Wolf Biermann

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Wolf Biermann at the poets' meeting Lauter Lyrik , November 16, 2008

Karl Wolf Biermann (born November 15, 1936 in Hamburg ) is a German songwriter and poet . He moved to the GDR in 1953 and published his first songs and poems in 1960. Over time, he turned into a sharp critic of the SED and the GDR, which is why he was banned from appearing and publishing in 1965. In 1976, after a concert tour in the Federal Republic of Germany , he was refused entry into the GDR and was expatriated . Biermann's expatriation triggered widespread protests in East and West Germany.

His volumes of poetry are among the best-selling in German post-war literature. Biermann was awarded numerous literary prizes for West and later for all of Germany.


Youth in Hamburg

Wolf Biermann is the son of Emma and Dagobert Biermann . His father, a communist worker at the Hamburg shipyard Blohm & Voss , was Jewish and fought in the resistance against National Socialism . He had sabotaged ships of the Kriegsmarine and was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943 . When, in the summer of 1943, an air attack of hitherto undreamed-of strength, the so-called Operation Gomorrah , destroyed Schwabenstrasse in Hamburg-Hammerbrook , where the family had lived up to then - Mother Emma and Wolf saved herself from the firestorm by jumping into the North Canal -, they found accommodation with “Oma Meume” and “Cousin Kallemann” at Laukamp 10 in the Fritz-Schumacher-Siedlung in Hamburg-Langenhorn .

At Pentecost 1950, the 14-year-old took part as the spokesman for 800 West German Thälmann pioneers at the 1st  German Youth Meeting in East Berlin , where he made a pledge of loyalty to the GDR and to the unity of Germany. He attended Heinrich-Hertz-Schule in Hamburg-Winterhude and was a classmate of Klaus-Michael Kühne .

Moving and living in the GDR

In 1953, at the age of sixteen, shortly before June 17, he moved to the GDR. According to him, the move was organized by the KPD . The party had also instructed his mother to stay in Hamburg. He lived in a boarding school in Gadebusch near Schwerin . According to his information, the Ministry for State Security (MfS) tried to recruit him as a secret informator (GI) as early as 1953 when he was still a student , but he rejected it. After graduating from high school in 1955, he began studying political economy at the Humboldt University in Berlin , which he broke off in 1957 in order to work as an assistant director at the Berliner Ensemble until 1959 . He then studied philosophy with Wolfgang Heise and mathematics at the Humboldt University until 1963 , but did not receive a diploma despite successfully defending his thesis in philosophy. He only received the certificate retrospectively on November 7, 2008, when the Humboldt University in Berlin awarded him an honorary doctorate. Biermann also completed his minor in mathematics with a state examination.

In 1960 Biermann met Hanns Eisler , who, according to his own statement, had a decisive influence on him. Biermann began to write poems and songs. In 1961 he founded the Berliner Arbeiter-Theater (bat) in East Berlin . His staging of the play Berliner Brautgang , which deals with the building of the Wall , was banned, and the theater had to be closed before the premiere in 1963. A temporary ban was imposed on Biermann , which lasted half a year. In addition, the SED refused to accept him as a member after his time as an SED candidate in 1963 without giving any reason. The MfS documents on Biermann found after the fall of the Wall shows that those responsible in the SED had the idea that Biermann must have been a regular user of stimulating drugs, and that against this background they refused to join the party.

Biermann made his first guest appearance in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1964. In April 1965 he appeared with his songs in a cabaret program by Wolfgang Neuss in Frankfurt am Main , which was recorded as an LP under the title Wolf Biermann (Ost) as a guest of Wolfgang Neuss ( West) appeared. In the same year Biermann published the volume of poetry Die Drahtharfe in West Berlin publishing house Klaus Wagenbach . In December, the 11th plenum of the SED Central Committee imposed a total ban on appearing and publishing in the GDR. He and other writers like Stefan Heym and Heiner Müller were accused of “ skepticism ” and “bourgeois, anarchist behavior”.

The Ministry for State Security (MfS) then developed a 20-point plan for "decomposing" his person. According to Biermann's memoir, cadres of the illegal KPD put pressure on his mother in Hamburg to distance herself from Biermann. But she refused.

