Albert Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925-2012) was born in Berlin to Albert, a principal, and Dora, a teacher. He started singing as a child and began formal voice lessons at the age of sixteen. When he was drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1943, Fischer-Dieskau had just completed his secondary school studies and one semester at the Berlin Conservatory. He was captured in Italy in 1945 and spent two years as an American prisoner of war. During that time, he sang Lieder in prisoner-of-war camps to the homesick German soldiers.