What's the Connection Between wagner's Operas and Naziism?

I just read the NY Time’s article about the Wagnerfest in Beyreuth, bavaria. The article mentions that Hitler and other top Nazis came to the festival often-and Hitler was transfixed by the Ring Cycle.
Apart from the fact that Richard Wagner hated jews, what does this series of opera have to do with Ger,man fascism? Was Hitler a man who appreciated opera?

The Nazis liked the music. That’s it.

They also liked Beethoven and any other German composer.

Hitler did like opera. Also, Wagner was anti-Semitic, and his followers (including his son in law, Houston Stewart Chamberlain) more so. Wagner’s operas also, many of them, dipped into old pagan German mythology, and there were some Nazis who were trying to revive old German paganism.

Opera was much more popular with the general public at that time, so its not like Hitler was especially cultured to be going to opera festivals. They didn’ t have lalapaloza yet.

I lost an argument that “Wagner was a Nazi” accepting the claim in The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich.

Interestingly enough, Wagner’s favorite conductor at Bayreuth was a Jew. Of course, I cannot recall his name, although I believe the cite would be from Wagner: The Man and His Music, or Wagner, the Man, His Mind and His Music, whichever I got with the Time-Life albums. :slight_smile:

The Nazis were all about Mythic Germany. Himmler especially spent a lot of time and effort researching Teutonic and pagan culture. He and the Nazis seemed to be trying to retcon German history into something with the same gravitas as Homer and Virgil. I get the feeling it irked the Nazis that most Germans were living in mud huts when the Romans were building an empire. Or at least that such a perception existed. Wagner and opera were a great way to engender a legendary quality to German culture.

I read once that Nietzsche (whose thinking was so influential on the Nazis, or at least the more intellectual of them) once published a pamphlet proving his onetime idol Wagner had Jewish blood – not because Nietzsche was anti-semitic, but because he disapproved of Wagner’s anti-semitism. Can’t find anything about that here, though – unless you count “Nietzsche contra Wagner.”

Does anyone else’s Google ad say “Undo Circumcision Damage”? :rolleyes:

Hitler also was a fan of vegetarianism, motherhood and gun-control. It seems to me that banning stuff that Hitler just happened to like is a very strange reason.

Who’s banning Wagner?!

From Wiki:
"As a result of this appropriation by the Nazi party, Wagner’s operas have never been staged in the modern state of Israel. "

The vegetarianism angle was pretty strange-Hitler would host dinners where meat dishes were served, but only eat vegetables, He like creampuffs-and would often eat half a dozen.
Did the NP ever make vegetarianism a party goal?

That is understandable; the Nazis played his music at the death camps.
He is my favorite composer, BTW.

They also made them wear stripes and a Star of David. Camps were circled by barbed wire. Any of these get banned?

He ate something like a vegetarian diet because of gastrointestinal problems (too bad he didn’t have worse), not because of any moral or ethical issue I’m aware of.

[Analogy]Well, very few things are “banned” in the U.S., but I bet that if you wanted to erect a big statue in the town square in honor of Osama Bin Laden, designed by some leading sculptor, you’d not get very far. [/analogy]

Wagner was a rabid anti-semite, and his music was used extensively by those who murdered millions of Jews. The Ring Cycle includes themes of German superiority, fate rather than free choice, a master race, the renunciation of love and compassion as the path to power… Fits in well with Nazi philosophy, except for the end (power is destroyed by love.)

I don’t know if Wagner is actually legally “banned” in Israel, but there is certainly a general recognition that he is NOT someone whose music Israelis want to hear.

Beethoven always gets a free pass from Wagner-haters, even though his music was also paraded by the Nazis as a great achievement of the German race. And Chopin’s antisemitism gets ignored.

While the Ring can be interpreted as corresponding to something within Nazi ideology, the other operas don’t really offer the same parallels unless one follows tortuous logic. The closeness of some members of the Wagner family to the Nazi party are an additional problem which sometimes gets thrown into the mix.

And no, there’s not any official ban in Israel. Unlike the ban on Parsifal imposed by the Nazis.

Beethoven wasn’t an antisemite. And Chopin was never adopted by the Nazis the way Wagner was.

Chopin was Polish. This would not have made him particularly beloved by the Nazis.

Should a survivor get off the boat in Israel and hear the music played at Auschwitz, it would, well it would pretty much suck.