Happy 59th Birthday, Nina Hagen


Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus rip her off without even realizing it, as do countless teenage (and older) girls around the world.

She probably helped inspire Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the last great musical of the 20th century.


She wasn’t just a defector from Communist East Germany:

They kicked her out.

She found the perfect refuge in mid-1970s London, a city that has always embraced eccentrics, and her timing couldn’t have been better.

Raised in an atheist environment, she was baptized in 2009.

And this week, child opera prodigy turned punk pioneer Nina Hagen turned 59.

Hagen’s views on faith and politics are as blunt and unorthodox as her music and style:

The books by Huxley and Orwell with their terrible visions of the human race being genetically manipulated, in which there is a slave race and everything is controlled, everyone has chips — we are growing into such a horror scenario right now if we don’t inform ourselves and unite. My pastor and I wrote a book called “Vorboten der Zukunft — wie wir die Welt verbessern” (Harbingers of the Future — How We Can Improve the World). That’s exactly what I’m talking about. There are many civil initiatives coming together and joining forces — beyond party lines. It has nothing to do with political parties because they offer no solution. They only want to achieve power but no one is addressing our problems.


Nina Hagen would fail any conservative or libertarian purity test, as would most individuals raised in welfare-state Europe instead of America. Shaking off that utopian worldview is harder than many of us can appreciate.

And like a lot of Protestants, she really doesn’t like the Catholic Church (because she doesn’t understand it.)

But as an energetic embodiment of individuality, I’ll take Nina Hagen over pretty much anybody who spoke at CPAC this year, or who plays insipid Christian “rock.”

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