The music academy that was built as Hitler’s HQ

The music academy that was built as Hitler’s HQ

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norman lebrecht

July 12, 2021

We have published numerous reports about crimes committed in this building by its former rector, Siegfried Mauser, who has yet to serve  a single day of his jail sentence.

We were unaware that the building of the Hochschüler für Musik und Theater was built as Hitler’s personal office in the ‘capital city of the Nazim movement’

Professor Abbie Conant enlightens us:
The Führerbau in Munich which houses Munich’s State Conservatory. It was built as Hitler’s personal office building and is probably the most complete embodiment of Nazi aesthetics in architecture.
It is a horrible place to train music students, but there are no plans to replace it even though Munich is spending an estimated one billion euros on a new concert hall for its radio orchestra.
In what seems like karma, the school has suffered major scandals because its President (Dean,) Siegfried Mauser, was convicted of two counts of sexual aggression and sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in prison. The crimes took place in Mauser’s office which was once Hitler’s office (varied slightly by some remodeling since then.) Bad enough being molested, and surreal when it was in Hitler’s former office. In Munich, the building’s aesthetics and their symbolic meanings are simply ignored, but on a subtle (or not so subtle) level, it degrades the students and faculty.

Continuing my thoughts about the Führerbau in Munich. The celebration of ancient Greece and neo-classical architecture was a manifestation of 18th and 19th century cultural nationalism that distorted history. We are to believe that the Greeks were the ultimate source of our culture and knowledge even though the Greeks often spoke of Egypt as the land of learning and the source of much of their knowledge.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, for a well-known example, is a technological, mathematical, engineering, and astronomical marvel that predates the height of Greek culture by 2000 years. This Greek understanding of Egypt as the land of learning extended even into the Hellenic era (323-31 BC) and is one of the reasons why Alexander built his great library there.
Due to the racist agendas of 18th and 19th century European cultural nationalism, these connections were buried and the denial continues to this day. Even our conceptions of monotheism had their origins in Egypt. (See for example, “Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism” by James K. Hoffmeier.)
We do not acknowledge the early correlations between Egyptian and Greek architecture even though they are readily observable. See the photo below of the Great Hypostyle Hall. The structure was built duing the 19th Egyptian Dynasty (c. 1290–1224 BC) when Greek culture was barely yet even formed. (See the photo.)
This false history found its way into the neo-classical architecture of all of the capitals of Western culture such as Paris, London, Berlin, and Rome. It is little surprise that the pompous architecture of Washington DC is based on these chauvinistic notions of ancient history. If we had understood that the origins of Greek culture lie in Northern Africa, how would it have shaped our rationalizations of enslaving Africans? How would we have rationalized the slaughter of Native Americans justified by the presumed racial and cultural superiority embodied in The Manifest Destiny? Might our views been more conditioned and qualified?
This false history also had a strong effect on Nazism. By the circuitous routes of history, Otto of Bavaria became the King of Greece. The monarchy thus saw itself as having a particular role in upholding the ancient lineages of Athens. Munich was thus filled with many Greek style monuments, one of the most notable being the neo-classical architecture of the Königsplatz in Munich.⁠
Hitler founded his Nazi Party in Munich where he was strongly influenced by its neo-classical architecture and its wooly conceptions of cultural and racial superiority stemming from the Greco-Roman world. From a cultural viewpoint, the Königsplatz in Munich thus became a central location for Nazi Germany’s ideals. This short video illustrates this history with haunting video montages:

Hitler’s plans for a victorious Berlin after the war (which was to be renamed Germania) illustrate how extensively neo-classism influenced Fascist ideals–probably in no small part by way of the architecture of Washington.
These correlations haunt us in ways even closer to home in the architecture of Lincoln Center. We memorialize in stone our distorted and chauvinistic conceptions of history. We are loathe to admit the embarrassment a more accurate knowledge of history brings.

