The German press is calling yesterday’s court appearance of Jonathan Meese, the Bayreuth director charged with Nazi imagery, ‘more of a happening than a legal hearing’. One of his lawyers accused the judges of being ‘unfamiliar with the discourse of art.
Here is an agency summary of the hearing prepared by one of our readers:
Meese’s lawyers challenged the first judge because she rejected their request for an experts’ report. Their challenge was thrown out by a second judge, whom they accused him of being biased because when entering the courtroom, he had shaken hands with the lawyers, but not with Meese.
A third judge will now decide whether to accept or reject that second challenge by July 29.
Earlier, during the hearing, Meese — dressed completely in black — had admitted to making the Hitler salute, but insisted ‘it was a performance.’ In private, he maintained, he was a very reserved person. ‘I wouldn’t make a Hitler salute in a restaurant. I’m not totally barmy,’ Meese said.
The case was adjourned until July 29.
Meese is scheduled to direct Parsifal at Bayreuth in 2016.