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Anna German
Анна Герман
German in her student years, 1959
Born(1936-02-14)14 February 1936
Died26 August 1982(1982-08-26) (aged 46)
OccupationSinger
Years active1960–1982
AwardsPOL Polonia Restituta Kawalerski BAR.svg POL Złoty Krzyż Zasługi BAR.svg
Signature

Anna Wiktoria German-Tucholska[1] (14 February 1936 – 26[2] August 1982) was a Polish singer, immensely popular in Poland and in the Soviet Union in the 1960s–1970s. She released over a dozen music albums with songs in Polish, as well as several albums with Russian repertoire. Throughout her music career, she also recorded songs in the German, Italian, Spanish, English, and Latin languages.

Biography

Anna German was a Polish and Russian-language singer. She was born in the city of Urgench in Uzbekistan in Central Asia, then the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union. Her mother, Irma Martens, was a descendant of Plautdietsch-speaking Mennonites invited to Russia by Empress Catherine the Great. Her accountant father, Eugen (Eugeniusz) Hörmann (in Russian, Герман), was also of a German–Russian pastor family and born during travel in Łódź in Congress Poland (the Russian Empire), now in Poland. Eugen Hörmann's father, Anna's grandfather, Friedrich Hörmann, who had studied theology at Łódź, was in 1929 incarcerated in Gulag Plesetsk by communists for being a priest; he died there. In 1937, during the NKVD's anti-German operation, Eugen Hörmann was arrested in Urgench on false charges of spying, and executed (officially, sentenced to ten years in prison). Thereafter, Anna and her mother and grandmother survived in the Kemerovo Region of Siberia, as well as in Tashkent, and later in the Kirghiz and Kazakh SSRs.

Anna German plaque in Wrocław (Trzebnicka Street)
Anna German plaque in Wrocław (Trzebnicka Street)

In 1946, her mother (who had married Herman Gerner, a Polish People's Army soldier) was able to take the family to Silesia, first to Nowa Ruda and in 1949 to Wrocław.

German quickly learned Polish and several other languages and grew up hiding her family heritage. She graduated from the Geological Institute of the University of Wrocław. During her university years, she began her music career at the Kalambur Theater. German became known to the general public when she won the 1964 II Festival of Polish Songs in Opole with her song Tańczące Eurydyki ('Dancing Eurydices'). One year later, she won the first prize in the Sopot International Song Festival.

German performed in the Marché international de l'édition musicale in Cannes, as well as on the stages of Belgium, Germany, United States, Canada and Australia.

She also sang in Russian, English, Italian, Spanish, Latin, German and Mongolian.[3] In 2001, six of her Polish albums were reissued on CDs. In recent years, many compilation albums of her songs have also been released in both Russia and Poland.

Career in Italy

In December 1966 in Milan, German signed a contract with the CDI company to release her records, thus becoming the first performer from behind the "Iron Curtain" who recorded in Italy. In Italy, German had performed at the Sanremo Music Festival, starred in a television show, recorded a programme with the singer Domenico Modugno, performed at the festival of Neapolitan songs in Sorrento and received the "Oscar della simpatia" award.

Car accident and treatment

On 27 August 1967, while in Italy, on the road between Forlì and Milan, Anna German was involved in a severe car accident. At high speed, the car driven by the impresario of the singer crashed into a concrete fence. Anna was thrown from the car through the windshield. She suffered multiple fractures, internal injuries. The results of the investigation revealed that the driver of the car – her manager Renato Serio – fell asleep at the wheel. He escaped with a fracture of the hand and feet.

After the accident, German had not regained consciousness. After the plaster was taken off, the singer still lay in a hospital bed for half a year. Then it took her a few months to relearn to sit and walk.

Later, she released the autobiographical book "Come Back to Sorrento?"("Wróć do Sorrento?"), dedicated to the Italian period of her career. The book's circulation was 30,000 copies.

Career in the Soviet Union

In the 1970s, German toured, performed and recorded in the Soviet Union. She had become an acclaimed and popular artist there.

Personal life

On 23 March 1972, she married Zbigniew Tucholski. Their son, Zbigniew, was born on 27 November 1975. In the last years of her life, she composed some church songs. Before she died of osteosarcoma at 46 in 1982, she joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church.[4] German was buried at Warsaw Evangelical cemetery.

Anna loved to cook oriental dishes. Her favorite foods were boiled potatoes with herring, pickles, pies with cabbage, black tea with lemon, and oatmeal cookies. She did not consume alcohol.

Remembrance

Anna German's star on the Walk of Fame in Opole
Anna German's star on the Walk of Fame in Opole

Books about Anna German

Literary works

Discography

Albums

Anna German grave in Protestant Reformed Cemetery in Warsaw
Anna German grave in Protestant Reformed Cemetery in Warsaw

Singles

Later reprints and compilation albums

Filmography

See also

References

Media related to Anna German at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by1976 title=Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1979 Succeeded byto the 1994 contest