Thielemann to Far Right: Take your demos away from here

The chief conductor of the Staatskapelle, a man of nationalist sympathies, has issued a rare statement criticising Pegida, the anti-immigrant mass movement.

Christian Thielemann called on Pegida to stop holding its demos on the Theaterplatz in Dresden’s centre. ‘It’s damaging the reputation of the city. They should demonstrate elsewhere,’ he told the Dresdner Morgenpost.

‘These shots echo around the globe and hurt Dresden’s image,’ Thielemann said. ‘I don’t understand why the city permits them.’


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  • How he explained, why? I have my thoughts on it, but I ‘d see his arguments. I deeply respect this conductor and Mensch, and agree with everything that goes from him.

    • The most obvious explanation would be: It simply kills his customer base, the “Bildungsbürgertum” of Dresden, many of them newcomers front he west, also tourists who traditionally were a big percentage of the opera audience, as well as the many cultural aficionados among the big international academic and scientific community Dresden enjoys, among them many foreigners, who now are afraid to set up residence for a few years in such an apparently xenophobic town.
      Probably the Staatskapelle Dresden can feel the impact even directly by a decreasing interest in applications for open positions?
      It doesn’t matter if the problem is overblown by the media in proportion, the damage is done and is increasing by the week.

      • Absolutely true. He also knows “on which side his bread is buttered”. If Dudamel is the ‘creation’ of the Venezuelan government, then without doubt Thielemann is the poster-boy of Merkel’s Germany.

        The German Chancellor has declared herself in favour of the Refugee Policy. As her protegé, CT cannot be anything but the foe of those who demonstrate against Merkel’s policies. She attends his performances in a symbiotic relationship with him – and he must support her. I don’t believe there is anything ‘false’ in this in his side – like many Germans, he has complete belief in the nation-building concept which Merkel and her ministers represent.

        (I certainly don’t like Merkel myself, but I can accept and respect CT’s support for her.. particularly on the non-partisan issue of the refugee crisis)

        • Your comments about the Thielemann-Merkel connection are unsubstantiated. Their careers ran kind of parallel. In my observation a person that wast most influential for Thielemann’s success was Joachim Kaiser in Munich, the Eduard Hanslick of our times. Kaiser supported Thielemann wherever he could.

        • “…….. like many Germans, he has complete belief in the nation-building concept which Merkel and her ministers represent.”

          It seems to me that Merkel and present-day Germany are more European than any other European nation. The last thing Germany is after, is ‘nation-building’. The current preparedness of Germany to accept so many refugees is an expression of that intention.

  • The city allows them my dear fellow because you live in a democracy and one of the tenents of that is the freedom to demonstrate against issues you disagree with. Perhaps you are not familiar with this democratic concept!

    • No. He’s told the parades of Third-Reich-style Gauleiters to get stuffed. He’s absolutely correct, and I have a new-found respect for him.

      Torch-light hate marches aren’t ‘democracy’ – they’re hatemongering fascism.

      • Of course. People are free to demonstrate about whatever they wish, unless they happen to disagree with the personal political views of Edmund Mars, in which case they are fascists. The intolerant and hysterical left strikes again.

        • And, to be clear, I am not saying I provide any support to these protestors at all. I am just challenging your hypocritical and narrow-minded fetishes.

        • More ad-hominem tosh from ‘John’.

          Try the topic next time, ‘Old Bean’??? I’m not nearly so interesting.

    • Judging by his comments, he is aware of that. He’s calling on the city to make the demonstration move away from the Semperoper [and to go to a different area in the city].

      While there is the freedom to demonstrate in a democracy, for better or worse, one does not necessarily have the freedom to demonstrate anywhere one pleases and only few democracies welcome controversial weekly demonstrations taking place in front of a symbolic landmark or tourist showpiece for months on end.

    • The highest principle of freedom is, that you are free, as long as your freedom does not infringe on the right of others in an disproportionate way. You are “movement” of a few hundred to maybe a few thousand people who have demonstrated their very limited political opinions ad nausea. You damage with it the long term image and prosperity of a whole town and region of over a million inhabitants.
      Time indeed to stop the nonsense, democracy doesn’t mean a few retards joining forces with the ever fearful can cripple civic life for ever.

  • “a man of nationalist sympathies”.
    Well, you two should get along very well then, since you two then share this same “nationality fetish” as is manifest in this blog, just not for the same nationality.

    • A point about nationalist sympathies: while true they are pronounced on this, and the comment sections of most British papers, it must be pointed out that there is a historical difference in wishing for the the days of empire and a wish for the return of the thousand year reich. Western democracies ( which gratefully includes Germany now) have much to be proud of, as well as much that could be changed.

      • While for understandable reasons, you refer to Germany only in reference to the darkest twelve years of its history between 1933-45, don’t you think it is an outright insult to imply, as you do, that Thielemann wants these twelve years back, when it fact by what we know about him, he is proud of the cultural achievements of many hundreds of years of “his” nation, primarily a nation that produced as one of its pinnacles an “Ode an die Freude”, in which the abolition of mankind dividing nationalism and racism is acclaimed, “Alle Menschen warden Brüder”.

        Now where it can get a bit confusing with him, if one doesn’t look carefully (and who does in today’s times of quick judgements and little thinking), is when his pride includes composers, whose careers prospered in these twelve years.

