Imagine that. Furtwängler had been made vice-president of the Reichsmusikkammer in 1933 by Joseph Goebbels and had conducted often in Hitler’s presence. I have a photograph of him extending a hand to be shaken as Hitler approaches him after a concert, and another of him standing with the Führer at Bayreuth. ‘Never known any Nazi’? Take it from the top, Willi.
Schnabel hears his guest complain that ‘millions of Germans are now murdered daily, and that the whole world shows its decadence by its total lack of charity’. Furtwängler goes on to admit ‘without having been asked, that he has had quite a good time during the “regime”.’
Read the full article here to see how this affects the authority of the German symphonic tradition.
I won’t say another word. Just read.