Bach, Anti-Semite

Thursday, February 26, 2004
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The anti-semitism witch hunt is never-ending. According to this nut, we need to shame the memories of classical composers such as Bach and Wagner for their role in the Holocaust.

Nupen strikingly points out that German music, from its recognisable beginnings in the works of Johann Sebatian Bach, was imbued with Jew-hatred. ‘For me it is not easy to listen to the Matthew Passion,’ observes the German-born Israeli politician Elyakim Haetzni in the film, ‘because we are accused there of something terrible’ – the murder of Christ.

Music was not so much a victim of Nazi policy as an essential instrument. It provided both the impetus and the imprimatur for persecution and eventual mass murder. The testimonies in Nupen’s important film expose the centrality of music to Hitler’s evil design. The charge cannot be allowed to lie on file. Music needs to admit its Holocaust role, and atone.

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