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Sanda Weigl

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Biography

Romanian singer Sanda Weigl performs traditional Romanian gypsy music; in her native Romania, then in Germany, and most recently, in the United States (where she now resides). Born in Bucharest, Romania, Weigl came into the world at a time when Romania and the rest of Eastern Europe were run by oppressive communist regimes.
Weigl left Romania long before the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. She is old enough to remember the Romania of the ’50s; that was when, as a child, she started learning traditional Romanian gypsy songs and performed them on national television (which was controlled by the communist government).

The singer was only 13 when political persecution forced her family to leave Romania and move to East Berlin, where the political climate was also quite oppressive.
Despite East Germany’s oppressive environment, a teenage Weigl became quite active in the East Berlin music scene of the ’60s. She continued to perform the traditional Romanian and Balkan gypsy songs she had learned back in Bucharest, but she also sang with an East Berlin rock band called Team 4 (which was known for a single called “Der Abend Ist Gekommen”).
When Weigl was 17, she performed the traditional Romanian gypsy song “Recruti” at the International Song Festival in Dresden, Germany. Because of her politics, Weigl soon became a target of East Germany’s very pro-Soviet communist regime.
In 1968, she loudly protested against East Germany’s participation in the Soviet Union’s invasion of Prague, Czechoslovakia; when the Soviet military took over the streets of Prague, Weigl didn’t hesitate to speak out. And as a result of her activism, the Romanian singer was arrested and incarcerated.

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