Anna German

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Anna German
Anna German-legitymacja studencka (cropped).jpg
Anna German in her student years, 1959
Native name
Анна Евгеньевна Герман
Born
Anna Yevgenyevna German

(1936-02-14)14 February 1936
Died25 August 1982(1982-08-25) (aged 46)
OccupationSinger
Years active1960–1982
AwardsPOL Polonia Restituta Kawalerski BAR.svg POL Złoty Krzyż Zasługi BAR.svg

Anna Wiktoria German-Tucholska[1] (14 February 1936 – 25 August 1982) was a Soviet-born 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 recorded songs in seven languages: Polish, Russian, German, Italian, Spanish, English and Latin.

Biography[edit]

Anna German was a Polish and Russian-language singer of a German-Dutch family. She was born in Urgench, a city with a population of 22,000 in northwestern Uzbekistan in Central Asia, then Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union. Her mother, Irma Martens, was the descendant of Plautdietsch-speaking Mennonites invited to Russia by Catherine II. Her accountant father, Eugen (Eugeniusz) Hörmann (in Russian, Герман), was also of a Russian-German pastor family and born during travel in Łódź (Czarist Russian Empire) now Poland. Eugen Hörmann's father, Anna's grandfather, Friedrich Hörmann, who had studied theology at Lodz, was in 1929 incarcerated in Gulag Plesetsk by Communists for being a priest, where he died. 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 Kyrgyz and Kazakh SSRs.

Anna German plaque in Wrocław

In 1946, her mother (who had married Herman Gerner, a Ludowe Wojsko Polskie soldier) was able to take the family to Silesia, first Nowa Ruda and then Wrocław in 1949.

Anna quickly learned Polish and several other languages and grew up hiding her family heritage. She graduated from the Geological Institute of Wroclaw University. During her university years, she began her music career at the Kalambur theater. Anna finally became successful when she won the 1964 II Festival of Polish Songs in Opole with her song "Tańczące Eurydyki". One year later, she won first prize in the international song contest in Sopot.

Anna 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.[2] 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[edit]

In December 1966, German in Milan signed a contract with a small firm CDI to release the records, thus becoming the first performer from behind the "iron curtain", which was recorded in Italy. In Italy, Anna German has performed at the festival in San Remo, starred in a television show, a recorded programme with the singer Domenico Modugno, performed at the festival of Neapolitan songs in Sorrento and received the award "Oscar della sympatia".

Car accident and treatment[edit]

On 27 August 1967, while in Italy, on the road between Forli 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 in the 1960s, she released the autobiographical book "Come Back to Sorrento?"("Wróć do Sorrento?"), dedicated to the Italian period of her career. The book circulation — 30,000 copies.

Personal life[edit]

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. She died of osteosarcoma in 1982, and 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[edit]

Anna German's star on the Walk of Fame in Opole
  • The main street in Urgench, Uzbekistan, the birthplace of Anna German, bears her name.
  • The asteroid 2519 Annagerman discovered in 1975 by Russian astronomer Tamara Smirnova was named in honour of Anna German.
  • The amphitheatre in Zielona Góra, Poland, has been named in Anna German's memory.
  • In 2002, the Tańczące Eurydyki Song Festival aimed at popularizing the musical legacy of Anna German and Polish popular music was launched.
  • The Anna German Musical High School in Białystok bears the name of the singer.
  • In 2012, a commemorative plaque was unveiled in Wrocław at the entrance to the house where Anna German used to live.
  • In 2012, a Russian biographical mini-series (co-produced with Poland, Ukraine and Croatia) about the life of Anna German was filmed.
  • A star on the Moscow Walk of Fame honouring Anna German was unveiled.
  • Several streets in Polish cities including Warsaw and Rzeszów were named in remembrance of the singer.
  • In 2013, a star on the Walk of Fame of the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole devoted to Anna German was unveiled.

Books about Anna German[edit]

  • 1974 Nagrabiecki Jan: Anna German. 1974
  • Aleksander Zygariov: Anna German. 1988
  • Aleksander Zygariov: Anna German. 1998 (reissue)
  • Mariola Pryzwan: Wspomnienia o Annie German. 1999
  • Adriana Polak: Człowieczy los. Wspomnienia o Annie German. 2000
  • Artur Hörmann: Die unbekannte Anna German. 2003 (The book was written by the uncle of Anna and brother her father Eugene Herman)
  • Mariola Pryzwan: Tańcząca Eurydyka. Wspomnienia o Annie German. 2008
  • Ivan Ilichev: Анна Герман – Гори, гори, моя звезда!. 2010
  • Jordan Naoum: Anna German 2011 ISBN 6138327977
  • Mariola Pryzwan: Anna German o sobie. 2012
  • Ivan Ilichev: Мы долгое эхо (We long echo). 2012
  • Mariola Pryzwan: Tańcząca Eurydyka. Anna German we wspomnieniach. 2013
  • Marzena Baranowska: German. Osobisty album Anny German. 2013
  • Ivan Ilichev: Анна Герман. Белый ангел песни (White angel of the song). 2013
  • German. Śpiewający anioł. Super album. 2013
  • Ivan Ilichev: Эхо любви (Echoes of love). 2013
  • Volga Yerafeyenka: Anna German. „Uśmiechaj się”. 2014
  • Irma Martens-Berner: Człowieczy los. Wspomnienia matki Anny German. 2014, ISBN 978-83-7295-299-8 (Consultants books: son A. German, Dr. Zbigniew I. Tucholsky and her husband, engineer Zbigniew A. Tucholsky)
  • Ivan Ilichev: Анна Герман. Сто воспоминаний о великой певице (Anna German. A hundred memories of great singer). 2016

