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Gottfried Wagner, Twilight of the Wagners, Picador, New York 1997, 310 pages, hardcover, $15.-
Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was – and still is – "the Great One" in the history of opera. Certainly a debatable opinion, but with Wagner societies worldwide and with the Bayreuth Festspielhaus in northern Bavaria as his "eternal" shrine a là Lourdes or Fatima, and with the obligatory pilgrimage by "the faithful" to the August-October operatic extravaganzas annually produced, I ask if any thoughtful opera enthusiast can seriously doubt that "Richard der Große" is still reigning over opera as he either looks down from Heaven above or up from Hell below.
Thankfully for readers of this journal, I do not find it necessary to state that his last name is pronounced "VAG-nur." Nor is it necessary to state that he died in the same year as the Trier-born Karl Marx, nor that Wagner participated in only one violent revolution – the 1848 socialist attempt to overthrow kingly rule, nor that Wagner took financial advantage of almost everyone he ever became friends with – particularly Otto Wesendonck of Switzerland. Wagner’s philosophy seems to have been: "I’ve got friends I haven’t used – yet."
My favorite story takes place at the Wesendonck estate – with the Welsh actor Richard Burton playing Wagner in the epic 19-21 hour movie around 1986 – when Herr Wesendonck tells Richard:
"You’ve eaten my food, enjoyed my lodging, taken my money, and seduced my wife."
To which Wagner replies:
"What are friends for?"
Seemingly, the key problem for many music lovers since 1933 has been to ask: How can I love Wagner’s musical dramas and yet hate his anti-Jewish sentiment, best expressed in his Judaism in Music (circa 1850)? Truly a major problem for Jews who populate the Wagnerian landscape of the Wagner societies, the written books and articles about his life and operas, and who are often prominent in orchestras and directorships presenting his works to the audiences.
I must make my own confession at this point: that I have liked much of Wagner’s music over the past 25 years and that I am a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Wagner Society in addition to having visited Bayreuth twice and taken tours of the truly magnificent theater on the Festspielhügel along with Wahnfried, the similarly magnificent residence of "King Richard." I have even preached two sermons in churches using Parsifal and Tannhäuser as the central texts! I possess LP record sets of The Ring and other operas, along with CDs of Tannhäuser, my favorite, so that I can listen and sing along while driving on long trips in my Peugeot. At the same time, I must also confess that Wagner’s powerfully framed anti-Jewish monograph about music in the 19th century has not been a problem for me since I heartily embrace academic freedom of speech in every area of life. (Likewise, I possess Karl Marx’s writings, especially his little known monograph A World without Jews – which, I suppose could permit some people to call me "a Marxist," shall we say?)
I even learned that although more books have been written about Jesus Christ than anyone else in human history, the second person on the list is Richard Wagner, about whom some 20,000 books have been written. Truly amazing for a mere mortal and operatic composer!
In my opinion, all opera is either "BW" or "AW" – that is, Before Wagner or After Wagner. So important was he, his works, and his novel approach to grand drama in this music form.
Dr. Gottfried Helferich Wagner, author of the book discussed here, was born April 13, 1947, in Bayreuth to Richard Wagner’s grandson Wolfgang Wagner. He took his doctorate in musicology from Vienna and is married to an Italian Catholic wife, now living in Milan, Italy, with their son. This great-grandson of Richard Wagner lectures and writes and participates in numerous Jewish Holocaust events, being a member of the "Post-Holocaust Dialog Group" founded by the Hebrew Union College professor Abraham J. Peck (Cincinnati, Ohio).
Peck wrote the introduction to this 310-page book, and his opening sentence almost tells everything a reader needs to know in terms of what to expect from Gottfried Wagner:
"Twilight of the Wagners is a book that Gottfried Wagner had to write, a book about his coming of age, in an age dominated by the shadow of Auschwitz." (p. 1)
One must ask himself: Is this book, therefore, worth reading? Of course, some reasons for book reviews are to enable the reader 1) to avoid buying and reading a book and to accomplish this by simply reading a highly informative review, or 2) to decide that he must have this book since the review created so much interest in its content.
For me, I waded through Twilight over a three-week period and found that I had a hard time putting it down until I finished marking it up and making copious notes. I now hope to contact Herr Wagner and sit down and discuss his problem. His problem, in my opinion, is that he, like so many Germans and Jews of our time, is "screwed up" emotionally and mentally because of the Jewish Holocaust Story’s dogma that all modern history is either "B.H." or "A.H." – that is, Before the Holocaust or After the Holocaust.
