Every Nazi's Favorite Composer

Every Nazi's Favorite Composer



by getting to get into the mode I mean I drink a bunch of beer last night and I listen to a shitload of lobner just like old times and man the thing is I was trying to think of an analogy listen the vogner's like drinking maple syrup it really used in a lot of classes are you in the classical music at all very very little very little there's some there's some baggage that I like like Connor I mean T nose was great I mean he's he's definitely top tier no doubt about it you know he's up there with Beethoven Mozart Ellington Davis I've seen you know top tier in terms of like artistic output and it's a its relevance there's just no avoiding that I'll give a little like music appreciation style because I was gonna walk through this whole bio but it's a bit much I gotta say yeah but I'll after we do that we'll get to get to hey he dies five years later Hitler is born twelve years after that Hitler gets his first experience with with vogner and and then we'll take it from there but okay I got two hilarious things man so fucking funny so first thing not gonna get into exactly like how and why but vogner's constantly broke and when in germany is not unified this time right so there's a direct state but when the when a new king of bavaria takes takes the throne he's 18 years old and and he's a homosexual and and he loves vogner he loves music and and vogner basically uh I don't know what's the word for it he leaves the skin on right he pretends to reciprocate feelings basically and uh and it works because my boy gets to come back home gets in the king pays his debts and the king will will be helping him out a lot it's Reiter's whole life when he's you know caught very publicly banging somebody who ate his life like like the guy was a real piece of shit man yeah he really was the other funny thing though cuz and you know we're gonna have to talk about his article that's repeated twice called it's usually translated as Judaism in music I think it's probably more proper to translate it as either Jewry in music or Jewishness in music because it's a little it's a little more crude than just a see you don't to them right yeah yeah yeah yeah your German is probably gonna be way better than this episode but um but in any case the thing is the first time he prints it almost no one reads it and and he uses a pseudonym do you know what a pseudonym olestra it's fucking hilarious no let me give it to you in the German first hang on I'll do my best kay Frigga dank or we might translate it as kid free thought [Laughter] k free thoughts alright so in this this article like it's basically all about two guys that aren't vogner giacomo meyerbeer in felix mendelssohn both of whom are more successful and prosperous than he is both of whom are Jewish and both of whose they're all romantic composers broadly speaking in the music-appreciation sort of term that I'd put it but middle sent in my beer are of a more concern style then vogner will end up being which is odd because like vogner politically and personally is a giant reactionary piece of shit but musically he's actually on the more innovative side which is which is one reason why he's he's so top tier the other thing about that article that fucking blew my mind is that he writes it and like I said almost no one reads it the first time and it's under a pseudonym like like the guy got actually kind of lucky he it could have just like not been a thing that people remembered him for right he reprints it about 20 years later in 1869 and at this time he's already written Lohengrin he's already written Tristan in the school day which are just the latter of which is in the top 10 most important pieces of music ever composed in terms of its impact on the state of music today I'd say and you're just gonna take my word for it is we just call drop that on there but so he's like feeling his oats now and and it's basically the same shit but a lot of the you know he's a lot more assertive turgid for to predict virulent I mean he he's a huge dick I don't know if you've read this thing at all or if you're familiar with it I've read excerpts of it I haven't read the whole thing although the peculiarities of the Jewish mode of speaking in singing come out of the most glaringly and the commoner class of Jew who has remained faithful to his father's stock and through the cultures son of Jewry takes untold pains to strip them off nevertheless they shoot an impermanent obstinacy and cleaving to him like he he thinks Jewish people because of who they are their immutable characteristics can't be real musicians not right yeah yeah so it's like it comes from the this idea that and and it's it's one that Hitler really picks up on obviously it's that Jews are they don't have a culture of their own instead they live in other people's cultures and they adopt those cultures as a means of destroying them creativity among Jews and there's a really uh there's one instance where he basically dams with faint praise of a very popular Jewish composer because German music itself is so devoid of it's pure nationalist essence that it is an imitation of itself and therefore there is no better creature than the Jew who is himself a fake to perpetuate that tradition which is like some really fucking bonkers reasoning I should talk a little bit about vogner as a as a composer too I suppose like I said in terms of music appreciation style 101 he