Munich grits teeth for tomorrow’s rape trial

Munich grits teeth for tomorrow’s rape trial


norman lebrecht

November 12, 2020

The Süddeutsche Zeitung has run an extensive prelude to the rape trial of composer Hans-Jürgen von Bose which opens tomorrow. According to the paper, sexual exploitation was rife at the city’s music academy while Siegried Mauser was in charge.

There were reports in the Mauser trials about the climate that prevailed at the Musikhochschule for a long time. And it is still easy today to find contemporary witnesses reporting on it. For example, contests are said to have been the order of the day, as to which professor would be the first to “pop” a new student. As for Hans-Jürgen von Bose, there are accounts of how openly he is supposed to have dealt with issues such as bisexuality or affairs. In an interview with the news magazine ‘Spiegel’ (May 2018), Bose said he was constantly looking for a kick – whether driving a car or in bed . . .

“The accusations against Bose are by Helena P. (name changed), the sister of a student who studied with Bose. She was 22, he was 53. They are said to have fallen in love and had a relationship from November 2006 to the summer of 2007. Hans-Jürgen von Bose is said to have demanded that she make a promise to experiment sexually and to have expected her to visit a swingers club, for example. The prosecution accuses Bose of having created a climate of fear and hopelessness in the relationship. A gun is said to have been lying next to the bed, Bose had become increasingly uncontrolled and aggressive, threatening to ruin her career and that of her brother if she did not obey. Drugs and medications were lying around in the house.

“The public prosecutor’s office has filed three counts of rape committed by Bose in the relationship. It is said that litigation has been unsuccessful for days because of the unsuccessful acquiring of sexual partners or the like. Helena P. was allegedly not allowed to leave the bedroom, was subjected to sleep deprivation, was given drugs by Bose, and was not allowed to eat or drink. He is accused of abusing her weakened condition and to have raped her in her sleep . . . ”

Presumptions of innocence apply.
Mauser has managed so far to stay out of jail.


  • ex-münchener says:

    these kinds of incidents happen amongst students and lesser known musicians as well. threatening and bullying is so common in the classical music industry. defamation ..? that too is common conduct. during my time in Munich, I witnessed so much of this that I am so happy that I am not there anymore. a sick, twisted and manipulative bunch of self obsessed performers they are. i would not be surprised if more incidents like this were revealed from that school. as far as I know, the influential figures get protection. I’m glad that sources like slippedisc publish these incidents.. without it, so many weak people would suffer quietly. to all the victims out there who have been quietly bullied and ostracised, speak up and shame those assholes who have wronged you!

    • IP says:

      But why can’t you see it as a display of equality, fairness, diversity, and moving with the times?

      • Hamburger says:

        because there are still a couple molesters in that school who seem to get a ‘by’ because of their influence and political power. If you think getting Mauser and Bose was a leap forward, you haven’t seen anything yet. That place is rotten.

        • Ex-Muenchener, If you know of anything inappropriate that was going on during your time in Munich it would be very important that you speak about it, otherwise there will never be any change in the system. If you want I can get you in contact with people that will take serious consideration of anything that you have to tell, even if anonymously at first. They will listen. The Munich Hochschule has publicly stated that it will do everything to prevent this kind of behavior (Bose, Mauser) in the future and will also openly discuss failings in the past. But it is important that it is known and not only a “rumor”. You can always contact me if you need any assistance, I take this topic very seriously.

  • There is an interesting detail mentioned in the SZ article. In 2015, the Munich police went to the University of Music as part of the investigation of Bose. The President of the conservatory at the time, Siegfried Mauser, gave the police a glowing testimonial about Bose. The Vice President, Christine Schornsheim, was appalled by Mauser’s statement. She had been sexually assaulted by Mauser in 2009. He had forced himself on her and groped inside her pants.

    She felt something had to be done and reigistered a formal complaint with the police about Mauser’s assault. The case went to trial and Mauser was sentenced to several months in prison.