Professor Robert Jan van Pelt could have written the Peck introduction to Twilight of the Wagners, since van Pelt, the pseudo-architect, also makes all modern history turn upon the Auschwitz dogma with the sacred Six Million and homicidal gassing chambers in which "the evil Germans" genocided Jews (with, of course, an occasional Gentile gassed so that Jews do not appear to be callous-hearted to the mistreatment of a few Gentiles).
One of the great contributions of this book is that Gottfried unearthed a treasure trove of personal, unpublished letters stored in the Wahnfried archives. For example, he writes on page 209 that Chancellor Hitler proposed marriage to his grandmother Winifred and that, if she had accepted this proposal (so much for the rumor that Hitler was homosexual!), Gottfried might have carried the name "Gottfried Wagner-Hitler!" (This item had been published also in the 1982 work Who’s Who in Nazi Germany by Robert Wistrich.)
Early on in the book, Gottfried focuses on his lifelong conflict with his father Wolfgang, who competed with his brother Wieland Wagner for operatic prominence at the Festspielhaus. He writes:
"Tyrannically, Wieland enforced his will in the interests of his work, and my father had to submit to him in front of everybody. Wieland’s fits of violent rage, his cynicism, and his damning remarks about people who did not agree with his ideas alienated me just as much as his scornful remarks about my father’s productions. Father suffered very much under this: he wanted to be his brother’s equal as an artist." (p. 26)
The children of these two warring brothers were not even allowed to play together, nor did the two families appear in official photos nor sit together during performances (p. 27).
Much of the book addresses Gottfried’s rebellion against his own father’s tyrannical demands: Even today he is alienated from his father. Perhaps this helps explain the warmth he cherishes for his second wife’s Italian Catholic family, into which he married in 1983, taking Teresina as wife. Clearly, Gottfried exchanged his atheism for a Catholic Christianity that has contributed to more profound meaning and purpose in his life, in contrast to the sterile Lutheranism of his father. Humans seek out warmth and love in their relationships, and I believe Gottfried cannot be blamed for his search and for its results.
On the one hand, one might believe that the field of music and opera is dominated by arrogant and treacherous people such as the Wagners showed themselves to be, while on the other hand, one might believe that the enormous pressures of the audiences for artistic innovations drive the high ability achievers into arrogance and tyranny. Richard Wagner himself was clearly an arrogant tyrant, but one also sees this personality type in politics and acting and sports and the worlds of business, law, medicine and academia.
Twilight has many anecdotal examples of Gottfried’s encounters with Jews who displayed hate for Germans in general, with one noteworthy example being that of "the New York based psychiatrist Yehuda Nir" (p.294). He met Nir in 1994 at the Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches meeting at Rider College in New Jersey. This Polish Jew survived six years of World War Two along with his mother and sister; he told Gottfried that he was pleased to become acquainted with him "because it allows me to gain additional insight into my feelings toward the Germans: the murderers of my father when I was eleven years old."
For me as a reviewer, I must ask Gottfried why it is that throughout the book he never once asks the "Yehuda Nirs" what led to a father’s death or how that father died and what he did to bring about his arrest. Perhaps he had been a partisan or collaborator with the Communists, as were many Jews. Gottfried, despite his advanced doctoral studies, never seems willing to explore Jewish culpability in their own treatment or mistreatment by the German military or by Eastern Europeans whose own fathers were murdered by Jews and Gentile Communists prior to the arrival of the Germans. Gottfried displays both an ignorance and naïveté that is utterly inexcusable for a highly educated man! This great-grandson of Richard Wagner seems to possess absolutely no intellectual or emotional curiosity about "the Jewish Problem" in Europe or anywhere else. For him, Jews are presumed to be the eternally innocent victims of "anti-Semitism" – period!
Therefore, I have framed the title of this review as a question: Are Germans as "screwed up" as Jews?
And the answer, I hold, is clear: most Germans are so completely bankrupted emotionally by the Jewish Holocaust Story and threatened by the Jewish Holocaust Industry promoted by the Elie Wiesels, Simon Wiesenthals, Rabbi Marvin Hiers, Abe Foxmans, Edgar Bronfmans, Deborah Lipstadts, Robert Jan van Pelts, Daniel Goldhagens, and the Frank Littells that they lack that fundamental human quality of self-defense, and they are thus "screwed up." On the other hand, most Jews lack the fundamental quality of being honest with the negatives in their own history, and Jews in general insist upon the mythical dogma of their own special supremacy and chosenness to be innocent victims of Gentile evil. Hence, they also are "screwed up."