would be described as a late romantic he was incredibly influential even people who hated him nonetheless always would be within his shadow claude debussy called him a poison and and yet was inevitably influenced by him musically he begins to basically bump up against the limits of the tonal system he is his work as characterized by a lot of chromaticism sometimes very sweeping walls of sound extensive use of dynamics as a musician in a conductor he does a lot of innovative stuff stuff said today we would probably frown upon a lot where he basically would just rewrite scores a bit to make them better but he but he did pioneered the sort of the idea that the conductor is more than a mechanical instrument for orchestral unison and can actually be a conduit through which creativity is expressed which is something that we this is how we view and teach conducting today again you just got to take my [Laughter] the other thing I'll say about his his legacy is that he's primarily known as an opera composer and he's unique in that he also looked wrote the libretto that is the text to his to his operas most operatic composers Mozart did not do this the librettist is almost always someone separate so he has some talent as a as a writer and in addition to libretto like will also write on politics and music a lot especially in his later days in a really shitty way but other than other than that I'll think I'll let most things oh there is more thing I forgot cuz people are gonna want to know yes he was an anti-semite and he was a villain won and wasn't a passive thing he was active in his anti-semitism and sort of spreading it as a cause especially like later in his life yeah he did have an ambivalent sort of relationship with some Jews in his personal life however what people probably really want to know is in his operas are his work anti-semitic and the answer to that is mostly no I would I would say great I don't know if you've looked into this at all or if you know to think about it but most vogner scholars I mean there are a few characters and a few scenarios where you can stage the production or view it in such a way as to be you're critical of Jews or Jewry and this is very true but it's it's not really there in a pervasive way systematic way and it's definitely not in all his operas for sure yeah that being said we'll revisit his operas and where they can in can't be performed but all that being said vogner dies I guess and five years later tim's Darwin's hero off hitler horn so and uh uh in my car Ralphie yeah yeah and uh I'm gonna I'm gonna quiz you bro cause you're my ex okay let's see hey do you know who Saint Hitler care packages including stationery upon which his biography autobiography was written do you know among those who did so the vogner's so uh there in early in the 20s vogner's descendants are already helping Hitler and in mind Kampf Hitler describes a performance that he saw of Lohengrin and he fucking loves it oh my god he loves it so much bro do you want to talk a little bit about that don't remember him being 12 I didn't think that he had gone do uh he had seen vogner until he was living in Vienna and he was like 17 but I mean I could be I could be wrong ya know but it's um like a whole period that he's in VN is kind of this uh the way that he describes it at least is like a time where he's being kind of pulled in different directions by different forces and on the one hand like he sees Vienna as this really cosmopolitan city where there's tons of ethnic minorities and they're kind of polluting the thirty of the Austrian state and he sees in involved nur in particular like this uh this positive assertion of German identity German myth-making and like a renunciation of multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism basically and then certainly this this this reification of what it means to be a German and so it lends itself for a person like Hitler and for a lot of for that matter for a lot of people in you're in Austria at that time in Vienna in particular who were on the right a pen german identity the idea that to to be german was to supersede the your geopolitical identity uh I just want to see say that I did look quote my is from Mayan compote at the age of twelve I saw the first opera of my life Lohengrin and when in South was addicted my youthful enthusiasm for the Bayreuth master you know bounds in quote Bayreuth of course is a place in Germany today and it is actually an opera house that still stands the war did destroy the vogner's like primary residents but it did not wreck the theater which is probably good because it's hard to build an opera house and you know I'd rather not wreck then but I also wouldn't cry too hard if a few bombs have blown it up yeah cuz Bayreuth is is gonna come back cuz baby is still going it's been up and down but it was started after Vogler's death he was the first director of course and passed it on through his family and it still operates today with a there was a hiatus of course after Germany lost the war for a few years but uh in terms of vogner's influence on Hitler's anti-semitism though this is basically not a thing don't only make clear that people even the second time that vogner's article gets out is more popular but it's not that popular and we really don't have any evidence that Nazi Party functionaries in the 20s and 30s were like really into vogner a whole bunch with the exception of Hitler yeah there are actually