The anti-semitic sundenfall

The anti-Semitic sundenfall

The letter of a dutch translator, who deals with the "open letter the first meeting with the vivisection opponent ernst von weber was held on 22 march 1880 in the villa angri high above naples. March 1880 in the villa angri high above naples, where wagner, thanks to the generous support of king ludwig ii. From 4. January to 7. August 1880 lodged with his princes. "As I have seen in R. That’s what I’m talking about", writes his wife cosima "he says: ‘these are indeed stirring signs, and i could rejoice over some things, but the sorrow over the whole does not quite allow the joy over the individual to arise. I expect results now, and they can’t come in germany, it is judaized and professed’."

In cosima wagner’s diaries, hardly a week goes by in which their anti-semitism is not unmistakably expressed. This happens especially frequently in march 1869, when the second version of the so-called "judenbroschure" is published appears. That wagner wrote the inflammatory pamphlet entitled das judenthum in der musik, which he first published in 1850 under the pseudonym K. Freigedank’s publication in two installments of the neue zeitschrift fur musik, which was reissued almost twenty years later under his name as a pamphlet with additional and detailed explanations, is certainly the more serious case: with the more effective pamphlet, it became clear that wagner was a man of conviction on this point.

This was partly understood by his friends and supporters as well. Franz liszt wrote to his life companion, carolyne princess von sayn-wittgenstein: "wagner publishes in brochure form his old article on hebraertum, judenthum in music. Far from admitting his mistake, he aggravates it by a preface and an epilogue addressed to madame kalergis." And the conductor heinrich esser, a friend of wagner’s, loved to tell wagner’s publisher franz schott: "i do not understand how wagner could commit such a madness, to rehash a foolishness that was committed many years ago and has since been forgotten, and to make an immortal fool of himself again."

About wagners judenhass has been published a lot in the last decades. For me, two books by jens malte fischer are outstanding: his insel-taschenbuch richard wagners "das judentum in der musik" published in 2000 (380 S., only available as an antiquarian) and – in a shorter form and combined with other topics – the recently published essay volume richard wagner und seine wirkung from the zsolnay verlag (320 pp., 19,95 €).

For all newcomers to the subject, this brand-new book is ideal, if only because the author succeeds in reducing even the worst of the sentence-ungetum – and in wagner’s theoretical writings there is unfortunately no shortage of them – to their core in a readable way. Fischer does not lecture, does not instruct, does not ideologize and does not polemize. But offers a rich material about which everyone can and may make up his own mind, stimulated by his exaggerations, which reflect one, his clear attitude.

And this, as the dedication of his documentation of the judentum brochure of 2000 to the recently deceased mediavist and wagner connoisseur peter wapnewski shows, is based on the fact that one can deal intensively with wagner without becoming blind through love or deaf through hate." Therefore jens malte fischer will not hesitate to point out that it can only be a wishful thinking to believe that wagner’s anti-semitism is not also reflected in his music.

"The incredible and often aggressive resistance of today’s wagner audience to pointing out that, for example, in figures like mime and beckmesser, the anti-jewish resentments of their victim are recognizable", he writes, "is based above all on the fact that the "jewish" movement, which began in the second half of the nineteenth century, is still in its infancy. The self-evident impragnation of the twentieth century with the cultural code of anti-semitism (in very different degrees of intensity) in the face of what happened in the twentieth century. It is no longer self-evident that what happened in the twentieth century." He also provides evidence for marc weiner’s controversial thesis that today’s contemporaries can no longer hear or see anti-semitic allusions in certain wagner figures and music, and concludes with the demand that "this extraordinarily difficult, but also grateful and necessary topic" be dealt with in a more fundamental way must be taken up again fundamentally and basically.

Fischer is not one of those who want to hold wagner directly responsible for hitler. "I point out however", he writes "that even and especially an artist of richard wagner’s range, who felt responsible for everything and who spoke out authoritatively on everything, far beyond his actual field, cannot be released from the joint responsibility for what is done by posterity with his pronounced interpretations."

No one may listen to this either, but it is nevertheless correct. "The problem is", according to fischer "that wagner interpreters, directors as well as conductors above all, scholars, but also ‘simple’ wagner lovers can bear to acknowledge that their hero has expressed anti-semitic views of some radicality. But they do not want to acknowledge that these views have left traces in his stage and compositional work, because then they would be faced with the alternative of either renouncing their love for this work or maintaining it in full awareness of this fact."

On 5. March 1869 cosima notes: "von der post bringt R. The first copies of the juden-broschure with", on 10. On march 17, her former husband hans von bulow writes to her and "is very impressed by the brochure." On 16. Marz brings R. "A letter from mme viardot upstairs – about the jewish brochure! Yes this nonsense or this deep sense. She is judin, that is now clear." At 17. Another letter from the famous sanguine comes, and the leipzig publisher johann jacob weber sends the first reviews: "everything foams, rages, jeers. Evening dictation."

On 22. March 1994 steven spielberg’s holocaust drama "schindler’s list" was released awarded seven oscars, including in the category "best film", on 22. March 2007 was the start of the austrian-german feature film "die falscher by stefan ruzowitzky.