Hans Zimmer: My Mum was proud only when I said I’m Jewish

Hans Zimmer: My Mum was proud only when I said I’m Jewish


norman lebrecht

December 08, 2020

The German film composer shared a personal moment with an Israel Philharmonic online gala:

“I said [to a reporter], ‘Actually, I have to confess, I have a rather complicated relationship with my country because I’m Jewish….’

“I started having a major anxiety attack…a major meltdown. I couldn’t wait for the press conference to end. And as soon as it finished, I got on the phone to my mom and I said, ‘Mom, I did something really terrible. I told them. I let everybody know who we are.’ I felt like I put her in danger. That this was the deep, dark secret we should never speak about. There was a long pause at the other end and then she said, ‘I’m very proud of you.’ That is the only time she ever said that to me.”


  • sam says:

    Germany and France remain the most overtly and unapologetically anti-semitic countries in Western Europe, both because of their history and because of the huge Muslim population in their country.

    • Elizabeth Owen says:

      Nothing to do with Muslims Sam, don’t be nasty.

    • Sheila Novitz says:

      Sam, I agree with you. As do my family members. Because we were there, and we know.

    • henry williams says:

      what about austria

    • BruceB says:

      They were overtly and unapologetically anti-Semitic long before the Muslim population increased.

    • Sean Hurley says:

      How ironic to read these anti-Muslim, anti-German comments on the day that the UK rolls out a vaccine developed by Turkish Muslim immigrants working for a German company. Blanket generalisations about Muslims (or indeed Germans) are as unjustified as stupid anti-semitic generalisations about Jews. Disappointing.

    • Waver89 says:

      “unapologetically anti-semitic”
      -> Nothing wrong with that.

      “huge Muslim population in their country”
      -> There is something supremely wrong with that. And it totally contradicts your claim about “unapologetically anti-semitic”, because if so; they’d ALSO look to reduce the steady increase in their Muslim population.

      • Earthly Messanger says:

        Bravo. Finally a comment that acknowledges that people cannot selectively shout antisemitism as something bad, but simultaneously see wariness of foreigners (e.g. Muslims) as being ok.

        Yes there are if’s and but’s and exceptions and all. But try and understand the message, ok!?

      • Earthly Messanger says:

        The point being:
        A people need to be allowed to choose their fate. That includes whom they choose to ALLOW to enter, and whom not.

        You cannot come along with bogus moral references and signal-words like “antisemitism”, in order to diminish a people’s right to their own sovereignty and fate; by appealing to their guilt or hypermoralism.

    • Harpist says:

      Can’t speak for France – but Germany learned from its history unlike other countries in the West.

  • Sheila Novitz says:

    Mr Zimmer, I too am proud of you. Thank you.

  • Herr Doktor says:

    Interesting, I didn’t know the first thing about Hans Zimmer other than that I’ve repeatedly watched movies and wondered who did the wonderful score, and then seen his name. At least he is not perpetually ripping off Wagner unlike someone else far more famous.

    • Billy says:

      If memory serves me well, in the soundtrack of Gladiator he was ripping off Gotterdammerung and unashamedly so. I hope I am not confusing composers.

    • Le Křenek du jour says:

      >” At least he is not perpetually ripping off Wagner unlike someone else far more famous.”

      Thank you for this musical “madeleine de Proust”.
      Because it brings to mind one of the funniest and most embarrassing musical episodes that ever happened to me.

      Many years ago, when radio was still an item, I went back to my institute late at night to finish some work. I had spent the evening with friends discussing film music. First thing I do when entering my lab, I turn on the radio, tuned to the night programme of France Musique. A strings-heavy but almost chamber-sized piece of film music had just started, obviously very visual Programmmusik, all Technicolor and pastels. John Williams, no doubt, but from which Star Wars score? Can’t be Indiana Jones, that’s for sure. I’m racking my brains, the music is very evocative, majestic meadows and glowing sunrises on a far-away planet a long time ago and all that, surely I’ve heard it several times before, but I’m unable to pinpoint the movie.

      Then the announcer: “You have heard WWV 103, Siegfried-Idyll, symphonic poem in E major, by Richard Wagner.”

    • Hilary says:

      To a large extent the nature of film music is to appropriate/ rip off . Different levels of craftsmanship within the genre of which Williams and Zimmer are among the top of the pile.

  • no art says:

    his music ( or style copies) is definitley NOT to be proud of. maybe he needs a new target group (after Corona, hein ?).

  • Bill says:

    Disgusting comment. Not all Jews are Israeli.

  • PT says:

    dear Hans Zimmer
    Just some months ago I discovered also my jewish past. I am very excited and moved to discover the history of our ancestors, rich in music, tragic and humour.
    Our family doesn’t dare to publish it publicly. So I have to go on with our secret, respecting the will of my brother and sister.