UCLA is putting on an opera about a curious friendship between the late Yehuda Nir, a New York psychoanalyst and Holocaust survivor, and the white sheep of the Wagner family, Gottfried Wagner.
Gottfried has made it his life’s mission to apologise for his family’s role in the Holocaust. He is an outcast from the Bayreuth dynasty. He is a well-intentioned loner.
The recent death of his aunt Verena Lafferentz, highlight the dilemma. Verena Wagner, in 1943, married a high-ranking SS officer from the Race and Settlement agency who ran a small concentration camp on the grounds of the Bayreuth estate.
That’s what the Wagner family did. One white sheep does not redeem the disgraceful flock.
Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner with ‘Uncle Wolf’