stories of like Hitler being super into vogner and getting all inviting all these Nazi party functionaries to see a vogner opera which like I gotta tell you guys they're beautiful works of art but if you know a thing about opera the long shit and so you are talking about like a multi our commitment to sit in a chair and shut the fuck up and listen and I mean that's not for anyone to do and and to be honest with you like the vogner was pretty successfully appropriated by the Nazis he was not that popular composer pop at the time like I think Puccini was bigger during the war then the involve really was in people's houses but in any case like Hitler invites people to go to this opera I'm like the first time basically like none of the Nazis show up and so and so the next year he he says the same thing except this time like now you're going no you know you don't understand I'm not inviting you I'm telling you that you will go and it's very clear that you gotta go and you know he was pretty pissed off that like people were like sleeping in their chairs whatever and they were and so the year after that he finally released more tickets like to the public and stop trying to like fucking boosters so much yeah but all that being said you know just just because like I do hold vogner yeah he was an anti-semitic piece of shit but he was really a Nazi um and he was you know he was bad for his time too he wasn't just like oh everyone was kind of racist no he was famous for being a dick about this stuff like when he was alive great and yet you know when he dies I'm when a person dies I'm inclined to stop hitting things on them quite so easily and cuz what really happens is like his music like I said it's not really any Semitic in itself but you know fascism is a postmodern thing it's not interested in this it's gonna appropriate what it wants it's gonna appropriate the ambivalent things and then mold them to their purposes and then everything else it will discard and this is what they did with vogner a lot of vogner's operas were not performed during the Nazi era I'm like Parsifal was performing much at all because it it has themes in it that might offend Nazis yeah but the the real kind of well villain here if you will is another vogner though right you know this vogner Winifred father I believe what's her name she's originally a Suffolk born English woman who married into the family but uh she became incredibly close to Adolf Hitler how much she know about their relationship well I know that you she married zigfried I think yes and and he was actually I think managing bioriod during that period yeah imagining the Bethenny and when he died in I believe 1930 she Winifred the widow became the festival stretcher right right and she was the one that was sending the stationery to Hitler in in prison wasn't she so more than one of vogner's children are deeply problematic in in this regard like a lot of people like tend to point the finger more at the the older daughter Ava who's the she's the daughter they has my Franz Liszt's daughter yeah yes and she marries uh she also marries a British guy his name's Houston Stewart Chamberlain yeah and he writes a number of like very influential books on race yeah you might if you're they were called philosophic but they're not you know they're garbage of course but they were required Nazi readings so he's like on the fucking list yeah and so there's there's there's a good argument to be made that writers like Chamberlain had a pretty significant effect on influence rather on Hitler's uh like theories about race like control of his problems his uh his anti-semitism Vadra didn't have a very sort of well-developed like like theory or ideology about race per se it was just you know who was German and who wasn't and he was sort of part of a larger swath of German intellectuals on the right who are coming up during this period who saw Jewish liberation as a very particular economic threat all right so the like liberalism in Germany it's it coincides with with the granting of full citizenship Jews and within a generation or so Jews are now able to particularly in fact almost entirely in urban areas they're able to compete economically for positions and universities for white-collar jobs so on so forth so it's very easy to sort of turn these people's animosity toward Jews because they're they're posing a kind of economic threat yeah I'm sorry buddy from Wednesday because I forgot to say this a lot of vogner's anti-semitism really is rooted in just like I mean for him there it's not petty bullshit but in terms of world history its petty bullshit what he is is he's jealous of Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer and he is associating their Jewishness both with their success and his own failure and the fact that he views them as being too conservative and holding back the progress of music in general German music in particular and the last point honestly I'd say he's probably right about I Mendelssohn is too conservative for me and I am glad there was somebody like musically speaking who will bust open that shit but everything else is really like a lot of right-wingers it's all just based on my personal presentment yeah there's no question about that I mean I think what happens during vogner's period is that because there's been drawn a really clear separation between religious beliefs and in government policy because you have a growing number of people who are