Chausseestrasse 131 (2015)

After Biermann had for years refrained from making records in the Federal Republic of Germany in an effort not to make it impossible to publish his songs on the GDR record label Amiga , his first long-playing record was released on Chausseestrasse 131 in 1968 . Due to the impossibility of using a professional recording studio due to the ban on appearances and publications , the recordings on Chausseestrasse 131 in Biermann's apartment were made with the help of a Grundig tape recorder smuggled from the west and a Sennheiser microphone, which, thanks to its omnidirectional characteristics, also makes the noise caught by the passing tram. For this album he received the Fontane Prize in 1969 , a culture prize donated by the State of Berlin in 1948. When it was awarded, there was a scandal when Biermann publicly passed the award on to the extra-parliamentary opposition , as did Peter Schneider , who had received the sponsorship award . In addition, he transferred 10,000 DM of the prize money to the lawyer Horst Mahler , who provided legal assistance for those politically persecuted in the FRG.

While other texts and records were published in the Federal Republic of Germany, some of them were circulated in the GDR as samizdat goods, the reproduction of which resulted in sanctions that could range from expulsion from the university to several years in prison . In September 1976, after eleven years of being banned, Biermann managed a single and last concert before the fall of the Berlin Wall . His appearance in the Prenzlauer Nicolaikirche was made possible by a mistake by the State Security, which Biermann had mistaken for the weekly parish cantor with the same family name after the announcement of his concert in the parish's event plan and therefore failed to stop the concert.

Chausseestrasse 131 (1974)

Expatriation from the GDR

The expatriation of Biermann in 1976 was a decisive and formative experience for the artist and dissident scene in the GDR. The hope that emerged after Erich Honecker came to power in 1971 for social liberalization and attempts at freedom of expression were destroyed by repressive action against critics of Biermann's expatriation. Quite a few dissidents changed their attitude towards the GDR after Biermann's expatriation from “solidarity criticism” to radical distance.

Expatriation after the "Cologne Concert"

The GDR authorities, probably on personal instructions from Erich Honecker , approved Biermann's departure to the Federal Republic in 1976 in order to get rid of him by refusing to return. Biermann went on a concert tour at the invitation of IG Metall . The first concert, broadcast live by WDR radio in the "Radiothek" series, took place on November 13, 1976 in the Cologne sports hall . This concert - Biermann had criticized the GDR in places , but also defended it on other occasions, such as a discussion about June 17th - Honecker served as a pretext for expatriation "because of gross violation of civic duties". On November 16, he surprised the meeting of the SED Politburo with the agenda item “Wolf Biermann's expatriation”, which was approved without or after a brief discussion. The GDR news agency ADN disseminated the Politburo decision on the afternoon of November 16.

Consequences of expatriation

After the expatriation became known, the GDR writers Sarah Kirsch , Christa Wolf and her husband Gerhard Wolf , Volker Braun , Franz Fühmann , Stefan Heym, Günter Kunert , Heiner Müller, Rolf Schneider met in East Berlin on November 16, 1976 at Stephan Hermlin's , Jurek Becker and the sculptor Fritz Cremer . They drafted and signed a resolution in which they appealed to the GDR leadership to “reconsider” Biermann's expatriation. When the central organ of the SED, the New Germany , refused to print the letter on November 17, Heym handed it over to the British news agency Reuters and Hermlin to the French AFP , whereupon all the major western media published it. When a conflict over expatriation became apparent, WDR television broadcast a two-hour summary of the concert in its third television program on November 17, 1976 . It could not be received in the GDR. The resolution, which was still concealed in the GDR media, was followed by numerous writers, actors and visual artists in the GDR. Anna Seghers, on the other hand, announced in a single brief statement that, contrary to reports to the contrary, she had not signed the protest resolution even afterwards. - Also cultural workers in the West protested against Biermann's expatriation. During this time, Das Erste ( ARD ) broadcast the full length concert on November 19, 1976 from 10:05 p.m. It was only through this broadcast that many people in the GDR heard Biermann's songs for the first time.

Other prominent GDR artists supported Biermann's expatriation. So Konrad Wolf, Ruth Berghaus, Wolfgang Heinz and Paul Dessau. [25] Two weeks later, Peter Hacks criticized Biermann - assigning him to a counterrevolutionary or revisionist line - whose concern about the construction of socialism was not credible. He overestimated himself both as an artist and as a political subject: “The more he overdone, the more his art needed scandal, in addition to the poem and the guitar.” This was largely understood as unambiguous support for expatriation.