Comments

  • V.Lind says:

    Hmmm.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    I don’t think this is a forgotten story. When walking by, about two decades ago, I remember an informative sign right in front of the building, complete with old photographs. Is the sign still there?

    • No, it is not forgotten which is part of the point. The horrific memories are alive and well and thus degrading and demoralizing for the students and faculty.

      As readers follow the comments below, they will see a lot of disingenuine polemic, mostly by attributing to Abbie Conant (my wife) things she did not say. Contrary to the rhetoric of some of the respondents, she does not condemn neo-classical architecture in general. She addresses the appropriation of neo-classical architecture in the expression of cultural nationalism beginning in the 18th and 19th centuries and highly emphasized by the Nazis in the 20th–a topic worthy of consideration. Farther below, I posted six links about this history which seems to be having a resurgence. Donald Trump’s recent directive that all federal government buildings should be neo-classical is a good example. This policy has been roundly criticized by various professional societies for architects.

      There is also an effort to discredit her thoughts by pointing out small errors. (The post was written as an off-hand Facebook message and copied by Norman.) These errors do not invalidate her points about the cultural appropriation of neo-classism for political purposes. Nor her concerns about the long history of distorting ancient Greek history for chauvinistic political purposes.

      It is also notable that no one gives any meaningful reasons for why the Führerbau should continue to house Munich’s University of Music. Its horrific associations cannot be overlooked and *should not be.* I think that might be why the government has allowed the building to fall into serious disrepair, something highly unusual for public buildings in Germany. This suggests to me that there might be long-term plans to demolish and replace it.

      There are continuities between the misogyny in Germany and Austria’s music world and its history that extend back to the Third Reich and well beyond, but that is not the point of Abbie’s post–in spite of her off-hand figure of speech about the Füherbau’s karma.

      I dealt with these continuities fairly extensively during my work to bring women into the Vienna Philharmonic, and my work to publicize the orchestra’s racist employment practices. Here is an article about these heatedly denied historical continuities printed in “Leonardo Music Journal” which is published by the M.I.T. Press:

      http://www.osborne-conant.org/prophets.htm

      And here it is in German though the formatting needs to be updated:

      http://www.osborne-conant.org/prophets-ger.htm

      For those who might not know, Abbie and I are Americans who have lived in Germany for 41 years (longer than most Germans.)

      And finally, forgive me if I do not engage with anonymous posters. It is a mistake to engage with people on the internet who do not have the integrity to put their names to what they say. There are also a number of reactionaries here with whom it is pointless to talk.

      • Gerald Martin says:

        I think some folks would rather argue than read.

        • I think the basic motivation for many of the comments is to obfuscate that two women were sexually assaulted by the Dean of Munich’s University of Music in a room that was Hitler’s former office in the Führerbau. In a forum dominated by a group of reactionaries, it becomes too symbolic of the long history of misogyny.

  • gcmp says:

    Putting aside the problem of re-use of Nazi buildings, you aren’t very good as a architectural historian. Stay on music please, and skip the wokeism.

    • Nick says:

      Yes, please stay on music!!! Wokeism is not your thing Norman!! The Egyptian architecture does NOT look like Greek, as well as Greek has little to do with German Nazi architecture and even less with Washington.
      All this is woke BS!! Munich Musikhochschule looks depressing to many, but it is not the only school in Germany that looks like that. Hannover, Cologne, Berlin schools, to name a few, look also just awful. It is the influence of the Times!

    • V.Lind says:

      Indeed. I was offended to be told that Ms. Conant would “enlighten” us, to be followed by this agenda-driven piffle.

  • George says:

    The Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism is right next to it.

  • Has-been says:

    More ‘cancel culture’
    Really ?
    Students have been educated in this building for decades.Is there any serious evidence of harm..

