Sponsor walks out on ECHO awards

Sponsor walks out on ECHO awards


norman lebrecht

April 19, 2018

The German record prize – given this week to a pair of Holocaust-joke rappers – has lost its first major sponsor.

Voelkel, an organic food company, says it does not approve of belittling genocide.

Two further sponsors – carmaker Skoda and beermaker Köstritzer – say they are considering their options.



  • John Rook says:

    The cultural enrichment from which we never cease to benefit brings a tear to my eye.

    • Sue says:

      Beautiful, isn’t it!! And those who thought all of this was a good idea fancy that the rest of the world thinks just as they do. I’ve got a whole heap of bad news about that!

  • PaulD says:

    Compare the uproar over the Echo Award to the reaction to Jay-Z’s lyric in The Story of OJ: ” “You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money in the strip club? / Credit / Ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? / This is how they did it.” “

    • Petros Linardos says:

      That’s nasty. And yet it reminded me of an old Jewish joke. Here is a good version of it, from wikipedia:

      Rabbi Altmann and his secretary were sitting in a coffeehouse in Berlin in 1935. “Herr Altmann,” said his secretary, “I notice you’re reading Der Stürmer! I can’t understand why. A Nazi libel sheet! Are you some kind of masochist, or, God forbid, a self-hating Jew?”

      “On the contrary, Frau Epstein. When I used to read the Jewish papers, all I learned about were pogroms, riots in Palestine, and assimilation in America. But now that I read Der Stürmer, I see so much more: that the Jews control all the banks, that we dominate in the arts, and that we’re on the verge of taking over the entire world. You know – it makes me feel a whole lot better!”

  • John Borstlap says:

    Deutschland, erwache!

    Tonight there was on the 1st Program channel on German TV an extensive documentary about the German hiphop scene. It was even more disgusting than Regieoper. Not only could the viewer expose him/herself to the primitive garbage of these types, but also hear the defenses of a number of thugs who said their seemingly awful hateful, disgusting, antisemitic, sexist, mysoginist etc. etc. texts were not to be taken seriously, but were only artistic means. They were stilistic elements and structurally part of the genre. They claimed that ‘the artist’ was ‘free’ in his ‘expression’ and that complaints about their texts were a violation of their artistic rights on freedom. Not only was it completely and grotesquely ridiculous that their ‘entertainment’ was supposed to be ‘art’ (the voice-over of the program accepted this and took the defense seriously…. also incredible), but to see them taking-on the airs of ‘independent, inspired, creative artists’, with their hate-filled screaming in the background, was so crazy that on that moment the documentary took-on the nature of a spoof.

    Worried Jewish organisations pointed to the great influence these rappers had, through the internet, on young people. Confronted with the question of responsibility, these crazy types calmly stated that they were not responsible for the wellbeing of their audiences, and that for instance a teacher at a school had REAL responsibility, THEY were only making Art.

    Of course most of these so-called ‘artists’ had a muslem immigrant background, but being born Germans, they wholeheartedly used the holocaust taboo to rub-in the fantasies of Jews ‘ruling the world’. Perversily, one of these thugs, who had hurled sadistic texts about the holocaust on his videos, explained (with a knowing smile) that he meant the word ‘holocaust’ in its original meaning, from before WW II, when it ‘only’ meant total destruction.

    Because these people reach their (wide and young) audiences through the internet and not via a record label, they are free to spread their excremental hate unhindered. But one begins to understand the benefits of some form of censorship when one sees how the notion of ‘freedom’ is perversily being misused. I don’t think public space (including the internet) should offer any such diabolical ‘entertainment’ the possibility to influence gullible minds – and where are the German authorities? You saw an elderly lady of an official German communal organisation studiously and cautiously explore raptexts to find some legal proof of antisemitism in the precise wording of the ‘lyrics’, fully conscious of the danger of undermining an accepted ‘art form’. Why this dull-witted acceptance of ‘artistic freedom’ which is a grave violation of any notion of German, European civilized society? Why this serious plodding-on through philosophical niceties about ‘art’ and ‘expression’, taking seriously something that belongs in the dustbin, the prison, and the loony house? Because acting straightforwardly would provoke the fear of being ‘authoritarian’, ‘conservative’ and ‘fascist’.

    • Sue says:

      Dear me, this does sound hysterical! Name-calling is the schtick of the progressive Left and you can thank them for much of what you’re complaining about. As Jordan Peterson says, “you’d think that if you lived during the Nazi era that you would NOT have been one of the guards – that you would have been one of the good guys. That horrific experience demonstrated that a large number of people will go along with evil”.

      The response to that is to pillory Jordan Peterson, of course.

    • multicultiiswonderful says:

      By letting hundreds of thousands Muslims into a country and subsequently claiming “Islam belongs to Germany” ( Angela Merkel on Jan.12th 2018 in Berlin, though the origin of this quote goes back to 2006 and the then Interior minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) am 28. September 2006 ) should one really be surprised about a surge in antisemitism ?
      On another note:
      The enthusiasm for multiculturalism regularly clashes with the problem that Islam and rights of women or gays/lesbians do not — and never will – match.
      And regarding freedom of speech or press i: I know of no country under Islamist rule that enjoys any of these rights.

      • John Borstlap says:

        Of course…. but the majority of immigrants from muslem background live like Europeans. In fact, these German rappers are, according to their ‘art’, fully integrated – aping American gang mores. And their PC reasoning to defend the indefensible makes perfect sense in the eyes of the locals, as this documentary demonstrated.

        Antisemitism in Europe has always been there, it just went underground for some time, and the current surge of rightwing populism and its exploitation of politicians is merely the process of it becoming visible again.

