Inquiry into Vienna Philharmonic’s Nazi past announces findings

Posted on: March 11, 2013

In Monday’s (3/11) Daily Telegraph (London), Jeevan Vasagar writes, “The Vienna Philharmonic, one of the world’s leading orchestras, has disclosed the full extent of its collusion with the Nazis, admitting that it honoured a senior member of the party decades after the end of the Second World War. … The historians, led by Oliver Rathkolb, professor of contemporary history at the University of Vienna, said 62 out of 123 active wartime members were Nazi Party members and two were in the SS, according to a summary of the report released to The New York Times. One SS member, a trumpeter, also worked as a spy, denouncing fellow musicians. He lost his post after the war but rejoined in 1947 and later became executive director. … The Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert, broadcast to an audience of more than 50 million in 80 countries, was inaugurated under Nazi rule, helping promote Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels’ desired image of Vienna as a city of ‘culture, music, optimism and conviviality.’ ” The announcement of the investigation was reported on The Hub in January.

Posted March 11, 2013