Wednesday, November 7, 2018

"Irmin Schmidt of Can on His Love for Beyoncé and Exposing Nazis as a Teen"


There’s an anecdote that’s mentioned briefly in the book I wanted to ask you more about. When you were a teenager in the ‘50s, you were expelled from school for using the school paper to expose teachers who were Nazis, or former Nazis. Can you talk about that episode? How were you finding this information out, and what drove you to expose them?

When I was 15, the father generation of mine—they were Nazis, a lot of them. And a lot of my teachers were. I couldn’t understand what they had done, nor their ideology, nor their thoughts. And I fought it. I fought very strongly against my family, against my teachers, against everyone around me, whoever. Especially my teachers, because I couldn’t understand that they were allowed to teach when they had done horrible things, and taught this ideology before. In school we had this journal, wrote it monthly or every two months or something like that, a little magazine. And each time, I wrote that this or that teacher had been this or that major officer, major SS, major ideologic teacher in the Nazi party institution. It lasted about a couple of years, long before the ‘68 movement. Of course, these things weren’t very known. I just read, did obsessive research, and succeeded to ruin my school career with that.