Karl Wolf Biermann (born 15 November 1936 in Hamburg) is a former East German dissident who works as a German Liedermacher (engl.: singer-songwriter).
Biermann's father, who worked in the Hamburg docks, was a member of the Communist resistance. In 1943 he was murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp as a Jew who had sabotaged Nazi warships.
Wolf Biermann was one of the few children of workers who attended the Heinrich-Hertz-Gymnasium (high school) in Hamburg. After the Second World War, in 1953, he became a member of the socialist Young Pioneers (Freie Deutsche Jugend, FDJ) and in 1950 represented the Federal Republic of Germany at the FDJ's first national meeting.
On finishing school at the age of 17, Biermann decided to emigrate from West to East Germany where he believed he could live out his Communist ideals. He was helped in this move by Margot Honecker who knew him from their youth. Until 1955 he lived at a boarding school near Schwerin; he then began studying political...