        • I’m not certain where you’re misunderstanding occurs, but I failed to see any connection between my comment and any voiced opinion on his political views, which I am not personally acquainted with outside of interviews. Your hysterical and paranoid distortion misses the point: all that was being addressed was the accusation that the blog owner is in your opinion a hypocrite for tolerating strongly Pro British views. This is a blog from England, it would be logical for there to be great pride in the countries cultural achievements. He is also the first to point out the failings of the arts establishment. As the subject in this post is the conductors viewpoint on neo-Nazi sympathies in modern Germany, it is entirely appropriate to make reference to the period 1933 to 1945. We are all aware of the great cultural history of Germany, and the shameful perversion of it during that period.

        • Apologies, I read too quickly and tired, your response isn’t over reactive. I don’t care so much about ” insulting” the Maestro, having witnessed his bellicose and aggressive attacks on a colleague years ago, I have never been a huge fan. I don’t think he will care about what anyone says about him. But I find it ironic to cite Schiller’s text as proof of his humanistic beliefs, given the sheer amount of performances that text was performed with little effect in the Reich. I’m always concerned when those in positions of power don’t speak up, while it was useful to have him tell Pegida to move their demonstrations, this is not the same as openly condemning their views. He is certainly not under the mortal dangers that Furtwaengler was, no one stops his free speech. To me, he’s simply saying don’t interfere with Kunst.

          • “openly condemning their views”
            why should he? We live in free-speech democracies.
            The new fascism is apparently this p.c. mainstream pressure on anyone who is not aligned with the p.c. talking point du jour.
            It is worrying, how the debate culture in our societies is declining, and how differences between opinions are fought with verbal violence and defamation instead of debate.

            Part of it has to do with the circumstance, that respect for knowledge and intellectualism in general has been destroyed in the west by a “No-stress-lets-just-have fun” pseudo-education system, with the side (or main) effect that every stupid fart feels encouraged to voice his or her opinion, no matter how stupid it is.

  • Thielemann has always been annoyed by Pegida. Years ago he asked gov to listen to their voice and try to solve the problem so that they can stop their endless demos. And now he asked the demos to leave the Theaterplazt cause they are damaging the city and daily culture life. He never ‘change’ his attitude. So I am so confused about those critics who are just saying “Thielemann against Pegida, finally!!”

    • AFAIK CT was raised in a family with national conservative ideas, a national conservative fraction of the German middle class and upper class. That fraction in society shared little to nothing with the Nazi movement, except for one fatal overlap of interests: overcoming the painful subjugation by a revenge and power driven British Empire in the “overachieving” Versaille peace treaty after WWI.
      Those circles looked down at Hitler as a dirty man who smelled like the street, but they also saw his potential to “do the deed” – like a naive Parsifal – and restore Germany’s hunger for satisfaction and reinstatement of honor. Now we all know how that went… Out of the collective shame after WWII all worked like bees to pull Germany out of the ashes, and they did. With a little help from the US.
      Some regions like East Germany had not such help and suffered under the Soviet occupation. Berlin as well, until today, has not overcome the drain of brain and capital to the West sectors after the East was controlled by the Soviets.
      The huge winner of WWII is actually the West German south, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, who happened – by pure luck – to fall under US occupation, the subsequent huge economic and financial help and free market policies turned these very backward rural provinces into power houses of the German economy. It is a double irony, if we consider that Bavaria actually produced Hitler’s Nazi movement and thus was a decisive force to the Nazi catastrophe. Today many Bavarians complain about their surplus being transferred to the poorer regions of Germany like the East. Well I suggest they shut up and remember that the caused the whole shit.

  • ‘Pegida’ has recently twinned with the British-based EDL – the skinhead thugs known as the English Defence League. They appointed a head of the new British outpost of ‘Pegida UK’. It’s our old friend ‘Tommy Robinson’.. the former Combat-18 thug Neil Yaxley-Lennon, now freed from prison after a sentence for hate-related hooliganism.

    It’s fascinating to see who his online supporters are here.

    • Has anyone on here supported Robinson’s views? There is certainly nothing in this discussion. Perhaps you know of a secret part of this website that nobody else does.

          • Mr Mars is obviously a Guardian “leftie” and anyone who is English and feels strongly about immigration, muslim victimisation culture, and sick of “diversity” claims, is, in his eyes a right wing nutter. Not at all like the Labour trolls threatening those that don’t support Corbyn with physical violence and deselection!

          • Another troll obsessed with personal abuse in lieu of something to say on the discussion topic.

          • Someone seems not to like an embrassing truth!

            Mr Mars, I suggest you learn that there are opinions other than yours, and those opinions are not unacceptable just because you do not share them. Try and be more tolerant and open-minded.

          • More ad-hominem bile.

            The topic, “John” is Thieleman and the protests outside the Semper Oper in Dresden.

            Try sticking to it – if that’s not taxing your very limited intellectual capacity too greatly, eh, “John”?

          • ‘The topic is Thieleman and the protests outside the Semper Oper in Dresden.’

            In this case, Edmund, why are you ranting about Tommy Robinson, the most spurious of links? It is no more relevant here.

            Your silly comment at the end says such a lot, dear. Those kinds of petty insults belong to the domain of those who have lost an argument.

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