Leander, Zarah born as Zarah Hedberg, 15-03-1907 in Karlstad, was a Swedish actress and singer, she had three brothers. While Zarah Leander’s career in the Third Reich has been criticized, rumors nevertheless erroneously implied that Zarah was of Jewish heritage. According to her son Göran, his mother’s family, going back through generations, were from the Swedish provinces of Dalarna and Värmland. Although Zarah Leander studied piano and violin as a small child, and sang on stage for the first time at the age of six, she initially had no intention of becoming a professional performer and led an ordinary life for several years. As a teenager she lived two years in Riga (1922–1924), where she learned German.
Leander began her career in the late 1920s and by the mid 1930s her success in Europe, particularly in Germany and the Scandinavian countries, led to invitations to work in the United States. 19 years old she married Nils Leander and got one daughter Boël, 1926 and one son Göran, 1929. The couple, Nils was a drinker, divorced in 1931. Afterwards, she was married to the journalist Vidar Forsell between the years 1932-1943, however, he became her manager shortly after their marriage. Finally, she wed Arne Hülphers, the pianist, whom she had worked with for 25 years in 1949; their marriage lasted until his death in 1978. She was discovered in 1929 by the Revue King, Ernst Rolf,
he died of pneumonia, age 41, on 25-12-1932. Leander was reluctant to relocate her children, and opted to remain in Europe, and from 1936 was contracted to work for the German Universum Film AG (UFA)
while continuing to record songs. Leander later noted that while her films were successful, her work as a recording artist was more profitable. As a result of her controversial choice to work for the state-owned UFA in Adolf Hitler’s
Germany, her films and song lyrics were viewed by some as propaganda for the Nazi cause, although she took no public political position.
went to Hollywood in the USA, he after some times saw Sarah’s possiblities for the German propaganda. Leander was strongly criticized as a result, particularly in Sweden where she returned after her Berlin home was bombed during an air raid. Initially she was shunned by much of the artistic community and public in Sweden, and found herself unable to resume her career after the Second World War. After the war, Zarah Leander was often questioned about her years in Nazi Germany.
Though she would willingly talk about her past, she stubbornly rejected allegations of her having had sympathy for the Nazi regime. She claimed that her position as a German film actress merely had been that of an entertainer working to please an enthusiastic audience in a difficult time. She repeatedly described herself as a political idiot. It was several years before she could make a comeback in Sweden, but her comeback found an eager audience among pre-war generations who had never forgotten her. She would remain a figure of public controversy for the rest of her life. She appeared in a number of films and television shows, but she would never regain the popularity she had enjoyed before and into the first years of World War II
Death and burial ground of Leander-Hülpers-Hedberg, Zarah Stina.
Cemetery location of Leander-Hülpers-Hedberg, Zarah Stina