Wolf Biermann 1977 at a district festival in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel

The artists' protest resulted in harassment against the signatories unless they, like Fritz Cremer, withdrew their signature. As a result, more and more artists moved from the GDR to the Federal Republic. The actress Katharina Thalbach and the writer Thomas Brasch had already moved to West Berlin in 1976 . Gerulf Pannach and Christian Kunert from the band Renft , which was banned in the GDR, and the writer Jürgen Fuchs were arrested by the MfS in November 1976 and forced out of the country after nine months of imprisonment and under threat of long prison sentences. Even Manfred Krug signed the protest, after which he, despite his popularity in the GDR (1969, 1971 and 1973 award as " television darling of the GDR were denied"), additional roles and concerts. Films that had already been made (except Farewell to Peace 1979) were no longer shown. As a result, he moved to the Federal Republic in 1977 after applying to leave the country. Biermann's former partner, the well-known actress Eva-Maria Hagen and her daughter Nina Hagen also went to West Germany in 1977. Stefan Heym could only publish in the West and was later excluded from the GDR Writers' Association. He later described the consequences for himself and the co-signers using his MfS file. There were also numerous protests in the Federal Republic, even in the ranks of communists close to the SED. In Marburg, several dozen DKP members simultaneously signed a declaration of protest, which was also printed on the first cover of the Biermann LP of the Cologne concert Das geht sein 'socialist gang .

Life in the Federal Republic

Wolf Biermann on December 1, 1989 in Leipzig

In the west, Biermann wrote numerous new songs, took part in the peace movement , campaigned against the planning of the facilities for the storage of nuclear waste in Gorleben (song Gorleben shall live ... ), gave numerous concerts and released records and CDs. In his songs he repeatedly criticized the SED party dictatorship and the GDR and, according to his own admission, broke with his socialist convictions. Before that he had always advocated building true socialism or communism instead of Stalinism . On the recommendation of Günter Wallraff , Biermann chose the songwriter Diether Dehm as concert manager. Dehm and his partner were already unofficial employees (IM) of the MfS. From now on they provided information about Biermann's appearances, his financial situation and problems with the record company. Dehm delivered numerous reports to the MfS after Biermann was expatriated. His file at the MfS is 400 pages long. Dehm signed several receipts for sums of money of several hundred marks, sometimes with his real name and sometimes as IM "Willy". According to an affidavit from Biermann, Dehm confessed to him in a one-on-one conversation on May 29, 1988 that he had become his manager on behalf of the MfS.

In 1977 Biermann joined the Hamburg exile group of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), which had professed Eurocommunism . In the following year, Biermann's manager Dehm separated from the MfS. For a visit to the terminally ill Robert Havemann , Biermann received a one-off permit to enter the GDR in April 1982, subject to certain conditions.

In the summer of 1989 Biermann was awarded the Friedrich-Hölderlin-Prize of the city of Bad Homburg vor der Höhe . On October 24, 1989, he agreed to the civil rights activist Bärbel Bohley (she had invited him) to appear at the demonstration in Berlin's Alexanderplatz on November 4, but the GDR authorities refused him entry. It was not until December 1, 1989 that Biermann was allowed to return to the GDR for a concert in the Leipzig exhibition halls . The concert was broadcast live for the first time on both West German and GDR television .

After reunification

Wolf Biermann at the Leipzig Book Fair 2007

In 1992, Biermann received from the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service (Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records, BStU) access to the files of the operational process (OV) that the MfS had conducted against him. In it, said Biermann in his autobiography, published in autumn 2016, Don't wait for better times! , he found "the first time he scanned the roughly fifty thousand pages of around seventy different informers". “There were around fifteen permanent spies who spied on my life in all details, who looked after me intensively in the East, but later also in the West.” In the meantime, “the employees of the BStU [...] have found well over two hundred informers who occasionally contributed reports for my central operational process (ZOV «Lyriker»). ”“ Most of these IMs, of course, crossed my path by chance, but then conscientiously reported to their commanding officer. ” Biermann quoted at a concert in Vienna's Burgtheater from the transcripts of the tapes that the MfS had recorded in his apartment. Among other things, he read a passage that describes the noises during sexual intercourse with his then partner Eva-Maria Hagen. Biermann reported the position in an article in the Spiegel in 1992 . The translator Harry Rowohlt later quoted the passage inaccurately with the words: “Noises when sleeping. Then rest in the property. "

In reunified Germany , Biermann received several prizes and honors: in 1991 he was awarded the Mörike Prize of the city of Fellbach and in October the Georg Büchner Prize . In his acceptance speech in Darmstadt , he made known the work of the GDR poet Sascha Anderson for the MfS with a reference to “Sascha Arschloch” . In 1993 the city of Düsseldorf honored him with the Heinrich Heine Prize . On May 17, 1998 he received the German National Prize of the German National Foundation and in 2006 the Joachim Ringelnatz Prize for poetry. The Federal Cross of Merit Biermann received on the occasion of his 70th birthday in Berlin's Bellevue Palace by Federal President Horst Köhler .

