged reading for ORF and SWF that was recognized as "satirical-acoustic enjoyment".

Schwarz died in Heidelberg in 1992 .

In 1995 the CD I invite you to the Requiem was published posthumously with poems and prose texts set to music by Erich Mühsam , which Schwarz had recorded together with Dieter Süverkrüp .



  • Masterful chansons by and with Walter Andreas Schwarz , with the Hans-Georg Arlt orchestra - EP with four chansons, Ariola 1956
  • In the waiting room for great happiness / For 300 Francs - Single, Ariola 1958
  • The fruit of illegality. Der Deutschen Mai zu Hambach 1832-1982 - double LP 1982, Südwestfunk Baden-Baden, SWF # 71 and 72 (Soiree by Walter Andreas Schwarz)
  • Erich Mühsam : I invite you to the Requiem , with Dieter Süverkrüp - Conträr 1995

Filmography (selection)

  • 1967: ... born Lipowski (TV series Interpol)

Radio plays

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Walter Andreas Schwarz: The Aschersleber artist was a singer and actor Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, June 2, 2010 [1] accessed on September 30, 2019
  2. ^ Urgent warning in: Kirche und Rundfunk , February 8, 1967
  3. 1956: German preliminary decision in the Kölner Funkhaus from April 15, 2015 [2] accessed on September 30, 2019
  4. HR 4, From the history of the ESC. Two wins and zero points , May 14, 2019 [3]. Accessed September 30, 2019
  5. Study Group on Broadcasting and History Communications , Volume 3, No. 2, April 1977, p. 17
  6. Critically heard , in: Stuttgarter Zeitung , January 9, 1990, p. 27
  7. quoted from [4] accessed on September 30, 2019
  8. Critically heard , in: Stuttgarter Zeitung , December 8, 1988