Renowned as ‘The Last Diva’ – famous, notorious, adored and controversial in equal measure, Zarah Leander was known not only for her dark voice and grand gestures but also for being Nazi Germany’s biggest movie star and a major international singer. She was born Sara Hedberg in a small town in Sweden in 1907 and initially found fame through the cabaret stages. She would later in life be marred by questions worldwide surrounding the role she played in the Third Reich. For the last seventy years her past has served as an unwelcome reminder of Sweden’s ambivalence towards this unprecedented historical period.
This is the first Swedish biography of the enigmatic figure, whose fascinating story spans poverty, wealth, craftiness, despair and happiness. Beata Arnborg's book reveals previously unknown facts about the star including a detailed insight into the six years she lived in Germany and the role she played during this period; Should Zarah be held accountable for her actions or should she now be left to rest in peace?
Both as a human and an artist, Zarah Leander was larger than life; a spiritual amazon. Not merely a sweet starlet but beautiful, talented, fun, ambitious, passionate and friendly. As her friend, Karl Gerhard, said when introducing her: “Make room for Zarah, with hair red like the devil, a pure soul and the voice of an angel!”