Literary works[edit]

  • 1970 „Wróć do Sorrento?...” (Come Back to Sorrento?...)
  • Bajka o skrzydlatym szpaku (The tale of the winged Starling) The book is written by Anna to her son
  • 1988 «Вернись в Сорренто?...»[1] translated from Polish into Russian by R. Bello
  • 2002 „Wróć do Sorrento?...” reissue
  • 2012 „Wróć do Sorrento?...” reissue

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Anna German grave in the Cemetery of the Evangelical Reformed Church in Warsaw
  • Na tamten brzeg (1964) [Onto that shore]
  • Tańczące Eurydyki (1965) [Dancing Eurydices]
  • Recital piosenek (1967) [A recital of songs]
  • I classici della musica napoletana (1967) [Classics of the Canzone Napoletana]
  • Człowieczy los (1970) [Fate of Man]
  • Domenico Scarlatti - Arie z opery Tetide in Sciro (1971) [Domenico Scarlatti - Arias from opera Tetide in Sciro]
  • Wiatr mieszka w dzikich topolach(1972) [Wind lives in wild poplars]
  • To chyba maj (1974) [It has to be May]
  • Anna German(1977)
  • Anna German(1979)
  • Pomyśl o mnie (1979) [Think about me]
  • Tylko w tangu/Dookoła kipi lato (1979) [Only in tango/Summer is all around]
  • Śpiewa Anna German (1979) [Anna German is singing]
  • Надежда (Nadezhda, 1980) [Hope]
  • Последняя встреча (Poslednyaya vstrecha, 1982) [Last meeting]

Singles[edit]

  • "The Man I Love" (1964)
  • "Deszcz na szybie" / "Uroczysko" (1967)
  • "Chcę być kochaną" / "Cygański wóz" (1967)
  • "Cyganeria" / "Zimowe dzwony" (1967)
  • "Melodia dla synka" / "Jesteś moją miłością" (1969)
  • "Człowieczy los" / "Dziękuje ci mamo" (1970)
  • "Gałązka snów" / "Trampowski szlak" (1970)
  • "Złociste mgły" / "Za grosiki marzeń" (1970)
  • "A mama asi como" / "Quadro cartas" (1971)
  • "Warszawa w różach" / "Wiatr mieszka w dzikich topolach" (1972)

Later reprints and compilation albums[edit]

  • 1984: Jesteś moja miłością LP
  • 1987: Эхо любви (Echo lubvi) - live '79 LP
  • 1989: Anna German LP
  • 1989: Znaki zapytania LP
  • 1990: Powracające słowa vol. 1 LP
  • 1990: Powracające słowa vol. 2 LP
  • 1991: Zakwitnę różą CD
  • 1991: Recital piosenek CD
  • 1994: Nasza ścieżka CD
  • 1994: Złote przeboje neapolitanskie MC
  • 1995: Planeta Anna part 1 MC
  • 1995: Planeta Anna part 2 MC
  • 1996: Незабытый мотив (Nezabitiy motiv) CD
  • 1996: Лучшие песни (Luchshie pesni) CD
  • 1998: Когда цвели сады (Kogda tsveli sadi) CD
  • 1998: Wiatr mieszka w dzikich topolach CD
  • 1999: Tańczące Eurydyki CD
  • 1999: Platynowa kolekcja CD
  • 1999: Złote przeboje CD
  • 1999: Bal u Posejdona (Złota kolekcja) CD
  • 1999: Антология советского шлягера (Antologia sovetskogo shlagera) MC
  • 2000: Анна Герман. Российская эстрадная музыкальная энциклопедия (Rossiyskaya estradnaya muzikalnaya encyclopaedia) CD
  • 2000: Последняя встреча (Poslednyaya vstrecha) CD
  • 2001: Quiet words of love (Russian) (Любви негромкие слова) CD
  • 2001: Ваши любимые песни (Vashi lyubimie pesni) CD
  • 2001: Tańczące Eurydyki CD
  • 2001: Recital piosenek CD
  • 2001: Człowieczy los CD
  • 2001: Wiatr mieszka w dzikich topolach CD
  • 2001: Domenico Scarlatti - Arie z opery "Tetida in Sciro" CD
  • 2001: To chyba maj CD
  • 2001: Pomyśl o mnie CD
  • 2001: Luchshee - Zvyozdi sovetskoy estradi CD
  • 2002: Najlepsze piosenki CD
  • 2003: Наши лучшие песни (Nashi lyubimie pesni) CD
  • 2003: Człowiecy los collection CD
  • 2003: Золотой век русской эстрады (Zolotoy vek russkoy estrady) CD
  • 2003: Посидим, помолчим. Полное собрание песен (Posidim, pomolchim) vol.1 CD
  • 2003: Спасибо тебе мое сердце. Полное собрание песен (Spasibo tebe moyo serdtse) vol.2 CD
  • 2004: Złote przeboje CD
  • 2004: Самое лучшее (Samoe luchshee) CD
  • 2007: MP3 collection

Filmography[edit]

  • 1966: Marynarka to męska przygoda (Documentary) – ensemble Cast
  • 1970: Landscape After the Battle (Polish: Krajobraz po bitwie)
  • 1970: Prom – singing
  • 1970: Balladyna (TV show) – singing
  • 1970: Wyspy szczęśliwe. Śpiewa Anna German (short film)
  • 1977: Sudba (film) – singing Echo Miłości
  • 2012: Anna German (Russian TV series) – singing (her songs have been used in the series)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Anna German at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
1976
title=Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest
1979
Succeeded by
to the 1994 contest