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Subject: Wagner and antisemitism
From: Ingeborg Weinberger <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 28 Nov 2008 22:05:33 EST

text/plain (49 lines)

 I was puzzled by Jay's addling note: "Can we now have your learned 
commentary on Franz Lehar, Merry Widow and Hitler?"

Though lacking an indication to whom the request or challenge was intended it 
did bring to mind a number of passages from Brigitte Hamann's "Hitler's 
Vienna" and "Winifred Wagner," and William L. Shirer's "Berlin Diary" relating to 
Hitler's recreational hours during his Berlin War years spent playing Franz 
Lehar's "Merry Widow", to which he continued to listen throughout the war, 
substituting at times American films such as, "It Happened One Night", starring 
matinee idol Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert

Though he is supposed to have had a passion for Wagnerian opera, we're told 
he almost never attended the opera in Berlin during that period preferring the 
Metropol that put on tolerably acceptable comedies with emphasis on pretty 
dancing girls.

What fascinated me most about this phenomenon was that I still lived in 
Germany during much of that time, escaping with my family after living through 
"Kristallnacht" and never would have in my wildest dreams believed our "Fuehrer" 
would have preferred Lehar, Gable and Colbert to the Meister.

Personally I was weaned on Wagner's music and still attend his operas, and 
tune into them when they're broadcast but must say my tastes have broadened 
since I was eighteen and left the fatherland and since seeing other works such as 
"L'Africaine" and the "Huguenots," operas by Giacomo Meyerbeer, verboten in 
Germany, I am sorry I had to wait so long to be exposed to these works.


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