During a recent interview with DailyMail.com, the co-founder and bassist of KISS, Gene Simmons, talked about the first time he had to confront a racist who had anti-Semitic views.
Gene Simmons is without a doubt one of the most famous rockstars of all time and his popularity has never prevented him from discussing controversial issues. In his Twitter account, Gene Simmons often expresses his views on social and political matters, and although he often receives comments such as ‘stick to music‘ he never seizes to stand his ground.
Gene Simmons was born Chaim Witz in Israel and his parents were Jewish immigrants from Hungary. His mother Florence Klein, alongside her brother Larry, were the only members of the family to survive internment in Nazi concentration camps. Thus, it should not be surprising that anti-Semitism is a sensitive issue for Gene Simmons.
In a recent interview, Simmons opened up about the first time he experienced anti-Semitism and talked about how he reacted to it. When he was 13 years old, six years after his mother and he had moved to the United States, he was at the swimming pool at YMCA. Two guys approached him and started bullying him about his Jewish background.
This triggered some traumatic memories considering everything that his mother had been through which rightfully angered him. He responded by head butting one of the guys who started bleeding and fell in the pool. Although he was thrown out of the YMCA, Simmons seems to have never regretted this reaction.
Here’s what Gene Simmons said in the interview:
“I remember coming out of the pool and these two guys got in my face. One said ‘What are you doing here? You‘re Jewish.’ He started talking about Nazis. I remember thinking about my mother and everything. I leaned forward and said ‘Sorry I can’t hear you.’
As he got in my face, I smashed my forehead against his nose. Of course, he started bleeding and fell into the pool. And I was thrown out of the YMCA.”
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