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Talking Germany

Blog with Peter Craven

The extraordinarily ordinary Anna Loos

No airs, no graces

My latest guest on Talking Germany enjoys successful acting and singing careers and there are times when, it seems, you can hardly pick up a newspaper or magazine without Anna Loos and/or her ‘famous husband’ leaping out at you. Photos typically show “The Couple of the Year 2010” striding confidently to some special invitation event or up another red carpet. So when I heard that she would not be taking advantage of the exquisite Talking Germany make-up facilities, but arriving ‘ready to go’ … well, I was worried that we might be in for some airs and graces.

How wrong I was. In fact, nothing about Anna Loos was quite as I’d expected. Surprisingly girlish but, motherly wise. Smaller than I’d have thought, but with great presence. And, I should mention, almost a neighbour of mine in sedate western Berlin. For Anna and her husband are ‘easties’ who’ve come west. In their case, to live “somewhere normal – not Mitte, definitely not Mitte!” Mitte being Berlin’s ultra-chic central district, the hangout of everybody who is anybody. Except Anna, her famous husband and, truth be told, many others.


Anna has recently signed up as full-time lead singer with the legendary Ostrock (Eastrock) band Silly (“not really Ostrock at all,” she claims). She also tells me about a new series due to come out shortly on Germany’s ARD network. Weissensee it’s called. “It takes a really serious look at ‘Stasi families’,” says Anna. “It’s about men who worked for the secret police system. And about the women who shared their lives.” Anna plays an alcoholic wife and mother trapped in the restrictive web.

Another surprise: my “Anna Loos dossier” had told me that Anna might get just a little prickly if we quizzed her about details of how she ‘escaped’ from East Germany when she was just 17. While I didn’t actually ask her about the ‘route’ she took, we did talk about those difficult days, weeks and months. And it’s interesting to hear her describing her journey away from and back to her family and her home. All told as though her story is the most normal thing in the world. No airs, no graces.


September 26, 2010