Wolf Biermann: “Who called the Nazi-time a bird shit is a criminal”


He was the sharpest critics of the GDR dictatorship. But even 30 years after the fall of the wall, the singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann is not silent. His criticism is valid now, but it has lost its provocative sharpness nothing.

Under the Motto “he Who does not put himself in danger, the order comes in!” was the singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann in cooperation with the Chinese author and dissident Liao Yiwu to be a guest at the Berliner Ensemble. On the occasion of the 30. Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall and the bloody suppression of the Chinese democracy movement on the “square of heavenly peace”. But Biermann, who was one of the fiercest and most effective opponents of the GDR leadership, and in 1976, was an exile, and not held with a view back in history. In a DW Interview, he takes on current political issues, position.

DW: Mr. Biermann was earlier, their caustic criticism of the GDR-dictatorship. It is no more now. Who is your opponent?

Wolf Biermann: you Know why I’m talking so much about it that it is the Germans are so good? Because I was annoyed of course, like many others, that this Gauland, the AfD (Alexander Gauland party Chairman of the right-wing populist AfD, editors ‘ note) has actually said publicly is, the whole Nazi period had only been a bird scared. Who are the twelve years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the wars, the millions of private and foreign soldiers, who were herded into the death of the six million Jews and half a Million Gypsies (Sinti and Roma, ed. d. Red.) not to mention , who called a bird shit is a criminal.

Wolf Biermann in 1976, in Cologne, Germany

30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, dissatisfaction with the consequences of reunification is clearly noticeable. Many people complain that the unit had not yet been reached, and the GDR had been caught off guard colonized. Do you agree with?

On this subject I wrote a poem: “woman’s freedom not to kiss Mr barbed wire”. No! The is incommensurable, not to say educated people, it fits together! You can’t have two systems, the jaws of dictatorship and democracy, in such a way that it is said: Of the two we take, the better, it was all bad in the GDR.

I am of the opinion that the weakest and incomplete democracy is incomparably better than the best dictatorship. This is the lesson to be German, perhaps, from our own history.

We are celebrating not only 30 years of the fall of the wall, but also commemorate the 30. Anniversary of the bloody suppression of the Chinese democracy movement on the “square of Heavenly peace”. And at the same time the riots in Hong Kong remind us that still a lot of people in the world for their freedom, we must fight. What message do you have for these people?

It is worth to meddle in their own Affairs. And that you have to try it again and again. That one has Fears, but not overwhelmed, may be of his Fears.

That succeed, in addition to great sounds, and sing, talk about great songs. Only those that have survived. And all of those who were murdered and were broke, are still.

The Interview was conducted by Gero Schließ.