  • no says:

    There are actual slaves and actual concentration camps in the world right now today, but replacing an old building because its architecture is influenced by a Greek ancient slaveholding democracy rather than an Egyptian ancient slaveholding “my-rulers-are-literal-gods”ocracy is a vital necessity. Of course, but this doesn’t go far enough- the autobahn system and all remaining Volkswagen Beetles, must be destroyed and all rocketry methods first used by Werner von braun replaced by new ones that aren’t *Nazi!!!* Can I be a professor now?

  • John Borstlap says:

    The nonsense of this diatribe is stunning. It combines ignorance with the current prejudice to look at history through the glasses of contemporary social justice attempts.

    Western civilization consists of a little bit MORE than discrimination, slavery, colonialism, chauvinism, suppression of minorities, etc. etc. To think that THIS is the heart of Western civilization, is so bottomless stupid, you don’t know where to begin to unravel it.

    Of course the Ancient Greeks were the basis of European / Western culture. That they got a number of basics from the Egyptians is generally known, it is written all over every cutural history. But the Greeks used them to create an entirely original concept, in terms of literature, architecture, of philosophy, of science – they created an entirely new and dynamic image of man, where the Egyptians remained stuck in a static repetition of modes. Also their art was infinitely more sophisticated.

    Buildings are, in themselves, entirely innocent from who lives or works therein, or with which motivation they were built. Projecting crime in an architectural style is so totally bananas, a child would immediately see through the nonsense. Classicism in Western architecture has a long and extremely varied history, and the style was applied in very many different contexts, its references depict a common catalogue of ideas and values, and they are humanist: referring back to Antiquity when they were formulated for the first time. That there have been grave mistakes, does not diminish in the least the achievements of Western civilization of the last 2500 years…. ANY civilization has its own dark corners, but we know that this is part of the human condition everywhere and in every time and place. That some regimes abuse the classical style in architecture, to add respectability to their misdeeds, is appropriation and annexation, in the way Beethoven’s symphonies were appropriated by the nazis.

    Neoclassicism developed at the end of the 18th century as a reaction to baroque architecture, it has nothing to do with the insane projections of criminal nitwits. Even the Führerbau has nothing wrong with it: it is a formalistic, cold version of neoclassicism, without any decoration, as there are so many in the world – including churches. The classical tradition in the arts has been used by the nazis to mislead society, as they misled everybody with everything.

    It may be not without importance to remind the readers of SD that the Jews were murdered in modern, industrial buildings, the style of which was perfectly fitting postwar modernist architecture. It has been demonstrated by architect Léon Krier, that one of the strongest inspirations for postwar international modern architecture: the awful cement blocks in a utilitarian style, come from the military nazi buildings of the Atlantik Wall. Le Corbusier let himself be inspired by these terrible visual abberations to proclaim progress after the war.

    If a criminal disguises himself illegally with the clothes of the bishop, that does NOT mean that the prelate has suddenly become a criminal as well.

    Thinking the way of which this post is an embarrassing example, is merely prolonging the crime of the nazis in their appropriation of a noble age-long tradition.

    http://subterraneanreview.blogspot.com/2019/06/intellectual-crime.html

    http://subterraneanreview.blogspot.com/2018/08/entartete-kunst.html

    http://subterraneanreview.blogspot.com/2021/05/why-craziness-is-all-around-us.html

    • Jim C. says:

      When I first read this piece I thought the author was satirizing this approach. I guess I was wrong.

  • Sol Siegel says:

    Also the building where the 1938 Munich Agreement between Hitler and Neville Chamberlain was signed. Kristallnacht ensued less than six weeks later.

  • fflambeau says:

    Hitler was a rat or worse and this building was built for him.

    In a way, it is come-uppance to him to turn it into a place for music instruction. I think there is nothing wrong with this as long as the school clearly indicates what its purpose was, memorializes his victims including many German victims and makes clear that this is an effort to “exorcise” the memories. Maybe a yearly musical program from students who are made aware of this would also help.

