He was born in Darmstadt and made his professional debut at Kaiserslautern. He subsequently sang with the opera companies at Stettin (Szczecin), Königsberg and Nuremberg before becoming principal baritone in Dresden, where, in the 1940s, he sang roles such as Scarpia in Tosca and Iago in Otello, as well as the German repertory. In 1942, he sang in the première of Heinrich Sutermeister's literaturoper Die Zauberinsel (based on The Tempest).
Herrmann died at Hildesheim.
- Der Ring des Nibelungen: live performances from La Scala conducted by Furtwängler, 1950 (Opera d'Oro)
- Lebendige Vergangenheit: Josef Herrmann (Preiser Records, 1995)
- New Grove Dictionary of Opera, vol 2, p. 706.
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