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It is believed that art should not intersect with politics, that it lies above the human struggle for power and money. But in reality, it often happens that individual works become means of influencing the minds and hearts of the masses. Take at least any national anthem - this is music turned into a symbol that unites people and evokes pride in their country in their hearts. There is one very dark example in history of how the art of the great composer became the score for the creation of a whole totalitarian system.
Musical tastes of the NazisIt is known that Wagner was Adolf Hitler's favorite composer. His works, even in his youth, introduced the future Fuhrer into an ecstatic state. In addition to mystical music, charged with energy and strength, the ideological component of the operas and mysteries of this German composer also proved to be very suitable for a totalitarian regime. Almost all of Wagner's great works are written on the basis of German legends or famous short stories and poems by German authors: The Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, the Ring of the Nibelungen cycle, Tristan and Isolde. Once in power, the Nazis made Wagner's music almost an official symbol of their power. So, for example, all congresses of the NSDAP began with an overture to the opera Rienzi, and the famous Flight of the Valkyries, the most beautiful excerpt from the opera Valkyrie, became the official anthem of the German Luftwaffe.
Musician and thinkerWagner's fans, justifying the great composer, say that Wagner was not the only composer loved by the Nazi leaders - Hitler, for example, respected Beethoven very much, especially his Ode to Joy, and Himmler performed Bach perfectly. Wagner's works simply fit too well into the national idea of the Third Reich, as they were dedicated to the heroes of the German mythological epic. In the wake of the rise of German self-awareness, they were really used as a musical background for decorating Nazi ceremonies and even crimes in concentration camps (although the fact that people were burned to the music of this composer is still controversial), but in any case, Wagner, who died in six years before the birth of Adolf Hitler, he cannot be held responsible for this.
In fact, this question is much more complicated. In addition to musical works, Wagner was the author of a rich literary heritage - numerous works on music theory and art history, philosophical works and memoirs. One of the ideas that runs through all his work as a red thread was an active and extremely frankly expressed anti-Semitism. This is an indisputable historical fact, all his numerous statements on this topic leave no room for a double interpretation and classify the composer as one of the ardent anti-Semites.
Wagner's views aroused indignation during the composer's lifetime. Thus, his article "Jewry in Music", published in 1850, provoked protests from professors at the Leipzig Conservatory. It should be noted that this text still outrages people, and in 2012 it was included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials of the Russian Federation. Its printing and distribution in our country is prohibited. Wagner's views and writings were the reason that his works are never performed in Israel. This boycott is considered tacit, but very harsh.
Like notesSome researchers believe that the influence of Wagner's work on the fascist regime was not limited to creating a musical background for organizing ceremonies. It is known that Hitler read his literary works, drawing from them nationalist ideas. Many symbols and heroes of Wagner's works seemed to come to life when writing the most terrible page in human history.
For example, the fascists constantly used Wagnerian names and names: "Lohengrin", "Valkyrie", "Nibelungi", "Grail" - the names of secret lodges of the "Germanenorden" society, created by German nationalist anti-Semites on the Masonic model. The plan of attack on the USSR was named after the heir to the Nibelungen - "Barbarossa". The famous "Siegfried Line" - named after the hero of the "Ring of the Nibelungen".
It is believed that Hitler himself associated himself with Parsifal - the protagonist of Wagner's musical drama of the same name - a hero who came from the people to lead the nation. Even the end of the life of the great dictator and his wife seems to be played out according to the libretto of a tragic opera: in the finale of The Death of the Gods, Brünnhilde and Siegfried disappear into the flames of a funeral pyre, in which Valhalla herself is blazing.
Back in 1923, Hitler stood for a long time at a simple stone in Bayreuth, under which the great German composer rested. Then the future Fuhrer said:. Unfortunately, this story has become the clearest example of the fact that music is really a great force, and sometimes it can become destructive.
Love is another great force that can cause the birth or death of entire empires. The life of Hitler's faithful companion Eva Braun is full of tragic facts, many of which have not become generally known.