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Elsbeth Johanna Irma Baltuttis (Lithuanian Baltutis, September 28, 1920 – May 20, 1958) was a German singer and entertainer based in Leipzig, Germany. After some training in music during the Third Reich, her singing career took place entirely within the German Democratic Republic after the Soviet occupation of the East Zone. She died as a result of a fall from her apartment window in Leipzig. The fall was officially attributed to suicide, but doubts as to the veracity of this remained.
Irma was born in the Leutzsch district of Leipzig to Ernst Baltuttis and Elsa Hamann. Her voice talent was recognized early on by her parents, who encouraged her and saw to it that she took training in music.
In the early 1950s, she married a medical doctor named Max Herricht. The couple had no children. The marriage was not particularly happy: Herricht had a jealous streak, and apparently not without reason, as Irma tended to be a bit of a flirt, and there were tales told of romantic relationships with some of the musicians she worked with.
Kurt Henkels Radio Orchestra
Due to the sad state of the history of East German pop music, it is difficult or impossible to compile an accurate or even adequate discography for Irma Baltuttis. Recordings of her music are even harder to come by than a list of her recordings. The following is only a tiny list—she was quite popular during her career as a "Schlager-Diva" (hit diva). Most or all of the following were originally released on the Amiga label, accompanied by the Kurt Henkels Dance Orchestra.
- Ich Hab' Mich so an Dich Gewoehnt (I've become so accustomed to you)
— her first hit, recorded in 1947 in Leipzig
- Die Sonne Geht Schlafen (The Sun is Going Asleep)
— written by Gerhard Froboess & Leo Breiten; recorded in July 1948 in Berlin
- Komm Mit Nach Saratow (Come With Me to Saratov)
— written by Fradkin (trans. from the Russian by Helmut Kießling); recorded in August/September 1951 in Berlin
- Ganz Paris Träumt von der Liebe (All Paris Dreams of Love — original English title: I Love Paris)
— written by Cole Porter (German lyrics by Kurt Feltz); recorded on 28 March 1955 in Leipzig.
- Die kleine Fischerhütte in Lugano (The Little Fishing Hut in Logano)
written by Brandner & Breé; duet with Peter Cornehlsen; appears as track 10 in volume 1 of the collection Kurt Henkels und sein Orchester, in the series Die Grossen Deutschen Tanzorchester (The Great German Dance Orchestras)
Questions about her death
It was rumored that her jealous husband pushed her out of the window she supposedly jumped out of to her death. This rumor was fueled by the peculiar post-mortem circumstances: no autopsy was performed, nor a coroner's inquest held, and her husband was remarkably taciturn about her death. Herricht was an important Communist Party member, and in a position to quash any official attention to Irma's death.