Poster of the week: Jew genius in Munich

Poster of the week: Jew genius in Munich


norman lebrecht

August 01, 2014


kissin poster


A proof-reader’s nightmare.

(Genij, in Russian, is genius).


UPDATE: One of our sources in Munich suggests the typography is part of a war between rival agents:

The promoter Winderstein and his hopelessly old-fashioned agency decided it’s time to compete with his rival, Bell’Arte, run by Dr Schreyer, who has made a habit of putting up posters like


So it’s actually a typographical riposte!




  • GEll says:

    In rather poor taste. Does this also mean Kissin endorses the undergoing Israeli massacre of Palestinians? He was the one, after all, who declared that criticism of Israel amounted to criticism of him or maybe it was vice versa. Deplorable stance and attitude.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      You mean in reply to the kidnapping and murdering of three Israeli students and the continued launching of missiles by Hamas into Israeli territory. Not to mention the fact that Hamas store and fire weapons from schools, hospitals and mosques and then stand back for the inevitable response from Israel and then play the “emotional moral outrage” at the killing of civilians.
      I see it took Hamas 90 minutes to break the agreed 72 hour ceasefire by laucning missiles at Israel again.

    • Mark says:

      The so-called “Palestinians” in Gaza who elected Hamas have only themselves to blame. Is Israel shelling the Fatah-colntrolled West Bank ? Also, you might have noticed the deafening silence from the majority of the Arab countries – they are only too happy to see the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas fanatics defeated.

      • Will Duffay says:

        Yeah, those dead children sheltering in UN refuges really had it coming to them for their parents’ voting choices. But what about the voters of the current belligerent hard-right government of Israel? Do their children deserve the same? The fact remains that while Hamas is a bunch of idiotic Islamist thugs, Netanyahu’s government as the big guns and has used them criminally.

  • Emily says:

    I hope he plays something by TANEJEW.

    • Sergei says:

      Nobody plays Taneyev on piano outside Russia. His chamber is known only on last maybe 10 years. Piano works are still unknown and unplayed, as his symphonies.

    • Will Duffay says:

      I think what Emily is referring to is the habit of older German music publications to spell the ending of Russian names as —JEW where in English we put —IEV or —IEFF. The older, and some not so old, German Peters editions of Prokofiev use ‘Prokovjew’, if I remember rightly. It always looked somewhat odd, though obviously phonetically appropriate in German.

      Curious poster, though. What point are they trying to make?

      • Vivian says:

        Knaurs Conversationslexikon for 1938 (but not in the 1932 edition, BIN) was notorious for labeling each “Jewish” entry by the degree of Jewish ancestry: Halb-Jude for one Jewish parent, and so forth. (The same idea applied in American slave account-books: quadroon, octoroon, and other disgusting, heartbreaking appellations.) It is a stultifying, not to say ominous, racist practice. One does wonder what point they thought they were trying to make, and what undercurrent they were trying to acknowledge. IAC, not all Israelis agree with the current government policy, and not all Jews agree with the current government policy. And both Arabs and Jews are historically Semites.

  • Mark Glanville says:

    Predictable and tedious. Here is a recent quote from Kissin:

    As a Jew and a patriot of Israel who has been openly and vehemently defending the good name of my people and the Jewish State for the last few years, I feel compelled to express my shock and horror about the brutal racist murder of the 16-year old Arab boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir perpetrated by young two-footed monsters who were born by Jewish mothers, but who have lost all the rights to bear the name of our people.
    The grief of Muhammad’s family is my grief now, their tears are my tears. Blessed be the memory of the young martyr who has lost his life, because he belonged to his people.

    My only hope now is that the killers will not only receive a most severe punishment from the Israeli court (alas, no punishment, no matter how severe, can bring back an innocent life), but also that the Chief Rabbinate of the Jewish State will pronounce herem (anathema) against them, so that the whole world would know: THEY ARE NOT JEWS, THEY ARE DEGENERATES, DREGS, EXCREMENTS OF OUR PEOPLE.

    Evgeny Kissin.

    • Olaugh Turchev says:

      Thank you for providing this information.

    • anonymus says:

      “who were born by Jewish mothers, but who have lost all the rights to bear the name of our people. – …so that the whole world would know: THEY ARE NOT JEWS, THEY ARE DEGENERATES, DREGS, EXCREMENTS OF OUR PEOPLE.”

      Extremely racist comments by Kissin here. As if being Jewish meant belonging to some kind of superior race. How ridiculous is that? Do people actually believe such brainwashed nonsense?
      Besides the historic and ethnologic fact, that there is no such thing as THE Jewish people in the 21st century.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    The most important fact remains- Evgeny Kissin is a pianistic genius.Probably the only current pianist in the world to combine transcendent technique and a passionate musicality that touches the heart.