In 1998 Biermann appeared at the CSU's closed conference in Wildbad Kreuth. The “relaxed, friendly atmosphere” pleased him, he said afterwards. In 2012 he praised the former Chancellor Helmut Kohl when he said that we are attaching the former GDR to the former FRG and are actually just making the old thing a little bigger, that was the only possible decision, "wonderful", "bolder, bolder than others". In 1989 Biermann still said that he “couldn't stand the word AGAIN. I mean reunion ”. He wished that “two Germans could be there who attempt a peaceful and democratic competition.” Friedrich Schorlemmer therefore called him a turning neck . Kohl was smarter "than we all together back then" (2012). Kohl's second “great feat” was to have recognized “this political genius Angela Merkel” as such. "From my point of view, this cabbage is boring in the best sense of the word."

Biermann advocated the intervention of NATO in the Kosovo war in 1999 and the Iraq war of the USA and its allies in 2003. In autumn 2006 he said that the Iraq war could have been avoided in 2003 if Germany and France joined the coalition of the willing in advance of the Involved in the attack, since in that case Saddam Hussein would have resigned.

Biermann (2017)

In 2013 he announced that he would elect the CDU and recommended Merkel as Chancellor, although the SPD had always been closer to his heart. But as a representative of the SPD tradition, there is unfortunately only the Hamburg Olaf Scholz .

In 2006 Biermann declared that he was increasingly seeing Israel, which was "foreign to him ", as his "fatherland". He accuses a majority of Germans and Europeans of a lack of understanding for the Middle East conflict and a lack of empathy for the political dilemmas of the Jewish state: "What disgusts me is the loud-mouthed know-it-all in Europe". As reasons, he names anti-Semitism against the Jewish and “racial conceit” against the Arab side: The Jews were “to blame for everything, even in the opinion of the educated elite pack”, whereas “the Arabs are considered to be underage third-class people”, “to the one should not yet apply enlightening-humane standards ”.

In 2006 Biermann separated from the publishing house Kiepenheuer & Witsch after more than thirty years of cooperation and went to Hoffmann and Campe . He was annoyed about the contents of the book Lichtjahre - A Brief History of German Literature from 1945 to the Present by Volker Weidermann , which was published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch. The three-page passage about him closed with the remark that after his work Großer Gesang by Jizchak Katzenelson it was "very, very quiet about Wolf Biermann".

In an interview about a performance with the jazz band Zentralquartett, asked for a comment on the current NSA affair , Biermann replied that he “didn't care at all”. He considers this criticism "a hysterical propaganda idiocy", there is a difference, "whether a totalitarian state spies on the people or whether a democracy wants to find out about the dispute in the world".

On November 7, 2014, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert , invited Biermann to a memorial session in the Bundestag to sing the song Encouragement . Contrary to the purpose of the invitation and in violation of the rules of procedure of the Bundestag, he polemicized against the SED successor party Die Linke (“dragon brood”, “ reactionary ”), celebrating himself as a “ dragon slayer ”. On November 8, 2014, Biermann gave a concert in the Berliner Ensemble with the Zentralquartett to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall . A gala concert was also held there in 2016 on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Biermann's guitars

From October 1967 Biermann took guitar lessons from Willi Schlinske and learned the basics of classical guitar playing.

Biermann has always played guitars made in the Saxon town of Markneukirchen , which is known for making musical instruments , for example Adolf Meinel guitars (Adolf Richard Meinel, 1910–2009). In the story Meine Geigen-Guitar from his book Barbara he describes his request for repair of a guitar from Meinel in 1965.

Biermann also plays instruments made by the guitar makers Richard Jacob "Weißgerber" and Curt Claus Voigt.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Biermann received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Koblenz International Guitar Academy gGmbH in June 2019 , which awards this award for special services to the guitar.

Private life

From 1965 to 1972 Biermann was Eva-Maria Hagen's partner , Nina Hagen's mother . For a time he was the foster father of Nina Hagen's daughter Cosma Shiva Hagen . In Brigitte Soubeyran Biermann has a biological and an adopted son, whose father is the pantomime Jean Soubeyran . He has two children with Sibylle Havemann, Robert Havemann's daughter . In 1975 he married the doctor Christine Barg. The marriage had three children. Son Til Biermann is a reporter for the newspapers BZ and Bild . In 1989 he married Pamela Rüsche, with whom he also performed together. This marriage also had three children. Biermann lives and works in Hamburg-Ottensen .

According to his own statements, he has been keeping a diary since he was 17. By 2016, his records had grown to “well over 200 volumes”.


According to Stefan Wolle , Biermann was a "scandal par excellence" for the GDR . Although he was officially suppressed, many lines of his poems went into everyday language as winged words, for example the expression of "socialist gait". His song encouragement has become “almost a folk song ” or even the “secret national anthem of the GDR”.

