Holocaust survivor: I am a proud German, a child of passionate Wagnerians

Holocaust survivor: I am a proud German, a child of passionate Wagnerians


norman lebrecht

January 28, 2021

You must watch Charlotte Knobloch’s address to Angela Merkel and the Bundestag.



  • JussiB says:

    Being Jewish and Wagnerite doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

  • Mvarc says:

    Thank you very much for posting this link. The speech was inspiring, moving and, above all, thought-provoking.

    Readers may be put off by the length of the speech: please don’t be! I was, at first, but I was very glad I watched it through.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Totally agree! It was well-worth watching, and moving. I have never heard of her before, but she comes across as a remarkable woman, someone who would be a credit to any country.

      I still can’t shake the look on the faces of the far-right politicians sitting there, listening to her, lacking even the slightest sense of decency and integrity to acknowledge her comments. Those looks on their faces underline in the clearest way possible that the threat we all face is completely real and concerning.

      Hopefully the humanity she showed will win the day.

  • Amos says:

    Unfortunately many of Ms. Knobloch’s concerns are relevant in the America of donald trump. We have and are witnessing the fragility of Democracy after not 76 years but almost 250 years when the majority of the Republican party insists that the appropriate response to a call for white nationalism is to do nothing. I am quite certain that if Ms. Knobloch was to address the American Congress that half the members would respond to her message in a manner just like the handful of right-wingers in her audience did.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      I think several Republicans in the House of Representatives would be inclined to pull their guns on her while shouting “6MWE.” Welcome to the Republican Party circa 2021. Right-wing terrorism and its strong links to one of our two political parties is one of the top challenges facing the U.S. The signs suggest however that the Biden administration is taking this as seriously as it needs to be taken.

      • Hayne says:

        You should write for the MSM. Seriously.

        • Amos says:

          Given the events of the past 3 months in America your comment suggests you should be writing for the NSDAP.

          • Hayne says:

            Sorry, I’m not a socialist:)

          • Brettermeier says:

            “Sorry, I’m not a socialist:)”

            Because if it’s in the name, it must be true. Okay.

            Then I guess you’re an avid CDU voter because of the “Christian” and “Democratic” in its name.

            And of course, you’d never vote Republican, because they are not democratic. Otherwise, they’d chosen a different name, right? 😉

            And you only eat fast food, because in their ads they say it’s healthy.

            You’re so cute!

          • Hayne says:

            The Nazi government allowed “private” ownership of the means of production IN NAME ONLY. The Nazis actually controlled all the powers of ownership.
            They decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, who it was to be distributed, what prices to be charged and what wages to be paid.
            That is socialism.
            Yes, it is also in the name.

          • Brettermeier says:

            “The Nazis actually controlled all the powers of ownership.”

            It’s easy to argue that all dictatorships are “socialistic” if they can just kill you any time and take away your property.

            But that’s not socialism, that dictatorship.

            But I forgot. The D in NSDAP stands for dictatorial!!!!!1 FOR REALSIES!!!11!

            Oh boy.

          • Hayne says:


          • Brettermeier says:


            You mind find this interesting:

            “Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism […] characterized by […] strong regimentation […] of the economy”


            Oh, look, they even have a picture of Adolf!

          • Hayne says:

            …strong regimentation of the economy”
            That is socialism, thank you.
            Wikipedia doesn’t go all the way and call it that. Gee, I wonder why.
            Like many people, you confuse “left” and “right” when talking about socialism. They are both the same.

          • Brettermeier says:

            You have two eyes: You must be a dog!

            “Wikipedia doesn’t go all the way and call it that. Gee, I wonder why.”

            Look in any dictionary, my right-wing fellow. Perhaps not “Adolf’s greatest words”

            “Like many people, you confuse “left” and “right” when talking about socialism. They are both the same.”

            Like many right-wingers, you just don’t like to be called a fascist. Gee, I wonder why.

          • Hayne says:

            I’ll play along. libertarian=fascism. Thanks for the enlightenment! 🙂
            Will someone please tell Brettermeier that calling people fascist if they disagree with their opinion is so jumped the shark.

          • Amos says:

            The alternative to fascism does not of necessity have to be socialism. Simply following the tenets of democracy would be an infinitely more humane option.

          • Hayne says:

            Fascism is socialism. There is no “alternative.” Democracy would be fine as long as the rights of the minority are respected. That’s the hard part.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Impressive speech by an impressive woman.

    Strictly speaking, as I understood, she did not survive the holocaust but escaped it.

    Calling the internet “a pressure cooker of hatred”, is a correct description: the price being paid for technological progress? How does that balance in the end?

    “Words are the precursors of action” – so, not everything is allowed to be spoken-out in public space, and rightly so. Which means that freedom of speech is always limited, as long as there are no vaccins against hatred.

  • Nice speech, but is it good for the Jews?

    • Amos says:

      Yes and for the rest of the world that identifies with the humane qualities that distinguish Democracies from Totalitarian regimes.

      • Hayne says:

        True enough. The sad part is democracies eventually evolve into authoritarian regimes when individual rights aren’t respected. Look at most Western countries today for example.

    • John Borstlap says:

      In Germany, as everywhere in Europe, ‘the Jews’ don’t exist. What do exist are Europeans who have ackowledged a Jewish ancestry and / or cultivate a religious tradition, like Roman Catholics, Protestants, Bhuddists, etc. The entire projection of antisemitism is a paranoid projection by people with psychic problems.

      • By its mere existence Judaism is a never silent protest against the assumption of the multitude that force is superior to truth. So long as Judaism exists, nobody will be able to say that the soul of man has surrendered. Its very existence through the ages is proof that conviction cannot be mastered by numbers. Just because it was always a minority, Judaism has become a standard of measurement of the level of morality. How the Jewish community has been treated by the nations among which it has lived is always a measure of the extent to which right and justice have prevailed; for the measure of justice is always its application to the few. It requires religious courage to belong to a minority such as Judaism always has been and always will be; for many days will come and go before the messianic time arrives.
        Judaism lies open for all to see. We acknowledge the treasures possessed by other religions, especially those sprung from our midst. He who holds religious conviction will respect the convictions of others.
        Rabbi Leo Baeck in “The Essence of Judaism.”

  • Dear Madam Knoblauch,

    With all due respect to your speech and pledge to Germany, I must share with you that I too was born in Munich to Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors and wish to add to your speech my own feelings: Am Yisroel Chaiin deference to my spiritual homeland, and in closing a song made famous by a great Jewish composer, Irving Berlin:

    (Irving Berlin)

    Got bentsh Amerike, land vos ikh lib
    Shtey-zhe bay ir, madrikh zay ir
    Iberal laykht a shtral undz tsulib
    Fun di berg biz
    Tsu di preryes
    Biz di yamen vays mit shoym
    Got bentsh Amerike, mayn zise heym



    God bless america, land that I love
    Stand beside her and guide her
    Through the night with a light from above
    From the mountains to the prairies
    to the oceans white with foam,
    God bless America, my home sweet home