    The fact that he’s a Jew and has made somewhat controversial statements over the Israeli situation (understandably not shared by all) is irrelevant. Agreed- the poster should have just read ‘Genius Pianist’ and left out the Jjewish bit

  • sarah says:

    Sorry Norman, but the “war” thesis is absolute nonsense…says one who was there when the design was made…

  • Mark says:

    Actually, I commend Kissin for not succumbing to the “Menuhin-Barenboim” virus and for remaining a proud JEW !

  • Paul Lanfear says:

    ¨Menuhin-Barenboim virus¨?….we seem to be living in extremely reactionary times and this is worrying. Artists, however great, are not immune from this. Judaism as a culture is indeed something to be greatly proud of. But to allow ethnic and national solidarity to justify the unjustifiable is a step towards fascism. How far down that road Israel has travelled people will have to decide for themselves…

    • Ellingtonia says:

      Mr Lanfaer,
      I suggest you wake up and smell the coffee, Israel is the only truly democratic country in the middles east and the only people marching towards facism, indeed in many countries have already achieved it, are the Islamist fanatics. What did hamas do after being elected?…….why they hunted down their opponents and threw them from the tops of buildings. Hamas has cancelled elections and as with all Islamists it moves inexorably towards a fascist state. Islam does not recognise the concept of democracy and it will persecute all those who do not submit to its will, have a look at what is happening to Christians in other Islamic countries at present. Their options, convert to Islam, pay a tax or get out and I now understand the tax option has been withdrawn.
      So before you come on this board lecturing the Israelis about “fascism” I suggest you open your eyes to what is really happemning in the middle east and indeed parts of Africa, witness the antics of Boko Haram and theit treatment of women.

      • Paul Lanfear says:

        Like apartheid South Africa pointing its finger at its neighbours. Who is lecturing here? Why not read this for a change:

        • Ellingtonia says:

          I note that you have failed to address / counter any of the points I raised in my last posting, but certainly no one is going to diagree that the fighting should stop, that negotiations should take place to come to an agreement that there should be two separate countries.
          But do explian to me how you negotiate with Hamas when it has enshrined in its constitution that “Israel has no right to exist” and teaches its children that jews are pigs and should be killed.
          I await your response with interest.
          One final point, I note that Mr Siegman is doing his pontificating from the safety of America.

          • Paul Lanfear says:

            I haven´t ¨failed¨ to address your points; I simply haven´t bothered as they are tangential to my original post, in which my point was that the justification of an atrocity on the grounds of solidarity with a nation state and a feeling of ethnic superiority is a fascist way of thinking. When a professor´s letter to his students expressing sympathy for victims on both sides of the Gaza conflict is regarded as tantamount to treason (or a ¨virus¨?) then surely alarm bells should be ringing (

  • Emily says:

    My goodness! The poster is just showing his name, Evgeny / Yevgeny (Eugene in English), which is spelled Jewgenij in German. They simply split it up in a way that happens to look odd to Anglophones.

    It’s funny. You can chuckle about it.

  • Ellingtonia says:

    At last, a little brevity and humour in this posting………..thank you for bringing us back to earth with a little good natured sanity.

  • Marcel Lockhart says:

    Silly how one can get media coverage for simply being a jew. Racism is played from both sides. It’s so ridiculous in the classical music world, that I seriously need to consider, ceasing to support this racist circus.

  • Ellingtonia says:

    I think the fact that you failed or as you put it “can’t be bothered” to address the points I raised says it all.
    I have heard the arguement that the “poor palestinian” people are merely civilians caught in the middle of an armed struggle. Well, it was these poor palestinians that ELECTED Hamas and knew what their agenda was i.e. the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews.
    Also, following your line of thinking would you have expected the British or Americans to have expressed sympathy for the Germans of Japanese during WW2 when their sole aim was subjugation of the rest of the world?

    • anonymus says:

      Your comparison is not really working. The Germans were militarily on eye level or even regarded superior in that critical time. The Palestinians on the other hand fight a most asymmetric conflict with the Israeli army. It’s not really rocket science. (pun intended)
      The radicalization of the Palestinians with the ugly consequence of the scumbags of Hamas rising to power, is a direct consequence of the radicalization of the whole conflict, for which Israel carries at least half the responsibility. I have my own suspicions, seeing who benefits actually the most from the activities and hate speech of Hamas and is probably a constituting power in the creation of Hamas…
      And it might surprise you, that (some) humans on all sides of the WWII conflict actually have expressed sympathy for the innocent victims on the other side. Maybe empathy for other humans is not your strongest point.
      At the core of this conflict lies divisive religious dogma and racist self entitlement to superiority over other humans. qed…

      • Ellingtonia says:

        Sorry, but I have no idea what an “asymmetrical conflict” is.
        What I do know is that the west has poured millions of dollars in aid into Palestine but no one seems to be able to show any benefits economically or through infrastructure.
        Where has the money gone, well good old Yasser Arafat managed to “disappear” most of the money (and this was pre-hamas) for his personal use, invest in buying arms and this has continued with hamas. So forgive me for seeming to side with the Israelis in their approach to dealing with the palestinians.
        I do agree that Israel shares some blame in the long historical conflict but no matter what they seem to do, nothing is acceptable to the palestinians, firstly Arafat (who had several opportunities to broker a deal) and now the genocidal hamas, and I use that word advisedly.
        As regards your comment about my lack of empathy, yes you are right I do have a lack of empathy for those who openly state and educate their children to believe that Israel and Jews ” have no right to exist”
        If the palestinians did not support the hamas strategy they can vote them out of power at the next election……….but wait, hamas have suspended elections thus removing the democratic rights of the people.
        I have no doubt there are many palestinians that would prefer a negotiated peace however, hamas are determined to continue the conflict for their own ends and are happy to sacrifice the civilian population.
        As one leading Islamist fanatic put it “the difference between you in the west and we muslims is that you fear death, whereas we welcome and embrace it”……….so you can see what you are dealing with when they place so little value on life.
        So you can see why they place arms and rocket launchers in schools, hospitals and mosques………….I think the term is “collateral damage” but brilliant emotive PR.

        • Kissins_friend says:

          “Sorry, but I have no idea what an “asymmetrical conflict” is.”

          Then you don’t know the basics of the situation you’re commenting on.

      • Paul Lanfear says:

        Well a comparison that DOES unfortunately stand up is the virulent islamaphobia mixed with an inflated sense of ethnic entitlement feeding an expansionist ultra-nationalist state. Substitute the paranoid fear of Islam with that directed against Jews and Slavs by ethnic Germans in the `20´s and 30´s… I don´t know whether or not ¨Ellingtonia¨ is an Israeli citizen? If so then to me it seems strange to have more concern for what Hamas have in their constitution than your own. Democracy is not static; you either move towards it or away from it.

        • Ellingtonia says:

          No, I am not Israeli or Jewish………..and you might want to direct your comments about democracy, democratic rights and freedom of expression to hamas and most of the other muslim dictatorships spread around the globe and in particular the middle east.
          By the way there is no such thinhg as “islamophobia” it is a construct invented by the academics and PC brigade (particularly the left) here in the west.
          A phobia is an “unnatural fear”………I would suggest that the Israelis do not have an unnatural fear of Islam but a legitimate concern at what their stated aim is regarding Israel.

          • Paul Lanfear says:

            Fear is fear and to those who feel it very natural. Those architects of the Final Solution who gathered in Wannsee believed they were addressing a ¨legitimate concern¨, to give an extreme example.

            Christians used to have a similarly stated aim to destroy Islam. Thankfully humanity prevails when it is allowed to do so. Inflammatory statements by extremists don´t represent the aspirations of ordinary Muslims any more than they do for Christians or anybody else. If Islam was as destructive to human co-existence as you say it would not have survived. Social evolution would not have allowed it! Any religion is a mere vessel of human thought and interaction, negative and positive. This conflict is about two things: territory and the right to self-determination. Rather than shooting the messenger try addressing the message.

  • It might be simply an allusion to Genia ( or Genya) which is the diminutive of Evgeny

  • Stomachosus says:

    This thread began with the image of a poster in Munich that, as should have been clear from the beginning, had nothing whatever to do with anyone’s being Jewish or a genius, not to mention Israeli or Palestinian or anything else except being a gifted pianist scheduled to give a recital. Now that this is, or should be, clear to everyone, why does this less-than-enlightening brawl over events in Israel and Gaza continue in this forum, which is supposedly devoted to music and musicians?

    • Ellingtonia says:

      You might like to go back and read the original posting and then you will perhaps understand why the arguements ahve developed. But I do agree with the general principle of your comment.

  • Ellingtonia says:

    I would say exactly the same to you……………and the delegates at Wannsee were not addressing a “legitimate concern” (what threat were the Jews?) they were simply carrying out Hitlers scapegoating of the Jews.
    Just as a footnote, you say that “inlammatory statements by extremists don’t represent the views of ordinary muslims”
    You may be surprised to know that in a poll conducted amongst muslims in the UK after the 7/7 bombing 73% of those polled expressed support for the actions of the bombers.
    So, you either live in splendid academic isolation or you choose not to recognise that Islam is a major threat to democracy in the western world.
    I have no objection per se to religion, but I do object to any religion that propagates FGM, stoning of women, hanging of gays, honours killing and where gang rape and murder is seen as a legitimate response to so called adultery by a woman.
    Israel has its own problems particularly with the ultra orthodox jews (who seem to be closer in thought and action to Islam) and its siege mentality but after two wars, who wouldnt be?