According to a study by Joachim Wittkowski in 1989, Biermann was treated more often as a political person than as a poet in the Federal Republic of Germany. With regard to the aesthetic quality of his works, there were predominantly positive reviews, such as with Marcel Reich-Ranicki , who valued his "verse art, his robust rhetoric, his tremendous language power", to some negative ones like Christian Schultz-Gerstein's "Where there is sense If it arrives, Biermann only produces political poetry to clap along ”.

Biermann's critical remarks, which were directed against very different political and social groups, repeatedly sparked public debates and disputes. He is generally considered to be “a personality who provokes”. Friedrich Schorlemmer called him a " turning neck " because of his political change after the fall of the Wall . For Jörg Lau Biermann, with “his political and ideological leaps from communist to anti-communist ”, is an “example of obstinacy and permanent self-revision”, which society finds difficult. Marcel Reich-Ranicki judged: "It is not his business to create harmony."

Honorary citizen of Berlin

Following a proposal from the CDU , FDP and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen parliamentary groups in the Berlin House of Representatives , Biermann was granted honorary citizenship of the city of Berlin in 2007 . Like no other, he sang about the city, fought the SED injustice and the division of Berlin. As early as 2003, the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records, Marianne Birthler , suggested that Biermann be made an honorary citizen in a letter to the governing mayor, Klaus Wowereit .

The SPD joined in only reluctantly after Biermann had described its coalition with the Linkspartei.PDS as an alliance of “bankrupt social-democratic apparatchiks ” with “MfS cadres”. The PDS abstained from voting, even though there had been individual PDS MPs who would have honored Biermann for his “courageous stand against the SED”. The Berlin House of Representatives finally accepted the cross-party motion on February 1, 2007. The Berlin Senate approved the award on February 6, 2007. In a reaction, Biermann described the debate about his appointment as an honorary citizen as a “provincial farce” and later commented on the Berlin Senate that it was “criminal for the SPD to go to bed with the PDS”. On March 26, 2007 Wolf Biermann was made the 115th honorary citizen of Berlin.




  • Wolf Biermann visits Wolfgang Neuss. 1965.
  • 4 new songs. 1968. ( EP published by Verlag Klaus Wagenbach , in it: encouragement )
  • Chausseestrasse 131. 1968.
  • The beer man is coming. 1970. (Dutch blackmailing of tape recordings from the mid-sixties)
  • Wolf Biermann, CHILE - Ballad from the Cameraman / Comandante Che Guevara 1973 (CBS Single 1903)
  • Don't wait for better times. 1973. (With Mario Peters , Konrad Körner , Günter Sommer and Hans Schätzke )
  • aah - yes! 1974.
  • Love songs. 1975.
  • There is life before death. 1976.
  • The peace clown. 1977.
  • That goes his' socialist course. 1977. (Double CD with live concert on November 13, 1976)
  • In spite of all! 1978.
  • Half of life. 1979.
  • One in the face, my sweetheart. 1980. (Live double CD)
  • We must be mad with hope. 1982.
  • In the Hamburg feather bed. 1983.
  • The world is beautiful ... 1985.
  • Soul money. 1986. (double CD)
  • VEBiermann. 1988.
  • Good cherry eating. GDR - ça ira! 1989.
  • Only those who change. 1991.
  • Sweet life - sour life. 1996.
  • Break, your descendants. 1999. (Live double CD)
  • Paradise on earth - a Berlin picture sheet. 1999.
  • Encouragement in the quarry of time. 2001. (Recording of the concert on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of expatriation in the Berliner Ensemble on November 16, 2001)
  • Great song from the exterminated Jewish people, reading by Yitzak Katzenelson. 2004. (Live double CD)
  • That is the finest art of love - Shakespeare sonnets. 2005.
  • Hänschen-klein went alone… 2005. (Special CD / live recording of a concert on December 5, 2004, in the Association Knowledge through Remembrance eV (independent sponsor of the Bautzner Strasse Dresden Memorial ) or the Saxon Memorials Foundation ; not available in the stores)
  • Heimat - New Poems. 2006. (reading)
  • Return to Berlin Mitte. 2007.
  • this is the country we live in ... 2011. Wolf Biermann songs with the Chamber Choir of Europe .
  • Oh, the first love ... With Pamela Biermann. 2013. (= Wolf Biermann Edition, Vol 28.)
  • Don't wait for better times! The autobiography. Audio book read by Burghart Klaußner , 10 CDs, MDR / audio book Hamburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-95713-063-1 .
  • … Do a couple of square laps! With Pamela Biermann and the ZentralQuartett. 2016. (= Wolf Biermann Edition, Vol 29.)


