Sanders, Eric

Eric Sanders 12. December 1919 – 30. August 2021

Eric Sanders was born in a Jewish family in Vienna on 12. December 1919 as Erich Ignatz Schwarz. He was given music lessons throughout his childhood and already from a young age had started to compose popular songs. By the age of 17, his revue Rhythmus was accepted by Theater an der Wien and would have gone forward with his name on the posters had Hitler´s annexation of Austria not brought all such dreams and hopes to a sobering halt. The family fled in 1938 with Erich Ignaz Schwarz and his mother ending up in England, where he changed his name to Eric Sanders. He joined the British Army´s pioneer corps engaging in special operations behind enemy lines in Italy. After the war, he came back to Austria to act as translator, though gave up any intention of returning permanently. Back in Britain, he trained as a teacher, married Margaret, a fellow teacher and was father of two sons, Paul and Richard. Only towards the end of his life did Sanders reconcile himself with Austria, re-acquire Austrian citizenship and accept the Austrian Cross of Honour  for Arts and Science. He died in London aged 101 leaving behind countless popular songs in a mix of genres: cabaret, music hall and hit songs in an idiom that pre-dated Rock and Roll.