  • MR says:

    The Second World War
    Came to an end
    We forgave the Germans
    And then we were friends
    Though they murdered six million
    In the ovens they fried
    The Germans now, too
    Have God on their side
    (Bob Dylan)

    http://azuremilesrecords.com/Songs_by_a_Malibu_Musician_Saint.html

  • BRUCEB says:

    I kind of like the idea of taking something originally intended for evil and using it for good. I can understand how this would be too much for some people (a lot of people) though.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    If I recall correctly, neoclassical architecture was chosen for Washington DC to symbolize not the origin of European culture but the origins of democracy in Athens. Although that, too, ignored uncomfortable facts (e.g., severely limited suffrage in slave-owning Athens), it is hardly a motivation compatible with Nazi ideology.

    My comment does not contradict Prof. Conant’s points about connotations of neoclassicism in the Nazi context.

  • Akutagawa says:

    That article by Professor Conant is tendentious rubbish. Is he suggesting that the ghost of Albert Speer made Siegfried Mauser perform those sexual assaults? “Nazi building drove me to rape”. What utter nonsense.

  • Jim C. says:

    I think neo-classical architecture looks good.

  • Bill says:

    If you don’t want to learn about music in an old Nazi office building, go to a different school.

  • La plus belle voix says:

    Fact check:

    1) The official name for the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München is in English The University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, not the Munich State Conservatory. There used to be a Richard-Strauss- Konservatorium, but it was subsumed into the University in 2008 according to the history of the institutions. 2) Although there currently “no plans to replace” the Hochschule, it does now operate across two sites, much instruction also being offered at the Gasteig. 3) Munich is not “spending an estimated one billion euros on a new concert hall for its radio orchestra”; the so-called Konzerthaus for the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio is being funded by the State of Bavaria under the auspices of State Department of Planning and Building Control. The current official estimated costs are around 700 million Euros. The final figure will be published in 2023 according to the Financial Commission. 4) Siegfried Mauser, was convicted not of two but three counts of what is known as sexual assault (or coercion) not aggression.

    Whether or not the building is “a horrible place to train music students”, or whether the building’s “aesthetics and their symbolic meanings are simply ignored” in Munich, or whether “on a subtle (or not so subtle) level” the building “degrades the students and faculty” must remain Ms Connant’s opinion. Institutes of further and higher education generally have these days surveys of student satisfaction, and that might be an interesting avenue to pursue for one journalist or another.

    As for the building’s “karma”, and by extrapolation a causal link between Hitler and Mauser, this would seem tenuous at best, and an esoteric flight of fantasy at worst.

    The author would seem to have an axe to grind; quite why she seems so obsessed with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München remains a mystery. She does not mention the Haus der Kunst. Perhaps she has a problem with that building, too. Was she ever in Munich?

    • La moins belle voix says:

      Bravo.

    • Marfisa says:

      “… why she seems to be obsessed with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München remains a mystery”.

      These may help to explain:

      http://www.osborne-conant.org/bios.htm

      http://www.osborne-conant.org/ladies.htm

    • The actual attempt in the above post is to hide the elephant in the room: that two women were sexually coerced in Hitler’s former office in Munich’s “University of Music.” And that a wide spectrum of German artists contributed to a Festschrift honoring the perpetrator. It says a good bit more about Germany’s arts world than they want to acknowledge.

      The post is an example of how there are often attempts to deny or undermine history by obfuscating with details. Many in Germany still refer to the conservatories as Staatliche Hochschulen für Musik, or State Conservatories of Music. And given recent history, it is often noted that construction estimates for concert halls are met with cost overruns and that the cost of the new concert hall in Munich will actually be closer to one billion euros. I can cite sources if needed.

      It is unfortunate that the SD comments section has become a rallying point for a group of reactionaries that have damaged what could otherwise be a useful forum for wide-ranging discussion about classical music. The only solution would be to disallow the anonymity these people hide behind. If they had to use their real names, they would quickly disappear.

  • Libor says:

    I have heard also that Adolf Hilter also modified and greatly improved the now Rudolfinum (Dvorak) Concert Hall in Prague, Czech Republic. Could you do an article on this. Thank you.