who are not affiliated with the church and who are basically agnostic it's not it now we're being a theistic you can't you can't drum up hatred against Jews on the basis of you know whatever role they're believed to have played in Christian now the line has to be drawn in some way that that doesn't take religion into account and so the way that the anti-semite of mid to late 19th century Germany's going to do that is on the basis of quote-unquote race right I mean the there they're opposing now this economic threat and the way to deal with that threat is to point out to the the larger community that they're not German right they come from someplace else they look different from us that they that if they practice the religion tends to be a religion different from ours but that's a sort of a secondary concern the argue of this of course is how the guy like Felix Mendelssohn considers himself to be entirely German you know his is uh his uh he doesn't feel as if he's fundamentally different from any other person that speaks German that was you know lives in Germany was born in Germany for that matter and so I mean musically speaking that's I mean he absolutely was of the millou of you know romantic German composers you know I didn't mean to like slag on him too hard I just musically speaking the only point I made to say was like I you know I do prefer vogner to middle city and yet middle sense still it's just a matter of taste middle said also top tier very important very influential composer in the history of music despite his somewhat conservative style so like if we got any middle sand fans out there like in the middle of composing me a message chill the fuck out about that right yeah I mean so and the others say it's just kind of like a bit of background on this is that this is not something that's specific to Germany right I mean this is something that's that that is an element of the right-wing all across Central and Western Europe anywhere that Jews have been have been liberated there is an emerging anti-semitism on the right wing it's it's most pronounced actually in France rather than in Germany at this point it's it's politically mobilized fairly effectively in Germany for for a period but in France it's politically motivated straight to the end of world war two and so reminders are particularly special in that regard that he was anti-semitic is almost to be assumed on the basis of where he sat politically generally speaking that he was vocal about it is probably really what distinguish him like and yeah it was racial to some extent because you know he didn't view the distinction as being a religious one but it's not really until a guy like Chamberlain along that that there are people sort of theorizing a like a racial war as being being at play here and it's uh and that's the you know because he has a direct influence on vodkas daughter and my extension you know his uh his son her wife and then their children into the generation that follow this it's really it goes on for a long time it gets it gets extended throughout the generations really in that family probably as you already pointed out not really primarily I've logged himself but rather through these influences that come into the family that decide to sort of take whatever it is that they can take from boggers ideas and use them to their to their own ends in any case getting back to a Houston Stewart Chamberlain as near as I know Tim's it's it's uh it's basically accepted that he Wow incredibly influential among the Nazis and associated with the vogner's is not really like reliably a conduit for Richard Wagner himself in his views but it is you know worth noting an incredibly interesting that you know the vogner name and family is early attached to the Nazis and this is a legacy with which frankly the the family has yet to really you know confront and in a way I think it's reasonable but anyway moving on a bit Winifred of course after siegfried wagner richard wagner's son dies takes over Bayreuth and runs it for a few years and the nazis are really super into it like i said hitler's basically ordering people to go do it at some point but we we fast-forward to the end of the war which spoiler hitler but uh i don't know if you know this of his many many many crimes this is by far not the not the worse but hitler actually had in his possession midi of vogner's original scores and his bunker in and despite the pleadings of the vogner's themselves to please give us these course he did not and they were destroyed in the final days of the war unfortunately no I didn't know that yeah really really kind of sucks because there's you know a lot of things he wrote the scores probably the best a lot of the actual words yeah but in any case after the war the Bayreuth festival shuts down and the Bayreuth festival is of course like the vogner legacy a state and festival where they put on a whole bunch of like vogner works and opera productions and stuff but after the war of course there's no time for that right five years it shuts down and 51 it reopens now Winifred cannot run it anymore a War Court has said I don't think so your your to not see and she in her family to look I'm gonna be clear I don't buy this bullshit but this is what they say she was never really into Nazis and she really like hated the Holocaust and wasn't really into the party at all she just really fucking loved Hitler right first of all that ain't even that great a