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Hitler's Music Collection Turns Up in Dead Russian Soldier's Attic

The most astonishing fact about the records — essentially Hitler’s “Best of . . .” collections — is the presence of Jewish performers. Among the recordings is a Tchaikovsky concerto performed by the virtuoso Polish Jewish violinist Bronislaw Huberman. Hitler would have been aware, while listening to Huberman’s playing, that he had founded the Palestine Orchestra in 1936 (which went on to be the foundation of today’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) and that he was living in enforced exile.

The Austrian Jewish pianist Artur Schnabel, whose mother was killed by the Nazis, also had his work included in Hitler’s personal collection. It is not known which records in the collection were listened to most frequently, nor have they been formally catalogued.

“I’m not terribly surprised by Hitler’s record choices,” said James Kennaway, of Stanford University. “Nazi music policy was pretty incoherent. Stravinsky was played in the Third Reich because he was known to have right-wing views, Bartok because Hungary was a German ally.” Dr Kennaway, a leading musicologist who specialises in the Nazi period, added: “The only real point of consistency in Nazi policy was antiSemitism, so the Schnabel and Huberman recordings do stand out.”

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On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

John Schultz

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This page contains a single entry by John Schultz published on August 7, 2007 2:10 PM.

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