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Vienna Philharmonic will come clean – tonight

We’ve had a couple of media calls this morning indicating that the Vienna Philharmonic will publish the historians’ report on its Nazi-era activities as early as tonight, two days ahead of the Anschluss anniversary. Slipped Disc will aim to analyse the content as soon as it is available.

The key figures will be Vienna’s Gauleiter Baldur von Schirach (below, during and after the war) and Helmut Wobisch, the orchestra’s most ardent Nazi, who returned to become its manager in 1953.

UPDATE: You can read a summary of the report here.



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  1. A report about the study appeared on the website of Der Standard about an hour ago (at 8:42 PM.) It can be read here:

    Some new information has been found, most notably about the orchestra’s two SS members, Wilhelm Jerger and Helmut Wobisch. As I suspected from the beginning, it was Wobitsch who delivered the ring to Baldur von Schirach. I think the many new letters of Jerger that were found will require much more analysis than this study seems to provide.

    The lead historian of the study, Oliver Rathkolb, seems to be playing down the new information. I think it is quite possible the new leads will point the way to further discoveries and that the story is not over.

    The orchestra’s history during the Reich is so complex that no single reading of the archives can be adequate – much less one that seems to have an official status and which is being presented almost as if it were a public relations event. It is only through numerous perspectives written by a variety of specialists, including musicologists, that a fuller picture can be achieved. It remains to be seen if the Philharmonic has genuinely opened its archives.

  2. The Vienna Philharmonic is a disgrace to the memory of the city of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. It should be disbanded immediately and a new orchestra formed from a melting pot of musicians around the world, and of all genders.

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