Abraham Peck is a strong example of a "screwed up" Jew. His disabling disease is what I call "the Disease of Auschwitz." Peck has a fatal case of it and will likely die with the word "Auschwitz" word on his lips. The Abraham Pecks of this world have no compassion for the tens of millions of non-Jews murdered by his fellow Judeo-Bolsheviks, no compassion for the rape and theft and murder and ethnic-cleansing of several millions of Semito-Palestinians in Israel-Palestine since 1948, and no compunction over the creation of a movie and TV and publishing industry that smears and distorts and condemns millions of Germans for their DNA year after year.
Dr. Gottfried Wagner and Abraham Peck are the sorts of people who today persecute a German pacifist named Ernst Zündel, and they willingly and enthusiastically do so because Ernst Zündel denies their myth. An Ernst Zündel must be silenced by these "screwed up" people because his denial – if it were to become widely accepted – threatens their disabling disease of hatred. These are the same sorts of people who hated Galileo for his audacity in opposing the Establishment myth wherein the Sun revolved around the Earth rather than vice versa, and those people coerced Galileo to change his statement (although not his mind!). And Ernst Zündel will not change either his words or his mind!
The Peck and Gottfried Wagner types also will attack Mel Gibson and his "Lethal Weapon" movie The Passion, because they seek to control the media for purposes of continuing the myth of Jewish victimhood and Jewish innocence.
On page 3 of his introduction, Peck rejects any reconciliation between Germans as perpetrators and innocent Jewish victims, and I believe here that Peck displays his own spiritual lostness and depravity. For me, I love the German noun Versöhnung, "reconciliation" in English, because the verb versöhnen points to a father bringing a son back into his good graces and the end result is love and peace and mercy and fellowship.
The Abraham Pecks of this world hate reconciliation because it requires repentance, that is, in Greek, metanoia, a change of mind. The Peck type refuses to consider that he has been in error about Germans and German history and thus he refuses to consider that he and his fellow Jews have done wrong, have sinned, have murdered and lied and cheated and stolen and raped and been an arrogant minority in a host majority anywhere in the world.
In conclusion, my question about Versöhnung has to be directed toward Gottfried Wagner, the great-grandson of "Richard the Great": Will you, Herr Doctor Wagner, study the Jewish Holocaust Story from the method of exactitude and examine the physical evidences that there were indeed no homicidal gassing chambers at Auschwitz? And that "the Six Million" is a propaganda figure? And that the Hitlerian program was primarily one of resettlement and then deportation to the east and eventually beyond Europe itself?
My hope is that Gottfried might learn the truth about World War Two and that he might become reconciled – that is, become a son again – to his fathers and brothers and sisters who themselves were terribly persecuted and ethnically cleansed by the Versailles Treaty and its long-lasting aftermath until 1947 and even until 2003. Gottfried can only then begin to face the truth that there were indeed Germans who did bad things to Germans and Poles and Jews and others, but at the present, Gottfried knows only this negative aspect of the story – truly abounding with negatives for which individual Germans were guilty and ought to have been prosecuted for.
While writing this review, I began to read The Slave Trade by Professor Hugh Thomas (of Boston University) and it became apparent that "the Black Holocaust" from 1440 through 1870 was an international "crime against humanity" performed by Whites and Jews and Arabs and African Negroes against an estimated 13,000,000 Negroes. As a venture, it was thoroughly successful in terms of economics; in terms of morality, it was thoroughly despicable and immoral to its core. But what is really obscene today is that Jews promote their "Holocaust" as being of greater enormity and scope and depth.
Herr Doctor Gottfried Wagner needs to study "the Black Holocaust" and to learn that he has been successfully recruited by the Jewish Holocaust Industry so as to diminish the crime against Negroes in order to increase the purity of Jewish victimhood and, with it, to attempt to justify the acquisition of financial and moral reparations from Germans and other compliant Gentiles. Dr. Wagner is a major part of the problem rather than of the solution.
I maintain the hope that Gottfried can become reconciled to his people and the best of their history.
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Robert H. Countess|
|Title:||Wagner-Bashing, Are Germans as ‘Screwed Up’ as Jews? A Review|
|Sources:||The Revisionist 2(1) (2004), pp. 107-110|
|First posted on CODOH:||July 9, 2012, 7 p.m.|