  • Tribonian says:

    The last word on cancelling the Romans, if not the Greeks.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djZkTnJnLR0

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    The reader is expected to draw the brilliant conclusion that America’s ‘Founding Fathers’ were all Nazis.

  • Some additional reading for those interested, though I realize the SD comments section is hardly a forum for such views:

    Freedom, Neoclassicism, and Republican Nationalism
    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-476-05558-3_31

    Graeco-Roman Antiquity and the Idea of Nationalism in the 19th Century: Case Studies
    https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2017/2017.04.22/

    How classical architecture became a weapon for the far right
    https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2018/11/how-classical-architecture-became-weapon-far-right

    Not Just Hitler and Mussolini: Neo-Nazis Love Neoclassical Architecture too
    https://pharos.vassarspaces.net/2020/02/20/not-just-hitler-and-mussolini-neo-nazis-love-neoclassical-architecture-too/

    Trump’s Bizarre Plan to Make Architecture Classical Again
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/trumps-plan-make-architecture-classical-again/606286/?fbclid=IwAR0ul3JaWfeeukv-DYJ-PzsjTXrZi7LKHDkunytHe2cwN2qX5AgCFjPta9I

    “Traditional architecture has frequently been leveraged to support violent political agendas”
    https://www.dezeen.com/2020/02/06/making-federal-buildings-beautiful-again-opinion-phineas-harper/

    • John Borstlap says:

      Again, all of that has nothing to do with the classical style as such. It is appropriation.

      What about the entire architectural flowering in the Italian Renaissance? And the building of the Parisian renaissance and baroque Louvre which took 400 years of careful planning and stylistic adjustment, under different political umbrellas. All wrong? The whole subject is distorted nonsense, an attempt to politicize buildings which had sometimes been politicized in the past but which had not left any trace on the architecture.

      The same ‘discussion’ has taken place around the reconstruction of the old city center of Frankfurt, which was bombed, like all the other German cities, by the allies to make sure all Germans should feel the wrath of the civilized world. While the sterile banking city got a little bit of its old character back, the initiative was criticized as a move of rightwing extremism, apparently to inspire a populist rightwing fascistoid rebellion against the suppression by the free world. Comparable discussion about the reconstruction of the Berlin Stadtschloss, although the rebuilding of the entire centre of Münster somehow escaped the condemnations – probably because it was executed long before the wokes got on their high horse.

  • Some commenters asked about the student’s opinions of the school and evidence of harm. I do not debate anonymous posters, but the readers might like to know that the school conducted a recent survey answered by 800 students.

    –115 heard “suggestive remarks” during their time at the school
    –56 saw “suggestive gestures”
    –34 reported having been “grabbed or deliberately touched”.
    –9 reported having been shown genitals
    –8 testified that they had been forced to engage in sexual acts
    –7 were threatened with disadvantages by their teachers because they had refused a sexual advance.
    –1 rape was reported.

    The school is at work to transform this culture.

    https://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/sex-skandal-an-der-musikhochschule-muenchen-a-1207253.html

    • John Borstlap says:

      Obviously, all of this grave misbehavior has been inspired by the architectural style of the building.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      It would seem from the link that the survey was made exclusively to obtain feedback about the Mauser case. Just so readers know.

    • V.Lind says:

      “Suggestive” is a very subjective interpretation, especially in these days of the dear little snowflakes who have to have a trigger warning if Tess of the D’Urbervilles is on their curriculum. (I read it when I was about 13, to no ill effect, and later it was on a graduate course I did on Hardy, of whom I had been a devoted reader since before my teens).

      If a fellow even smiles at one of these feeble idiots, they are running off to their safe space or reporting it, in tears, to some cancellator. Being touched on the shoulder to get your attention balloons into sexual assault in these unformed minds.