        • Ellingtonia says:

          “Of course…. but the majority of immigrants from muslem background live like Europeans”……no, they don’t and it is crass naiveté (or ignorance) on your part to assume they do. They live in enclaves promoting their own religion without respecting any other religion, they promote hatred of anything non muslim, they seek to establish madrases where children are brainwashed with antisemitism, they practice child marriage as well as honour killings and don’t even think about promoting the rights of women and gays. Get your head out of the sand and see the reality. And don’t come back with the term “moderate muslims” as there are none, there is only one Koran and they still stick with the literal interpretation of that disgusting piece of wring.

          • John Borstlap says:

            Coincidentally I know quite some muslems living in Europe and know enough of ´them´ to know that individual variety is as immense as with the ´locals´. It depends where you look, and things are different in Cologne, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Schin op Geul. To throw all people with a muslem background, which can differ immensily, on one heap, is merely playing into the hands of the mentioned rapper thugs who exploit the primitive feelings as expressed in this comment. Wholeheartedly recommended is to compensate onesided news on TV with some serious reading in the nearby public library.

    • John Borstlap says:


      Today on the German news: there is a scandal developing in Konstanz, where a theatre play about Hitler involved the distribution of arm-badges with a swastika to audience members; everyone who dared to put it on was allowed to attend the production for free. The director’s idea was to show how easy it were to get people doing things they otherwise would not find acceptable.

      Wearing a swastika is strictly prohibited in Germany; in this case, the authorities let it pass because it was considered a case of ‘ serious art’.

      Jewish organisations protested and said that wearing the swastika should not be instrumentalized for artistic reasons.

      The whole thing is misdirected, under the cover of ‘artistic expression’ which makes one long for the times of Prince Metternich.

      • Antonia says:

        This is APPALLING! Any estimates on what percentage of the audience donned the arm bands?

        • John Borstlap says:

          No, the news items carefully avoided that.

        • John Borstlap says:

          it appeared that 14 people had reserved the right of a free entrance by wearing the swastika, but none of them actually turned-up. At the première there was so much noise and anger, that the ‘idea’ of the production got snowed-under.

          Further information reveals that the director, cabarettist and author Serdar Somuncu, who was born in Turkey but grew up in Germany, is someone who merely wants to provoke and offend everybody and every minority group: Jews, blacks, Muslems, invalids, old people, gays, women, etc. etc. to demonstrate that everybody is in fact always discriminating against whoever. How this is supposed to work-out in a theatre production, remains in the dark, because it is nonsense. The review describes a completely failed production of a questionable play:


  • Sharon says:

    As someone from the “boogie down Bronx” where hip hop originated I believe that we need to distinguish between rap music, especially “gangsta rap” and hip hop. Hip hop started as just that, “hip hop” ,primarily music to support a gymnastic style form of dance. Lyrics, if they existed at all, were seldom offensive. Is there “hip hop” dance in Europe?

    Rap music started as a form of verbal aggression used in the ghetto that developed into verse. Very occasionally rap music in the US may be anti-Semitic and it is very frequently misogynistic.

    However, rap music generally talks about “ghetto” life; criminal activity, the instability of relationships, the pressures poor people are under, etc. A lot of it is either boasting how tough the singer is in overcoming his circumstances or complaining about the pressures the singer is under. It is very similar to the nineteenth and early twentieth century “llantos” of Spanish gypsy music which discuss the deaths of young children, problems with authorities, etc. or the “talking blues” in the United States.

    I would like to point out that even Michael Jackson, in “respectable” pop circles created controversy (probably deliberately) with his lyric “Sue me, Jew me. You just don’t care.”

    And what about the anti Semitism in the operas of Wagner? For a while Wagner’s music could not be played in Israel. Yet nowadays Wagner’s operas are played everywhere and no one comments on the anti Semitism of it.

    I do not speak German but I interpret the line “My body is more defined that a Holocaust victim” just to mean “I am thinner than someone suffering from starvation” the singer said “I’m thinner than someone who is suffering from starvation.” I would have to know the rest of the lyrics in context and I agree that it is very inappropriate to joke about anyone who is truly starving but it does not appear that those rappers meant to be anti-Semitic.

    Should those rappers have been denied the prize just for that line? What was the rationale for them to receive it in the first place. Was it because they discuss the problems of impoverished people in their lyrics?

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Dear Sharon,
      Your interpretations, if expressed i all honesty, are pathetic (I wonder how you would interpret „Mein Kampf“). Take away your pink sunglasses and see the world as it is.

      • Sharon says:

        If I knew German maybe I WOULD interpret it differently. I do not know

        However, how do mainstream opera houses get away with doing the anti semitic operas of Wagner or such things as the Merchant of Venice? Is it because once the composer is dead for 50 years they get a pass?

        • John Borstlap says:

          The Merchant of Venice is excused because it is English and from a time without much understanding of ‘Jewry’. And Wagner did NOT write ‘antisemitic’ operas; he incorporated a couple of ‘types’ (only 2, as far as I know) which are not openly Jewish but, for antisemitic audiences, may have been suggestive enough, but he was wise enough not to have antisemitism as such playing a role in his stage works. And if you read his antisemitic writings, and see through the personal resentment about how he had been treated, you discover that what he tried to pin down was a form of cultural critique, clothed in racist terms which is stupid.


    • Saxon Broken says:

      Sigh…while Wagner was undoubtedly anti-semitic, and said many revolting things about Jews, his operas are not themselves anti-semitic and contain nothing that is explicitly anti-Jewish in them. Wagner was/is banned in Israel for the Nazi associations, but Wagner died long before the Nazi party was formed, let alone came to power.