Conductor ‘spied for England, performed for SS’main
A Swiss account of the life of Hans Swarowsky finds him earning small sums as a spy for the British consulate in Zurich, before going off in 1944 to become conductor of the Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra, in the Polish city closest to Auschwitz.
He obtained that job through his mentor Richard Strauss, who was friendly with the Nazi ruler of Poland, Hans Frank.
It is alleged that Swarowsky, like Oskar Schindler, saved Poles and Jews from the Płaszów concentration camp by including them in his orchestra and chorus.
After the War, Swarowsky became a sought-after conducting teacher in Vienna, numbering Abbado and Mehta among his star pupils.