defense I just don't I don't buy that shit at all do you wanna shoot no no no no I don't buy it about you know King Edward the eighth and his wife and not abide about Henry Ford I don't buy it about her no man but in any case so she can't read it no more so her two kids running we're not gonna go through the whole fucking family tree because they're very devout nurse and you know vogner himself had many children and his students many children multiple marriages to and so that like it gets really actually pretty complex you want to trace down all the way to all the vogner's that are around but I want to overgeneralize generally speaking families got some problems for one thing as near as I can tell I've looked to try to see if they've backtracked on this and I don't think they have they've still got like 20 years of correspondence between Winifred and Hitler that there will not let anyone see ya and then let me make it clear they were so close that after Winfred was widowed people thought that she and Hitler might have been banging and that yeah it yeah that maybe Hitler was going to marry her and it's it we literally do not know if that's true or not it actually wouldn't it seems kind of like it might be actually but I don't know do you know anything about where you come down on that oh yes there's there's rumors about all kinds of things you know I mean those days the only you know he he obviously he married me but brown and he married or you know like a day or two before they killed themselves and he was involved with her for like the last you know 10 years of his life or something like that but you know that's the only like known relationship with a woman that he had there was there was talk about affairs here and there in particularly like probably the most famous one was there was an alleged to be an affair with this with his niece um but you know there's never been any proof it's always been kind of being like a rumor mill yeah I want to make that clear there is no proof just rumors not totally bullshit I'm substantiate ones but like you know rumors at the time that and they were incredibly close that is absolutely yes yeah in fact Godfried Wagner Wagner said told us when I had lunch with him that she used to call him uncle wolf yes and and it actually likes talked about him with the cryptic initials USA which in turn stood for like our beloved Adolf yeah then like a switch like Wow she lives till 1980 and even in the family though like they do still have some problems they're not they're not unified on this Nazi shit at all as we'll talk about one fate more of them one of the more appropriate is excuse me one of the more important vogner's alive today working on this stuff of a fix deserves some credit but she was like she lived until the 80s 1980s and he she she this is why I don't believe oh she's not announces whatever she received a parade of fascists from all over the fucking world at her goddamn house yeah for decades to the point where like even some of the more neutral voters like come on Maggie please cut it out this looks terrible like kind of keep it on the down-low like 50% less fascist house visits like Jesus quite like a shitload of them and to her time day you know she never recanted or regretted any of her relationship with the Nazis or with Hitler um however as I said family it's not uniform at all and there is one vogner who is still incredibly pissed off about all of this his name is Godfried vogner he I believe he still lives in Italy where he is a musical and musical director and Tim's darling you had the privilege to speak with him right I did I had lunch with him this is 15 or 20 years ago now and let's less than 20 but more than 15 I had lunch with him at the house of a rabbi in Philadelphia rabbi names actually a fairly known well-known rabbi named Brian Walt he's a South African rabbi and he was one of the very vocal rabbi as a member of an organization called rabbis for human rights it's uh the fights for rights for the Palestinians in the occupied and he had invited Godfrey to come to his synagogue and speak about about the vogner family and then invited invited him back to his house for lunch and the woman I was dating the woman that was involved in setting up the the meeting at the time for him to come to the speak of the synagogue so she brought me along to this luncheon it was just Bryan me and her and and and Godfrey who had lunch together and he sort of told the story of what it was like for him to come to terms with this with the the big problem in his family of of all these Nazis and so he um he basically sort of presented it as being a fairly typical experience that a lot of Germans had in the 1960s of his generation where they were coming of age in the mid to late 60s and they were finding out about you know the war crimes and all of these things for the first time and they were turning to their parents and saying well you know what were you doing what was going on in our family when all these terrible things were happening and the responses were either denials just outright denials or you know the refusal to engage in it at all Oh a lot of feet shuffling I'd say yeah but and I just want to interrupt I'm sorry to say sure it's just an incredibly important point to extrapolate that the the vogner's though they are like very famous and influential in Germany the problem that they're facing is not singular or unique they're not lots of German families