Who was/is Inge Brandenburg ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
In July 1960 Inge Brandenburg was named best female jazz singer in Europe at the Antibes Jazz Festival. But when she died at the hospital München Schwabing on 23 February 1999 – only five days after her 70th birthday – she was impoverished and almost forgotten. Her life was a story that happened "mainly in minor chords, with too many blue notes." These words were written on the cover of her first album Herzlichst, Inge from 1960, and they showed the listeners the hard-paved road she had to walk until she finally arrived where she belonged: at the top.
Today we know that her life continued in minor chords until the end. Childhood Under Ominous Signs Inge Brandenburg was born on 18 February 1929 in Leipzig. Her father took the two-year-old to his favourite hangout where he placed her on the table and had her sing. This way Inge earned her first applause and a free beer for her father. At the age of ten Inge had to witness how her father was collected and beaten up by the Gestapo. "I suppose he was a Communist," she later said in an interview. He was deported to Mauthausen concentration camp, where he died in 1940. The letter which was attached to the urn containing her father's ashes curtly stated: "death by electric shock." It was never clarified whether he got killed, or died in an accident, or in an attempted escape.
Her mother also fell victim to National Socialist arbitrariness: two months before the end of the war her tracks vanished on a transport from Ravensbrück concentration camp to Dachau. The reasons she ended up in a concentration camp can only be assumed: possibly because she had slipped food to Polish prisoners of war while working in a restaurant kitchen. Inge grew up in children's homes, separated from her five brothers and sisters. She soon became the solo singer at church – but her talent was not promoted. In response to the young girl's request for piano lessons, her head-mistress replied: "You should learn a proper, reasonable profession.
Piano lessons – that's for high-ranking daughters who need to do nothing else for their whole lifetime."