Hanns Eisler also got born somewhere

Hanns Eisler also got born somewhere


norman lebrecht

July 13, 2017

The birthplace of the composer of (among other things) the East German national anthem has been allowed to decay since the fall of Communism.

Today, at last, they put up a plaque.

It’s in Leipzig, Hofmeisterstraße 14.


  • Donald George says:

    He wrote quite a few good songs and Operas. His Hollywood songbook is quite good. It’s a shame all of this is neglected.

  • Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker says:

    Sure no one born post 1989 in the ex DDR will ever have heard of him or his daft anthem which is now decidedly passé. He was another early wrong note tuneless wonder, who ended up in the US during the war, but then got booted out in 1948 by a Holywood blacklist. A plaque up now, I doubt anyone will notice it, he was hardly GF Handel Esq of 20 Brook Street!

  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    I like the DDR anthem but there are far better renderings than this one! (The best are actually the ones which are purely instrumental, in my opinion.)

    • Treemonisha says:

      Actually the East German government also preferred the purely instrumental version. After the early seventies (when German unification no longer was official GDR policy), the phrase “Deutschland einig Vaterland” was so politically uncorrect, that the hymn only was performed instrumentally.

      In my opinion, Auferstanden is a much better national hymn than the current German hymn. As the current hymn (third strophe of Deutschland, Deutschland über alles) in many ways has least as nasty historicopolitical connotations as Auferstanden, and Auferstanden is not particularly communist in its ideas expressed, this would give Germany a much better national hymn than the current.

      (Disclaimer: I am Scandinavian, not German)

      • Novagerio says:

        “In my opinion, Auferstanden is a much better national hymn than the current German hymn.” – Oh yes, you are saying that Eisler was a better composer than Joseph Haydn. Sure…

        • Treemonisha says:

          I am commenting the suitability of these two hymns as a national anthem, not on the entire oeuvre of Haydn respectively Eisler. 🙂

          And Haydn’s hymn was written for a different country (Austria).

          National hymns are not necessarily written by the best composers. Novaro, Rouget de Lisle or Stafford Smith are not very well known for their other compositions…

  • NN says:

    He “borrowed” it from an old Schlager” Good bye Johnny”

  • Anhony Boatman says:

    The lyrics of the DDR anthem meld perfectly well with the Haydn anthem, and since all of Germany “arose from ruins,” it could be a second, politically correct verse for united Germany.

    • Treemonisha says:

      Which was actually suggested at reunification by the prime minister of GDR, Lothar de Maizière.