who all had to come to terms with this sure sure yeah I mean and in fact you know just to give you some example I mean the woman that brought me to this lunch I mean she's you know German and you know descended from a German family on both sides you know going back as far as she can tell and and on her father's side they were party members and on her mother's side they were actually members of the resistance and that was a much more rare thing in Germany to be part of the resistance though I mean it was a much more common thing to have to have family members not necessarily we're in the party or who were actually complicit but who at the very least you know just sort of went along with everything yes so the and so the accusation that somebody like like Gottfried Wagner would make him his parents was like you know how could you not how could you not say something like you know we didn't it outraged your sense of right and wrong to you know see Jews being pulled out of their apartments and brought the train stations and he shipped off to nowhere and you never saw them again I mean they tell me that you know that you were told by the government that they were just going someplace else but you know you never saw them again so you must have known something bad had happened and the difference obviously was that that his family Gutteridge family were members of the of the elite and so the the denials would just sort of fall much more flat than they would in most other cases you know and there was a lot of revolution activity in Germany at the time in the late 60s and this was happening some of which was happening as a direct reaction to a whole generation of silence after the war and refusal to talk about these things and and really sort of come in terms of them and what was actually happening in the 60s that contributed to this to a very large extent was that West Germany was putting on its first first public trials of war criminals yes yeah so all of this was sort of coming in plus the Eichmann trial that happened at the beginning of the 60s so that has brought out a lot of this stuff and then when Germany began putting on its own trials that I was in the front pages of the papers every day and so and then here sir Godfrey begins to interrogate his parents and that sort of gets the ball rolling on how things end up yeah I know it will he will basically become estranged from basically his entire family as years I can tell nope most of the video way yeah yeah we knit when his father died I think in 2001 early two-thousands um he was he had to read about it in the paper yeah nobody called him he was not allowed to see his father who was estranged from and yet like probably would have gone to his bedside in his deathbed because he had first privately I imagine it and then very publicly you know began to challenge his father and the rest of his family for not adequately confronting did agree to which they didn't just not do anything and they didn't just keep their heads down they helped ya a good bit I'd say you know obviously they didn't change the world win the war or anything like that but they were on board yeah with Hitler and what he was doing and and Gottfried was looking back on is he's not dead I'm sorry but you know I imagine he looks back on this still to this day and and you know feels shame not in himself but in in the rest of his family who have not really looked this legacy in the eye yeah yeah and I think that's what really sort of drove him more than anything else it wasn't again you know that that he had family that were you know members of the party or that had connections to people that weren't power wasn't that that unique but at the same time they're they're sort of steadfast refusal to engage any of a particularly given the public profile of the family within Germany right up to the present day just you know infuriated them basically and you know he was said he was basically saying to them like you know this is an idea destroyed our country I mean never never mind home to other people which obviously were awful and we need to take account of but I mean destroyed the country as well you know so this is really something that we need to make a public accounting up and they were just like you know no way because most of them in his telling it but most of them were were just absolutely unapologetic about their about their affiliation and that they were still pretty pretty diehard in their in their belief right down to his to his father you know he was a like a teenager during the war his father in terms of Bayreuth when they were looking for a new director though Godfried would have absolutely been an excellent candidate as a vogner and a musician at the time when they were looking it was never ever gonna happen let he let alone even be considered because of that festival to this Tuesday remains in the hands of lesson enlightened vogner's then God freed Godfrey still works in Italy I believe and he I believe he directs a basically he's the boss of the whole theatre and so like all the musical productions operas and everything that goes on there he's he's helped he's doing that he's I know he's also trained as musicologist which I have told people before what that is but basically if you don't know it's an anthropologist for music you study music and a scholarly level music historians would fall into this category some people would even consider musical education to be a type of