Wolf Biermann in his Apartment on Chausseestraße, East Berlin (1966)
In 1953, at the age of 16, Wolf Biermann – the son of Communist resistance fighter Dagobert Biermann, who was murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz – emigrated from Hamburg to the GDR. There, he was active as a poet and songwriter and became known as a critic of the regime. Since his anti-fascist credentials were untouchable, Biermann was a particular thorn in the side of the SED government. After Biermann’s volume of poetry “Die Drahtharfe” was published in West Berlin, he was banned from performing his songs in the GDR. Nevertheless, they continued to circulate in cultural circles that were critical of the regime. In 1976, Biermann was invited to perform in the Federal Republic and received permission for the trip. Biermann was in the West when the SED expatriated him on November 17, 1976. Photo by Bernard Larsson.