»The anti-nuclear movement is dear to my heart« - Interview with Joost Siedhoff

How did you get to know Bewegungsstiftung?

»In the press. This way, I also learned that within the next years, huge amounts of money will be inherited. A lot of that can be brought together for a good cause by Bewegungsstiftung. Although I didn't receive a big heritage I could was still able to raise enough money to become a member of the Bewegungsstiftung.«

What kind of political topics are important to you?

»That's first of all lobbyism. When someone like Frank-Walter Steinmeier says: ›As for the control of banks, I'm not very optimistic, they're simply too strong‹, I find that dangerous, since the normal citizen can no longer have an overview of how lobbyists influence politics. That's the reason why the work of organisations like LobbyControl is so important. Also the anti-nucelar movement is dear to my heart as well as educational issues.«

You have worked for more than 60 years as an actor on stage, in films and on tv. Is there still enough time for political commitment? Have you participated in demonstrations?

»Of Course. Doing that, I sticked to the principle of using my own possibilities as effectively as possible. In the beginning of the 1970s I participated, together with the Humanist Union, in scenic readings of dramas which were on the index in Bavaria - for example by authors like Arthur Miller and Arnold Wesker. In Munich I assisted in ›Artists for peace‹. And I often went to the streets with colleagues when we wanted to avoid that the state removes theatres or the opera loses its ballet.«

Where does your interest in politics and protest movements come from?

»I think that's has to do with my background. I was born in 1926 as a son of Bauhaus parents. My mother worked at the Bauhaus as an interior architect and produced children's furniture and toys there. My father was employed as a dancer and pantomime at the Bauhaus stage. Thus, I belonged to the liberal left from the beginning. And I have experienced a lot - the Nazi era, fighting at the front-lines, years of starvation, studio stage, acting career, political cabaret and tours with an own ensemble through over 70 countries. These are experiences that have shaped me.«

If you could take political decisions - what would you change?

»I would fight for the elimination of the gap between the rich and the poor - in our society in the whole world. And I consider it to be important that racist prejudices are being abolished and that there is peace between the religions. That's why I see the election of Barack Obama as a big chance. Only the speeches that he held about nuclear weapons and the reconciliation between the western and the Arab world are already worth the Nobel Prize for peace. And the fact that he managed to become the first black President of the United States has already initiated a lot. But there are also important topics which are not that present. Another good idea would be a campaign against the lobby of alcohol producers. Schnaps is not less dangerous than nicotine.«



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