musicology I wasn't really taught that in school but there's one view anyway on the other hand though there there is a if not uh if not quite as bad a mistake there is a and so not equal and opposite there still is a somewhat um opposed mistake that you can make in terms of the vogner legacy and it's the it's the state of affairs in the State of Israel today regarding folk music actually I don't know if you familiar with this at all well I know that it's been deeply controversial obviously the entire times Israel has existed but I thought that I remember reading something that they had performed bogner there for the first time in the last decade um here's the thing near as I as I have looked and so things might have changed relatively recently but back in the 30s before Israel's a thing there's a Palestine orchestra in this Orchestra will become the Israeli national orchestra so it's the same continuous body just because it's called Palestinian Orchestra don't wanna give everybody the wrong idea they played vogner no big deal it was never they were never worried about it you know just he's part of the Canon in other words yeah and so you play him because he's part of the Canon however after the modern State of Israel comes into being to my knowledge never has an entire vogner opera been staged in the State of Israel yeah I'm actually looking at this now I remember so this is where I heard it was announced in 2012 that they were going to do it but again because of protests it never happened yes yes there's no law that says you can't play vogner and is really thing like that but you basically can't play fuck him is Israel he's not at a public performance um a few time there have been a few times where instrumental works had been played and I am not unbiased I absolutely admit this I'm gonna say that straight up right now because I've devoted years of my life then I'll never get back to the study of this music yeah and so for someone to be like oh we're just not gonna play it because he was an asshole and a particularly like a T Semitic and like outspoken asshole that's that's ridiculous to me it would be one thing if his work was actually anti-semitic but like yes the instrumental shit first of all you can't even make that argument okay and a lot of the operas I have it's in the staging which you know I I think you know even even old music should not be dead and it should you know be infused with new life new takes new creativity if you will vogner himself rewrote scores because he thought they made them better this is you know kind of taboo but it did infuse some much-needed life into music at the time we can do the same thing with his operas indeed Bayreuth that Tom's has done this yeah it's gone up and down sort of as an artistic festival but to my mind and I'm not really into opera much at all okay to my mind they're more successful productions and years have been when they have not just done the same old vogner the same old way every year and instead have allowed new directors to come in with new ideas new takes new staging new lights all that stuff and give it something new right yeah and the thing isn't like in Israel they're so far behind that culturally because they can't even grapple with the music as it exists like I said I'm absolutely pious but I think this is bullshit you're not do you think this is bullshit well it's bullshit but it's part of a larger like pattern in Israel with regard to Germany generally which is like you know Israel have public relations with like open diplomatic relations with Germany for about ten years and and during that period there was a lot of sort of back-channel contacts because West Germany in particular was really eager to reach out to Israel the supporter very heavily as a way of kind of like swaging its guilt over what had happened during the war but the and so what one of the ways that this manifested during the nineteen fifties was in reparations or any I mean Germany pays out reparations to Holocaust survivors for lost property for loss of you know of relatives labs and things like and this was really controversial like when the when it was the the came time for the the Parliament there the knesset to vote on a reparations bill they passed by one vote and it always passed by one vote because some of the people that were protesting against it had threatened and burned the Knesset building down at the what they called blood money and and so they were in jail they said they were in jail and could vote actually partisans were led by Menachem Bagan became prime minister in the 1970s so and he was a Holocaust survivor so I mean it gives you some idea of what was motivating his particular animus right I mean so the idea that anybody would be German in Germany like a TV another exactly but Eichmann was trying to Jerusalem in 1961 the three judges that were the tribunal that tried him were all first language German speakers they were they had all been born in Germany and Eddie and but nobody wanted to volunteer to translate for Eichmann between Hebrew and German for you know a bunch of reasons but one of which was that nobody wants the German and finally the three judges that that were on the tribunal they were so frustrated by the fact that the translation that Eichmann was getting was so bad was in fact getting in the way of his getting a fair trial just cross-examined him directly in German and that was a big deal because like you know that was the