Dschinghis Khan

This article is about the band. For the Mongolian conqueror, see Genghis Khan. For the song, see Dschinghis Khan (song).
"Steve Bender" redirects here. For other uses, see Steve Bender (disambiguation).
Dschinghis Khan
Genres Disco, Pop
Years active 1979–mid-1980s, 2005–present
Members Wolfgang Heichel
Henriette Heichel (born Strobel)
Edina Pop (Marika Késmárky)
Past members Steve Bender (deceased)
Louis Hendrik Potgieter (deceased)
Leslie Mándoki

Dschinghis Khan (known in some countries as Genghis Khan)[1][2][3][4][5] is a primarily German-language pop band originally formed in 1979 to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest[6] with their song "Dschinghis Khan", which was written and produced by Ralph Siegel with lyrics by Bernd Meinunger.


Leslie Mándoki, 2016

The band was formed and managed by Ralph Siegel.

The only native Germans in the group were the bald-headed Karl-Heinz "Steve" Bender, and Wolfgang Heichel, who brought his Dutch-born wife Henriette (born Strobel) with him. Louis Hendrik Potgieter, the impersonator of Genghis Khan, was South African. Edina Pop (Marika Késmárky) was a Hungarian who had started her singing career in West Germany in 1969, while Leslie Mándoki had fled communism in 1975.

In 1980, their single "Moscow" (the English-language version of "Moskau") topped the charts in Australia and remained No. 1 for six weeks.[1] Its success there had much to do with the Seven Network's use of the song as the theme music for their television coverage of the 1980 Summer Olympics. The Australian single was issued in a die-cut Channel 7 sleeve.

In an interview with Russian television presenter Alexandra Glotova, the producer of the group Dschinghis Khan, Heinz Gross, said that in the 1980s, the band was forbidden in the Soviet Union and was accused of anti-communism and nationalism.[7]

While the group broke up in the mid-1980s, the German video for "Moskau" was a part of the show Disco on ZDF, as was the similarly-staged "Dschinghis Khan".

1986 saw a brief reunion as Dschinghis Khan Family. Only Henriette Heichel (vocals), Leslie Mándoki (drums) and Louis Potgieter (keyboards) returned from the original lineup. The song "Wir gehör'n zusammen" led them to a national qualifying round of the Eurovision Song Contest, where they finished in second place.

In 1988, Leslie Mándoki and Éva Csepregi, the vocalist of Hungarian pop group Neoton Família, sang the song "Korea" on the opening of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

Dancer and front man Louis Potgieter died of AIDS in 1993, while singer Karl-Heinz "Steve" Bender died from cancer in 2006.[8]




German releases

Australian release

Dutch release

Japanese release

South African release


Preceded by
Ireen Sheer
with "Feuer"
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Katja Ebstein
with "Theater"
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