By: Steve Dellar | 09-03-2018 | News
Photo credit: Wagner Götterdämmerung Decca LP

Israel - Public Radio Apologizes For Playing Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung” (Video)

One of Israel's public broadcasters was forced to apologize to listeners after music by Richard Wagner was played on the radio and complaints rolled in. Because of his virulent anti-Semitism (and because Adolf Hitler was one of his greatest fans), the music of Wagner is a big no-no in Israel.

However, on Friday a radio presenter decided to open his broadcast (on the Kol Hamusica station) with the final part of Wagner's famous Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods).

"In 1849, Richard Wagner began to formulate his revolutionary ideas about opera as a result of anarchist political activity, and gave rise to a new artistic form merging poetry and drama…we will listen to the final act of 'Twilight of Gods,'" the program's presenter, Avishai Pelchi, said.

Listeners started calling in, condemning the choice and the broadcast was quickly ended. In their apology, the public broadcaster said the editor had erred in his "artistic choice" and Wagner would not be played anymore.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">There are lot of VW cars in Israel; and they were Hitler&#39;s pet project while Wagner lived,composed and died long before Hitler so banning Wagner is really childish and pointless.</p>&mdash; Norman Alvin (@norman_alvin) <a href="">September 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation sent out a statement recognizing the ‘pain such a broadcast would cause among Holocaust survivors.’

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Wagner's views on racial purity were well-known in Europe of the 20th century. The German composer authored a pamphlet entitled Judaism in Music, in which he said that he said that "the Jew" was "incapable of artistic expression".

Mr Yonatan Livni, President of the Wagner foundation in Israël, celebrated the ‘mistake’ to play the German composer: “We are not celebrating the opinion of the composer, but the beautiful music he made. My father survived the Holocaust and he taught me how to understand Wagner: he was a despicable man who made heavenly music.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The boycott of Wagner in Israel is an anachronism that, if ended, probably wouldn&#39;t result in more than two days of controversy. It should just end <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Abe Silberstein (@abesilbe) <a href="">September 2, 2018</a></blockquote>

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"There are just as many Holocaust survivors who love the music as there are those who object to it. You have to listen to his music and his music is absolutely beautiful."

Wagner's music is not officially banned in Israel but is not played due to widespread public opposition.


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1 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 35978 2018-09-03 : 13:55

Lol, that's brilliant

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