language of the oppressor you don't speak German and it's real like that's a you know it's it's a it's a it's a taboo and so part of the vogner thing goes along with that whole sort of rejection in Israel particularly the first couple of generations of anything having to do with Germany yeah you know and and the other part of it is like sort of coming to terms with it like you like you point out you know he's part of the Canon I mean and so to have to consider yourself to be a fully educated person with regard to 19th century romantic music you have to come to terms with the vogner it's like you know my background educational background is in American literature you know in one of the major poets of 20th century American literature is Ezra Pound Ezra Pound was a fascist he was you know he literally was tried for treason because he was broadcasting from Italy during the war telling telling in English broadcasting to American GIs and British guys telling them they shouldn't be fighting a war for the Jews you know and they bring him back to the United States they put him on trial they find him not guilty by reason of insanity they throw him into a mental institution for 15 years or something like that he finally gets out he goes back to Italy he never renounces points of view but what am I gonna do you're gonna not teach Ezra Pound he's like one of the most important poets in the 20th century and as a as a patron of other poets and he's barred none he's the most important poet of the first half of the 20th century I mean so you have to come to terms with them which means you know you you engage his work you don't engage his and you know as well as his politics they're not engaged the you know the the negative political aspects of what these what either one of these men were about but I mean but they're they're they had real influence and you need to – you need to engage them from an artistic standpoint at the very least and in terms of vogner I you know I don't find it persuasive but I should let people know that there are some people who make a case it a lot of his stuff particularly like in his operas has a left-wing point of view there is there is a plot device in one of his operas where the god of gods basically forces two Titans to build him a mansion so opulent that he himself cannot afford it which you know brings a bit anti-capitalist to my area there are other things like like that in addition like the Exile that he was suffering politically that during his lifetime before the unification of Germany was because of his participation in the failed revolutions of 1848 1849 yeah and that project of German nationalism at the time it wasn't it wasn't a foregone conclusion yet how left or right a project that was gonna be now it turns out Bismarck is the one who does it and so in Bismarck the honor Chancellor is in is a clearly conservative right-wing figure and so that is the terms that wouldn't under which like the German Empire will begin but before that it wasn't so clear cut yeah I I would say further it wasn't even that all that clear cut afterward it's it's not really until World War one that there's a clean break made in Germany and not just in Germany but in virtually every other country in Europe between nationalism on one hand and socialism on the other where there's a because you know when the war breaks out in 1914 the one of the first sort of cracks in the in the Social Democratic Party in Germany the SPD which is still is the oldest social democratic party in Europe that crack is caused by the rejection by the refusal rather of the majority of the of the members of the SPD to renounce the war there's a left-wing faction within the SPD that that breaks off because they don't want to go to war because they see it as a as a capitalist exploit you know at the expensive of Labor who are be fight but they say SPD see themselves as patriotic Germans and their nationalism for the way they see it is really not to be questioned it's not until the end of the war when the when the the defeat gets hung around there next that they are able to see that they were wrong really I mean and it's the same split happens within the within the Social Democratic Party in in Russia it's with Lenin being on the left the zimmer of all left that breaks up on the basis of being against the war that's so I really don't react salutely correct I mean Bismarck is this very you know sort of old-school right-wing reactionary kind of figure but you know he's and he is the standard bearer for German nationalism but there's a significant amount of German nationalism on the left and just you know just as important I think until World War one yeah it's definitely not as like clear how things were gonna shake out and I think a lot of you know vogner's coloring and and really it's absolutely fair you know because late in his life he did not mellow out he got worse and he read more about this stuff actually you know I did mention the the one article your Jewishness in music but like that's not the only thing he wrote about Jews he did he brought some other pretty fucking gross stuff that again was never like super popular influential when he was alive or by the Nazis but it was enough to associate him his descendants yeah this Ichi semitism and that's a legacy that will never we should never forget whether whether we are vogner's yeah yeah [Applause] [Applause] you

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