      I am FED UP with the attacks on what I consider normal social intercourse (yeah, get over it, you ignorant snowflakes) who seem to cower in their safe spaces, whatever they might be — bedrooms? locked bathroom stalls? — thinking up new ways in which they can shout about some new sort of victimisation.

      For God’s sake, stop looking for offence where there is none. A beautiful building is a beautiful building. Whether Hitler’s old office is a suitable place for teaching the young, effectively neutralising the building as a building, is a legitimate question, But dragging the Egyptians into the Capitol building — grow up and find some legitimate work to do.

  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    Prof. Conant’s post must be one of the most embarrassing displays of misinformation ever posted on SD.
    Commentators preceding me have done a good job of taking it down.
    I’d like to point out just these stupendous howlers:

    1. “The celebration of ancient Greece and neo-classical architecture was a manifestation of 18th and 19th century cultural nationalism that distorted history.”
    Let’s get into the logic of this: Renaissance Italians, the French of the Grand siècle, Habsburg Austrians, Prussians in Berlin and Potsdam, Bavarians at the time of Ludwig I, Scandinavians, Finns, Russians were all celebrating Greek nationalism?

    2. “This Greek understanding of Egypt as the land of learning extended even into the Hellenic era (323-31 BC)…”
    As *a* land of learning, yes. Not the only one. Many Greek authors acknowledged their abundant debts. It suffices to read the extant sources. What Prof. Conant terms the ‘Hellenic era’ is properly known as the ‘Hellenistic period’. The distinction between Hellenistic and Hellenic is crucial: *”Hellenistic” is distinguished from “Hellenic” in that the first encompasses all territories under direct ancient Greek influence, while the latter refers to Greece itself. * (Consulting the relevant Wikipedia rubrum on the subject, from which this quotation is drawn, would have sufficed.)

    3. “…and is one of the reasons why Alexander built his great library there.”
    No. It wasn’t, and he didn’t. The Museion was most likely planned and endowed under Ptolemaios I and built under Ptolemaios II.

    4. “Due to the racist agendas of 18th and 19th century European cultural nationalism, these connections were buried and the denial continues to this day.”
    Having just watched three on-line conferences on circum-Mediterranean themes over the past month, all of which emphasized mutual exchanges and deep influences in Antiquity stretching as far as the Indian Ocean and China, themes which have been part of the curriculum for at least an century and a half, there is only one term which I can apply to such an aberrant assertion: sit venia verbo, the notion of denial is utter bullshit.

    5. “Even our conceptions of monotheism had their origins in Egypt.”
    Prof. Conant is entitled to her belief. Readers interested in sound scholarship and evidence may wish to consult the excellent introductory book, or one the numerous articles on the subject, by Heidelberg Egyptologist (emeritus) Jan Assmann, as well as the very accessible body work of historical-critical biblical scholar Thomas Römer, currently chair of the “Milieux Bibliques” programme at the Collège de France. (The Thomas Römer lectures are freely available online at the Collège de France website.)

    • V.Lind says:

      Bravo.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Excellent comment.

      As an addendum:

      In the Hellenistic period, Egypt was Hellenized, i.e. Alexandria was considered a Hellenistic, not an Egyptian city. In theory it could have been built in Bithinia (what is now Turkey), Sicily, or on the coast of Spain.

      Monotheism did NOT origin from Egypt, but from the rebellious Jewish people. Achnaton (ca. 1351-1333 BC), the only pharao who had the temerity to cancel all the old Egyptian gods (the first case of drastic cancel culture), could not get the idea rooted, and as soon as his short reign was over with his early death, all the gods came back and his name and that of his god Aton were removed from all existing buildings, in the hope that everybody would forget this embarrassing episode as quickly as possible.

    • Michael Endres says:

      Thank you for this clarification of blatant factual misrepresentations.

  • Professor Abbie Conant (of Music, not Architecture, it has to be emphasized) continues the ill-conceived but politically charged accusation that any building resembling the Classical style has to be condemned. This nonsensical and vicious slander has led to the demolition of a great number of wonderful older buildings in excellent structural condition — and to a tremendous cultural loss all around the world.

