Jewish Telegraph, April 2008
ROCK legend Gene Simmons refuses to use the term ‘The Holocaust’ to describe the murder of six million Jews.
Israel-born Simmons is featured in this month’s Q magazine as his group, Kiss, prepare to headline the Download Festival in June.
When asked how he was affected by his mother, Florence, being the only survivor of the Holocaust in her family, he said: “I refuse to call it the Holocaust.
“It was the ‘German Nazi Holocaust of World War II’. There have been other holocausts — the million Armenians slaughtered by the Turks at the start of the 20th century, for example.
“But my mother’s suffering was from the Germans. Through her experiences I have learnt: enjoy life. Be an epicurean hedonist.”
Simmons — born in 1949 as Chaim Witz — has spoken about his Judaism in the past. He told one interviewer how he wanted to start his own religion — ‘Kiss-tianity’.
He said: “I suppose whether I define myself as a Jew or not is beside the point because the world does.
“It’s like whether or not you define yourself as black or not is not the point. You are black, I am Jewish, and you are whatever you are, except the difference though is that the white Anglo-Saxon-Protestant majority has a choice and there’s a lot of leeway.
“The minorities have less of a choice of how they define themselves. The power elite simply says, ‘You are that, that’s all there is’. So, I’m a Jew because I’m a Jew — that’s what society tells me.
Amazingly Kiss — who also feature American Jew Paul Stanley — are huge in Germany and are playing a number of concerts in the country, compared to just one gig in the UK.
But the group cannot use its logo in Germany as the double S is done as the SS logo — an image which is illegal there.
Simmons also told this month’s Q magazine that he didn’t “trust people”. He said: “The 10 Commandments were put there because we are humans and will tend to do that stuff.”
Simmons — who has never taken drugs, alcohol or smoked — said that if his children Nick and Sophie ever took drugs, “I would locate the dealer and put him to death on the spot”.
The Download Festival runs from June 13–15 at Donington Park, Leicestershire. Also on the bill are Disturbed, led by Orthodox Jew David Draiman.