  • Berlin bridal course. A bit around the twelfth of August . bat - Berlin workers and student theater , Berlin 1961 ( original print ).
  • Love poems. 1962.
  • Sun horses and astronauts. 1964.
  • Messages from the lovers. 1964.
  • The wire harp. 1965.
  • My tenement bride. 1965.
  • Berlin. 1965.
  • With the tongues of Marx and Engels. Poems, ballads, songs. 1968, (therein: encouragement ).
  • The Dra-Dra. The Great Dragon Slayer Show in eight acts with music. with notes and illustrations. Quarthefte, Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, Berlin 1970.
  • Germany. A winter fairy tale . 1972.
  • For my comrades. Incendiary songs, poems, ballads. 1972.
  • The fairy tale of little Mr. Moritz who went bald. 1972.
  • Estate I. 1977.
  • Prussian Icarus. 1978.
  • The fairy tale of the girl with the wooden leg. A picture book by Natascha Ungeheuer. 1979.
  • Twisted world - I like to see that. Songs, ballads, poems, prose. 1982.
  • Monkey rock and barricade. 1986.
  • Plain texts in the fray. 13 years in the west. 1990.
  • About money and other things close to the heart - prose experiments about Germany. 1991.
  • All songs. 1991.
  • The fall of the Daedalus or Eizes for the natives of the Fiji Islands over the IM Judas Ischariot and the mess in Germany after the Gulf War. 1992.
  • All poems. 1995.
  • How to make verses and songs. A poetics in eight courses. March 1997.
  • Paradise on earth. A Berlin picture sheet. 1999.
  • The expatriation. Beginning of the end of the GDR. By Wolf Biermann and Fritz F. Pleitgen , Ullstein, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89834-044-9 .
  • About Germany among Germans. 2002.
  • The poems and songs 1960 to 2001. 2003.
  • Eleven Outlined Epitaphs. Eleven designs for my burial motto. By Bob Dylan and Wolf Biermann, 2003.
  • That is the finest art of love. 40 Shakespeare sonnets. by Wolf Biermann and William Shakespeare , 2004.
  • Homeland. New poems. 2006.
  • Flying with strange feathers. Re-seals and adaptations. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-455-40344-2 .
  • Don't wait for better times! The autobiography. Propylaen Verlag, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-549-07473-2 .
  • In the amber of the ballads. Songs and poems. Propylaen Verlag, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-549-07479-4 .
  • Barbara. Love novels and other predator stories . Ullstein Buchverlage, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-550-20025-0

Translations of his works

  • The Wire Harp - ballads, poems, songs . Translated by Eric Bentley, with sheet music. Helen and Kurt Wolff Book, Harcourt, Brace & World, New York 1967.
  • Wolf Biermann, A Political Songwriter Between East and West . Goethe-Institut, USA 1992.
  • Wolf Biermann: Poems and Ballads . Pluto Press, London 1977, ISBN 0-904383-60-1 .
  • Om penge og other hjertesager Verlag Spektrum, 1991, Denmark, ISBN 978-87-7763-033-0 .
  • Vent ikke on bedre tider. Digte - ballader - sange . Gyldendal, Denmark 1970, ISBN 87-00-30121-3
  • Wolf Biermann / Trille: That's the way it should be - that's the way it will be / Så er det says, at verden blir rød (Røde muldhvarp RM-Y 701), 1969, Denmark.
  • La Harpe des Barbels 1972, Collection 10 18 n ° 706, France.
  • Ainsi soit-il et ca ira , Christian Bourgois, Editeur 1978, France, ISBN 2-267-00136-5 .
  • Seul celui qui change reste fidèle à lui - meme. Huit discours sur l'Allemagne , Syllepse 2003, France, ISBN 2-84797-027-4 .
  • Moi aussi, j'ai été à la Stasi . èdt. de l'Aube, France 1990.
  • Heinrich Heine & Wolf Biermann Tyskland: en vintersaga . Författarförlaget, 1982
  • Taggtrådsharpan. ballader och dicter; med notes . PAN, Norstedt 1971.
  • Uppmuntran Lena Granhagen sings Theodorakis & Biermann, Sweden 1972.
  • Il coniglio divora il serpente - Sul guazzabuglio della Germania riunificata . [The rabbit eats the snake - On the chaos of reunified Germany], Edizioni Theoria, Rome / Naples 1992, ISBN 88-241-0299-9 .
  • Canzone privata, canzone politica - Musica, poesia e rivolta , [Private song, politically 'song - music, poetry and revolt], Donzelli Editore, Rome 1996, ISBN 88-7989-287-8 .
  • Otto lezioni - per un'estetica della canzone e della poesia [Eight lectures - on the aesthetics of song and poem] - il canneto editore, Genova 2010, Italy, ISBN 978-88-96430-05-7
  • Uorufu Bīaman Shishû , (Wolf Biermann collection of poems) Shobunsha, Japan 1972.
  • Bīaman wa utau , (Biermann sings) Published by Shobunsha 1986, Japan
  • Doitsu: hitotsu no fuyu monogatari (Germany a winter fairy tale), edition by Nomura, Osamu 1974.
  • Horobosareta Yudaya no tami no uta. ( Jizchak Katzenelson : “Great song of the exterminated Jewish people”) with an essay by Wolf Biermann, Misuzu Shobō, Tokyo 1999.
  • Berurin reminisensu (memories of Berlin), Publisher: Shichosha, 1992, Japan. Collection of poems by German authors including Gottfried Benn, Günter Grass, Wolf Biermann.
  • Wolf Biermann. Shirim (poems) Goethe-Institut, Israel 1991.

