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Pannach Gerulf

Gerulf Pannach

References

  • Pannach, G.: Als ich wie ein Vogel war. Texte (1999)

Born in 1948 in Arnsdorf near Dresden, Pannach began by studying law. After discontinuing his studies, he took part in the songwriting movement and was in various music groups. As the keyboardist in the GDR’s extremely popular music group "Klaus Renft Combo," he wrote many lyrics that expressed criticism of the SED from the early 1970s. In 1975, the group was banned from performing, which was personally endorsed by the State and Party chief of East Germany, Erich Honecker.

Along with the “Renft” musicians Christian Kunert and Thomas Schoppe and writer Jürgen Fuchs, Pannach continued to write songs in secret. In an attempt to intimidate the protest movement against Wolf Biermann's expatriation, the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) arrested them in November 1976. After eight months of detention in the prison at Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, they were deported to West Germany. There, Pannach and Kunert played as a duo and recorded five albums. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, Pannach performed as the newly-formed Renft group. As a lyricist, he also collaborated with the Puhdys and Veronica Fischer. Pannach died of kidney cancer in Berlin in 1998. Due to his premature death, suspicions were raised that the Stasi had exposed prominent dissidents in the GDR, intentionally or unintentionally, to radioactive rays.