    Mauser appealled. Another woman was alerted by the publicity and testified that she was anally raped by Mauser. The court found the claims credible and increased his sentence to 2 years and 9 months. During the sentencing, the judge told Mauser he needed to stop thinking he is James Bond.

    Shortly before Mauser’s final sentencing, the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts published a book of tributes to Mauser with entries by many promient German artists and intellectuals.

    The case against Bose was filed well before the case against Mauser, but it has taken the District Attorney a long time to bring it to court. I think it might be a complicated case since it is difficult for those outside of the classical music world to understand the ways music students can be intimidated and exploited by their teachers. If the allegations are true, I hope the DA can make a clear case. If it fails, I think it will be a terrible set back for Germany’s efforts to solve the wide-spread problems with sexual abuse in music which have gone on unimpeded for decades.

    • V.Lind says:

      So HAS Mauser “managed to stay out of jail”? (And would it be jail? Wouldn’t it be prison?

      • Jonathan Cable says:

        From what I understand, he is hiding somewhere in Austria. Since he apparently also holds an Austrian passport, he cannot be extradited – Austria does not extradite its own citizens.

        • Under EU law, Austria is required to have Mauser serve his sentence in an Austrian prison. He has avoided this by claiming his health is too poor to enter prison. Last August, the Austrian courts ruled that a medical attest be provided within two months regarding his health. The time period has expired, but it has still not been given to the courts.

      • Karl says:

        Mauser is officially referred to as the Munich Molester in this blog.

      • It would be prison, and he has managed to stay out by claiming he is too unhealthy to enter prison. The courts ordered a medical evaluation in August that was to be completed within two months, but it still hasn’t been completed. It’s as if the Austrian legal system is offering him a refuge.

        In my view, the lax enforcement of the sentence corresponds with the lax protection against sexual predation in the conservatories. Hopefully this is changing.

      • Brettermeier says:

        “And would it be jail? Wouldn’t it be prison?”

        We don’t differentiate as you do. We have pre-trial detention. And then there’s “regular” detention aka prison time.

        I’m pretty sure most Germans would translate both jail and prison to “Gefängnis”.

        • But in actual practice, Germany and Austria do have smaller local jails for holding prisoners temporarily and larger prisons for serving longer sentences.

          • Brettermeier says:

            “But in actual practice, Germany and Austria do have smaller local jails for holding prisoners temporarily and larger prisons for serving longer sentences.”

            Sure, but it’s still “Gefängnis”. We only have this word. (Okay, we have others, but they are synonymous with it.) But I can only speak for Germany, though. A*strians have weird names for everything, maybe they indeed do differentiate.

          • Yes, Brettermeier, quite true. English has about 30% more vocabulary than German, a legacy of having so many linguistic roots, English, Gaelic, Saxon, Anglo, Latin, and others. German, by contrast, is so efficient with its words, one can cover a lot of ground. And it seems that whenever they need a new word, they just string a lot of little words together into a new long word. It creates an interesting and powerful language.

          • Brettermeier says:

            “And it seems that whenever they need a new word, they just string a lot of little words together into a new long word.”

            That’s only half true. These long words do exist and are technically not wrong. But they are not (or rarely) used outside a legal context. The REALLY long words are more proves of concept than anything else.

            English and German are not that different when it comes to combining words. For example, I could invent a machine that throws calculators. A calculator throwing machine. That would be “Taschenrechnerwurfmaschine” (I’m confident that this is the first time this word has ever been written) in German. It’s the same concept, but without the spaces. Another example:

            [Nahrungsmittel]unverträglichkeit -> [Food] intolerance.

            So while you could say “Fußballweltmeisterschaftsqualifikationsspiel”, one would probably say “WM-Qualifikationsspiel” (~”World cup qualifiers”).

            I don’t want to say that it is bad German to use those really long words outside a legal context (which is bad German by nature), but I feel morally obliged to do so.

            But yes, we’d just say local prison (~”städtisches Gefängnis”) instead of coming up with a new word like “jail”. 😀

            “It creates an interesting and powerful language.”

            Yeah, I’m just glad I never had to learn it as a second language.