See also


Television documentaries

  • In concert - Wolf Biermann in Leipzig , the concert from the Leipzig Exhibition Center on December 1, 1989
  • Three-hour extra edition in the SWR series Peter Voss asks ... , broadcast on ARD , October 12, 2009 from 10:25 p.m. to.
  • Heinrich Billstein: The Biermann case - With the guitar against the state power . Das Erste, 01:34 min, November 7, 2016
  • Anne Kauth, for ZDFinfo: Wolf Biermann, songwriter, scandal. ZDF, 2017, 45 min. Episode eight of the documentary series "Scandal!". The historian Hubertus Knabe comments on the documentation, which opens up a different perspective on Biermann's life through the new interviews with him, with companions and contemporary witnesses.

Web links

Commons : Wolf Biermann  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ W. Biermann: Elbwasser , Hamburger Abendblatt August 28, 1999 ; My celebrated friend , Hamburger Abendblatt March 20, 2003
  2. ^ Biermanns Lied , DIE ZEIT, August 3, 1973
  3. Stefan Grund: What connects Wolf Biermann with Klaus-Michael Kühne. In: Abendblatt.de . November 14, 2013, accessed January 20, 2015 .
  4. a b Biermann, ?? the biography. In: jugendopposition.de. November 15, 1936, accessed January 20, 2015 .
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  15. Wolf Biermann: VEBiermann . Booklet for CD re-release in 1998.
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  17. A question for Wolf Biermann . ( Memento of the original from October 22, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Interview about the transfer of the prize money to Horst Mahler. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.xs4all.nl
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  23. ^ ADN: Press release ( Memento of January 11, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), November 16, 1976.
  24. Rolf-Bernhard Essig et al. (Ed.): “Whoever remains silent becomes guilty!” Open letters from Martin Luther to Ulrike Meinhof. Wallstein, 2007, ISBN 9783835302174 , pp. 219-225.
  25. Märkische Volksstimme , November 22, 1976, p. 3.
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  27. ^ Irmgard Zündorf: Manfred Krug. Tabular curriculum vitae in the LeMO ( DHM and HdG ).
  28. Stefan Heym : The winter of our displeasure. From the records of the OV Diversant . Munich 1996, ISBN 3-442-72366-3 .
  29. 6 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.: Wolf Biermann: That is the finest art of love. In: Zeit Online. October 6, 2004, accessed November 9, 2016 .
  30. Hubertus Knabe : The Diether Dehm case in Civis with probe quarterly for an open and solidarity society 53 (2007), vol. 3–4, pp. 12–17. Online as a pdf on the Konrad Adenauer grading homepage [1] .
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  32. Loyal and ready to go . In: Der Spiegel . No. 18 , 1996 ( online ).
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  34. PA_FOC: Periscope: SPITZEL-PECH. In: Focus Online . August 5, 1996. Retrieved October 14, 2018 .
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  37. Wolf Biermann: Don't wait for better times! The autobiography. Propylaen Verlag, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-549-07473-2 , PT206 and PT479 books.google . In an interview with Wolfgang Paterno ( profil.at October 14, 2016 ) Biermann said about the size of his MfS files and the number of informers: “As public enemy No. 1, reports about me naturally appear in countless files of other people. Strictly speaking, however, there are probably 30,000 pages that have accumulated in my “ZOV Lyriker”. [...] 213 informers looking after me were counted - but that is a misleading number, because there were also many who only met me once or twice. There were a good dozen of those who looked after me intensely and constantly. "
  38. Deeper than under the skin - DER SPIEGEL 5/1992. Retrieved June 13, 2020 .
  39. In the face. In: The time. Retrieved June 13, 2020 .
  40. ^ Holger Kulick: Biermann versus Anderson . Contribution to the ZDF series Kennzeichen D from October 23, 1991 in the media library of the Federal Agency for Civic Education , requested on August 5, 2020.
