Hermann Josef Schmidt was born in 1939. In 1962 he became a member of the Humanistische Union (Humanistic Union); later he initiated the Bundesverband der Humanistischen Studenten-Union (HSU - Federal Association of the Humanistic Student Union) with friends, of which he was first chairman from 1964 to 1966. In 1968 he completed his PhD at the University of Freiburg in Breisgau with a study on Nietzsche and Socrates. From 1969 he taught philosophy at the PH Ruhr, Dortmund; and from 1980 at the University of Dortmund. Special areas of interest: enlightenment through criticism of philosophy, ideology, and religion; Antiquity; Nietzsche research. Schmidt has gained a reputation as one of the most profound Nietzsche interpreters of our time, but sees his publications on Nietzsche as 'dissenting opinions'.