    On stylistic reasons, and regardless of who the original tenant of this building was, it has a very nice and welcoming façade. The only alarming element is the entrance portico, which is indeed severe and gives an impression of power. This is the element of architecture erected during the Nazi era that we should find objectionable. An intelligent analysis separates those objectionable architectural elements from Neo-classical architecture in general.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      It would seem that her Professor title is the kind bestowed in Germany on individuals who teach in this case an orchestral instrument, as opposed to those who pursued academic research and successfully submitted a doctoral thesis, the latter going by Prof Dr.

      • Saxon says:

        You can get the title of “professor” with little more than an extended UG degree with a dissertation in Germany.

    • Finally, someone with the integrity to use a real name and thus deserving a response. You are doing what most of the commenters here are doing, putting words into the author’s mouth in order to polemicize. She did not make the “accusation that any building resembling the classical style has to be condemned” which is ridiculous. (Most of the arguments here center around that intentionally false reading.) She addressed the uses of neo-classicism in the expression of cultural nationalism beginning in the 18th and 19 centuries and highly emphasized by the Nazis in the 20th–a topic worthy of consideration. The links I posted above document this phenomenon which seems to be having a resurgence. Donald Trump’s recent directive that all federal government buildings should be neo-classical is a good example. And it has been roundly criticized by various professional societies for architects.

      And as she notes, the general ethos behind such politically motivated appropriation selectively distorts ancient Greek history and the sources of Western culture.

      She also notes that the social and historical context in which buildings are placed is also essential, hence the view that the Führerbau is a horrible place to study. The horrific associations cannot be overlooked and should not be. They are certainly demoralizing, which is probably one of the reasons the building is not being refurbished, which is highly unusual for public buildings in Germany. This suggests to me that there might be long-term plans to demolish and replace it. Few people familiar with Munich would say the building is “welcoming” as you put it. It is a memory of horror. Germany’s classical music world deserves better.

  • An interesting discussion of early Greek and Egyptian interactions, by Ian Rutherford is Professor of Classics at the University of Reading.

    https://blog.oup.com/2016/04/greek-egyptian-interactions-literature/

  • Marfisa says:

    “If we had understood that the origins of Greek culture lie in Northern Africa, how would it have shaped our rationalizations of enslaving Africans?”

    It might have supported them.

    From the wikipedia article on Slavery in ancient Egypt (sorry not to cite a more scholarly source).

    “Documented evidence existed as early as the reign of Sneferu in the 26th century BC of expeditions to capture Nubians and Libyans from foreign lands and reduce them to slavery where they will perform the work of forced labor or to be entered into the military. Reliefs from this period depict captured prisoners of war with their hands tied behind their backs. Nubians were first targeted, and then the scope of campaigns in order to acquire foreign slaves expanded to Libyans and Asiatics.”

    I seem also to remember something about the captivity of the Jews.

    The origins of Greek culture are, of course, far more complex. And that they ‘lie in Northern Africa’ comes perilously close to the misconceptions about Dido and Cleopatra being African Queens (Lebanese and Macedonian Greek respectively).

    Would everything really have been better if buildings and ideologies had been based on Egyptian rather than Greco-Roman models? Napoleon, I believe, was an enthusiast.

    • Saxon says:

      Slavery has existed from the earliest recordings of history. Likely everywhere had it, and there is nothing particularly notable about the Egyptians going on slave-hunting expeditions.

      Funny fact. Around 10 percent of the population of England were slaves before the Norman conquest: the Normans put an end to Anglo-Saxons being enslaved.

  • Libor says:

    Adolf Hitler remodeled the interior of the Rudolfium (Dvorak) Concert Hall in Prague, Czech Republic!

  • Libor says:

    Adolf Hitler remodeled the Rudolfium Concert Hall in Prague, Czech Republic.

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