Wolf Biermann

(2779 words)
  • David Clarke (University of Bath)

It is hard to overestimate the significance of the poet and songwriter Wolf Biermann for the cultural history of East Germany. When he was expelled from that state in 1976, his treatment at the hands of the communist regime of the German Democratic Republic came to symbolise a sea-change in the relationship between East German intellectuals and the ruling Socialist Unity Party. However, Biermann's importance as a best-selling poet, successful recording artist, popular performer and political commentator extends far beyond these political struggles, and it is above all important to recognise him as a unique public intellectual in post Second World War Germany.

Biermann was born the son of working-class communists in Hamburg in …

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Citation:
Clarke, David. "Wolf Biermann". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 January 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=11941, accessed 22 November 2014.]