  41. Friendship with the class enemy. The songwriter Wolf Biermann about his guest appearance at the CSU retreat in Wildbad Kreuth, in: Der Spiegel, January 12, 1998, see also: [3] .
  42. Friedrich Schorlemmer : Wolf Biermann is a turning neck , on Friday , November 13, 2014, see also: [4] .
  43. Wolf Biermann in conversation with Stefan Koldehoff: The songwriter about the former chancellor and reunification , in: Deutschlandfunk, September 26, 2012, see also: [5] .
  44. Wolf Biermann: The Kosovo War and the Intellectuals . Interview on Deutschlandfunk, April 15, 1999.
  45. ^ A b  Wolf Biermann: Middle East: Germany betrays Israel. In: zeit.de . October 26, 2006, accessed October 9, 2016 .
  46. “My Chancellor”: Biermann wants to vote for Merkel CDU for “plietsche”, in: Die Welt, September 4, 2013, see also: [6] .
  47. Biermann leaves Kiepenheuer & Witsch Die Welt April 2, 2006.
  48. Michael Ernst: Wolf Biermann and the Gang of Four from the Central Quartet - a songwriter in the middle of jazz . new music newspaper , November 4, 2014.
  49. The lyrics to Biermann's "encouragement". In: Spiegel Online . November 7, 2014, accessed November 10, 2014 .
  50. Scandal in the Bundestag - Biermann calls Linke "dragon brood". In: Spiegel Online . November 7, 2014, accessed November 10, 2014 .
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  53. Eva-Maria Hagen : Eva and the wolf. Econ, Düsseldorf 1998, ISBN 3-430-13757-8 , p. 138
  54. ^ Rainer Stelle: Interview with Eva-Maria Hagen from May 27, 2015
  55. Prize for the life's work of the Koblenz International Guitar Academy 2019 for Wolf Biermann - Koblenz International Guitar Festival & Academy. Retrieved April 24, 2020 .
  56. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/ausstellungen-nina-hagen-ddr-girlie-punk-ikone-und-sinnsucherin-dpa.urn-newsml-dpa-com-20090101-191003-99-142915
  57. https://www.welt.de/print/wams/article131755794/Cosma-Shiva-Hagen.html
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  59. Stefan wool : Lancelot and the dragon. Scandal and public in the closed society of the GDR using the example of the expatriation of the songwriter Wolf Biermann. In: Martin Sabrow (ed.): Scandal and dictatorship. Forms of public outrage in the Nazi state and in the GDR . Wallstein, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-89244-791-8 , p. 212.
  60. ^ Joachim Wittkowski: Poetry in the press. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1991, ISBN 3-88479-553-8 , pp. 46–111, citations pp. 87, 91 ( limited preview in Google book search).
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  63. a b Jörg Lau : Inverted world . In: Die Zeit , January 18, 2007.
  64. Marcel Reich-Ranicki, quoted in Rosellini, p. 153, 5th Zvu
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  66. Honorary citizenship: Birthler sounded out years ago in the matter of Biermann. In: Spiegel Online . January 16, 2007, accessed January 20, 2015 .
  67. ^ Honorary citizenship: Berlin SPD for Biermann appreciation. In: Spiegel Online . January 16, 2007, accessed January 20, 2015 .
  68. Ulrich Zawatka-Gerlach: Songwriter as honorary citizen: Biermann splits red-red. In: tagesspiegel.de . January 17, 2007, accessed November 28, 2017 .
  69. -: Senate approves honorary citizen number 115. In: tagesspiegel.de . February 7, 2007. Retrieved November 28, 2017 .
  70. Joachim Fahrun, Stefan Schulz: "Red-Red is a crime" - SPD appalled. In: mobile.morgenpost.de. March 25, 2007, accessed January 20, 2015 .
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  72. Wolf Biermann: Wolfgang Heise - my GDR Voltaire . (PDF; 158 kB) Lecture on the occasion of the award of the honorary doctorate, public lectures , issue 155/2009, ISBN 978-3-86004-223-6 .
  73. Invitation to award the Point Alpha Prize to Wolf Biermann [7] .
  74. ^ Prize for the life's work of the Koblenz International Guitar Academy 2019 for Wolf Biermann [8] on koblenzguitarfestival.de.
  75. Film documentation of the MDR in the series MDR Zeitreise ›DDR on November 2, 2016 - link to the video .