3rd May 1942, at dinner
Berlin must not monopolise the resources of the Reich—Berlin is not an artistic city—The choice of Nuremberg.
When I think of Bayreuth, I am invariably worried by the thought that one day we may have to appeal to the State for financial aid for the maintenance of its cultural institutions and surrender the administrative control of the city into the hands of the ministerial bureaucrats. This is one of the reasons why I am so interested in the two sons of Frau Winifred Wagner. I hope very much that they will prove capable of carrying on the great work of their parents. As long as I live, I shall always do everything in my power to maintain the prestige of Richard Wagner’s city. I see no better method of safeguarding cultural centres than to confide them to the safe-keeping of the cities which contain them.
Brilliant city though Berlin undoubtedly is, I doubt whether we can make of it a metropolis of the Arts. As a metropolis of political and military power, it is ideal, as I realised on the occasion of the procession organised for my last birthday. But the atmosphere of Berlin is not the atmosphere of an artistic city.
We have no reason for allowing any other town to attain the stature of Berlin. The Reich can be well content with one town of five million inhabitants, Berlin, two towns—Vienna and Hamburg—of a couple of millions, and quite a number which approach the million mark. It would be extremely stupid further to enlarge our great cities and to canalise all cultural activity towards them. I said one day to Christian Weber that it would be ridiculous to incorporate Starnberg into Munich. To preserve its own character, Munich must remain as it now is.
Had I so wished I could have arranged for the Party Congress to take place in Munich. But as I wished as many towns as possible—big, medium and little—to participate and to become centres of German cultural life, I suggested to the Party Committee that we should chose Nuremberg for our Rallies, and our annual gathering there must, I think, give the city for ten days the atmosphere of the Olympic Games Festivals of ancient days.