Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler?

Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler?


norman lebrecht

August 08, 2007

News that Hitler’s record collection, discovered in a Russian dacha, contained works by Jewish composers he banned and performers he sought to exterminate – including one, Bronislaw Huberman, who went on to found the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – serves admonitory notice on us all.
Note to my executors: destroy all records. True, there is no stash of Spice Girls and 45 rpm Cliff Richards behind the Ligeti and Birtwistle CDs but what will posterity make of my 17 versions of Rachmaninov’s C-minor concerto and the complete encores of Fritz Kreisler? I’d be exposed as a soft-centred smoochie, an unregenerate big-tune lover. Nothing gives us away like the music we choose to keep.
I wonder if the Fuhrer bunker had a copy of that wartime English hit, Who Do You Think You Are Kidding…