Pop star Katja Ebstein has been on stage for more than 50 years and still sings in front of an audience today. BUNTE.de reveals what the artist has done over the years.
Katja Ebstein has already achieved a lot at the age of 78. She is not only an actress and singer in hits, pop and chanson, but is also on stage in the theater and is involved in politics. A real show chameleon.
Katja Ebstein stands for justice: “The street is a legitimate means of expressing one’s will”
On March 9, 1945, shortly before the end of the war, Katja Ebstein was born Karin Ilse Witkiewicz in Silesia. After her school career, the young woman wanted to study at the university and spontaneously took art, Romance studies and archeology.
The student was politically involved and was active in the West German student movement in 1968. The movement’s protests were supposed to be directed against the grand coalition and the Vietnam War. In addition, the students called for the Nazi past to be dealt with. “The street is a legitimate means of expressing one’s will when the injustices seem too great,” said Katja Ebstein in 2020 on the NDR television show “DAS!”. In 1972 Katja campaigned for Willy Brandt and in 2003 she took part in a demonstration against the Iraq war.
In 1992, thanks to Ebstein’s help, the association “Environmental Campaign for Children and Young People Damaged by the Environment” was established. The organization brings children from socially disadvantaged families to the North Sea island of Amrum in order to improve their future prospects. In 2004, a separate foundation with Katja’s name, the “Katja-Ebstein-Foundation”, was founded. This fights against growing child poverty in Germany. To this day, Katja Ebstein is a member of Attac, a non-governmental organization critical of globalization.
Shortage of money: Katja Ebstein exchanged 4000 comics for a guitar
In addition to her political interests, young Katja also wanted to devote her time to music. In order to be able to sing in bars, the young student also needs a musical instrument. Since money is tight, Katja Ebstein exchanges 400 comic books for a guitar and can now go to Berlin’s pubs with her friends. There, under the name “Die Kreuzberger”, a good atmosphere is created. Suddenly, the broadcaster “Freies Berlin” became aware of the then 19-year-old and gave her her first appearance on the ARD program “Marmeladentopf”. A producer also noticed at the time. Heino Gaze was so fascinated by the young artist that he absolutely wanted to produce his own songs with her. She released her first records under the name “Katja”.
Katja Ebstein competed in the Eurovision Song Contest three times
The big success is missing for the time being. At the annual folklore and chanson festival at Burg Waldeck, there was suddenly a ray of hope in the audience. Siegfried E. Loch, head of the record company Liberty, sees and hears Katja perform and is enthusiastic. He helps the young artist to get her first record deal. The first breakthrough for Katja Ebstein. After that it goes steeply uphill. After a few published singles, the singer took part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1970 – and was able to win the preliminary decision. With the song “Wonders are always coming back” Katja Ebstein sang her way to third place in the ESC Amsterdam and thus became internationally known. As a result, their songs are released all over the world in different languages, such as English, French, Italian and Japanese.
In 1971 and 1980, the hit icon tried the Eurovision Song Contest for the second and third time and was able to convince each time. Another third place and even a silver medal were there for Katja. After that, her career boomed and she was showered with awards at home and abroad. Every television station in Germany wants the artist as a guest and appears in a wide variety of entertainment programs and talk shows. To date, she has released more than 30 albums.
Katja Ebstein was married for almost 30 years
The singer and actress was married twice. Her first husband also boosted her career. Producer and composer Christian Bruhn (88) gets to know and love Katja through Heino Gaze. He also wrote the first song for ESC, and the two married two years later. In 1976, after four years, the relationship between the two ended.
Through her work in the theater, which the red-haired singer pursued again and again, she met the theater and television director Klaus Überall († 83). The two were sure of their love and married in 1979. In German show business, the two were long regarded as one of the dream couples. Both were happily married for almost 30 years until Klaus Überall finally died of cancer in 2008. For the artist, her husband was her “human being”. Finding a new love is unimaginable for her.
At 78, Katja is now taking it easy
Her most famous hits include “Once Upon a Time a Hunter” and “The Star of Mykonos”. Both songs end up on number 4 and can convince internationally. In the meantime, things are getting quieter around the 78-year-old. Although the pop singer shows her political and social commitment to this day, she takes it a little easier musically. But Katja Ebstein can look back on a stellar career and be happy about the piece of history she made with her victories at the Eurovision Song Contest.