Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 72

the-real-hitler

 

Night of 24th-25th January 1942

Origin of Tristan and Isolda—Cosima Wagner—Wahnfried—The Makart style—Bayreuth—On the Nuremberg Congress.
 
 
Whatever one says, Tristan is Wagner’s masterpiece, and we owe Tristan to the love Mathilde Wesendonck inspired in him. She was a gentle, loving woman, but far from having the qualities of Cosima. Nobody like Wagner has had the luck to be entirely understood by a woman. Those are things that life does not owe a man, but it’s magnificent when it happens.

Neither Mozart nor Beethoven, neither Schiller nor Goethe, have had a share of such happiness. In addition to all Wagner’s gifts, Cosima was femininity personified, and her charm had its effect on all who visited Wahnfried. After Wagner’s death, the atmosphere at Wahnfried remained what it had been during his lifetime. Cosima was inconsolable, and never ceased to wear mourning. She had wanted her own ashes to be scattered over her husband’s tomb, but she was refused this satisfaction.

Nevertheless, her ashes were collected in an urn, and this urn was placed on the tomb. Thus death has not separated these two beings, whom destiny had wished to live side by side! Wagner’s lifetime was also that of a man like Meyerbeer! Wagner is responsible for the fact that the art of opera is what it is to-day. The great singers who’ve left names behind became celebrated as interpreters of Wagner. Moreover, it’s since him that there have been great orchestra-leaders. Wagner was typically a prince. His house, Wahnfried, for example! It’s been said that the interior, in Makart style, was over-loaded.

But should a house be mistaken for a gallery of works of art? Isn’t it, above all, a dwelling, the framework for a private life, with its extensions and its radiance? If I possess a gallery of ancestors, should I discard it on the pretext that not all the pictures in it are masterpieces?

At the beginning of this century there were people called Wagnerians. Other people had no special name. What joy each of Wagner’s works has given me! And I remember my emotion the first time I entered Wahnfried. To say I was moved is an understatement! At my worst moments, they’ve never ceased to sustain me, even Siegfried Wagner. (Houston Stewart Chamberlain wrote to me so nicely when I was in prison.) I was on Christian-name terms with them. I love them all, and I also love Wahnfried.

So I felt it to be a special happiness to have been able to keep Bayreuth going at the moment of its discomfiture. The war gave me the opportunity to fulfil a desire dear to Wagner’s heart: that men chosen amongst the people—workers and soldiers—should be able to attend his Festival free of charge. The ten days of the Bayreuth season were always one of the blessed seasons of my existence.

Festspielhaus_Bayreuth_Innen

And I already rejoice at the idea that one day I shall be able to resume the pilgrimage! The tradition of the Olympic Games endured for nearly a thousand years. That results, it seems to me, from a mystery similar to that which lies at the origin of Bayreuth. The human being feels the need to relax, to get out of himself, to take communion in an idea that transcends him. The Party Congress answers the same need, and that’s why for hundreds of years men will come from the whole world over to steep themselves anew, once a year, in the marvellous atmosphere of Nuremberg. They’ll come, and they’ll see side by side the proofs we shall have left of our greatness, and at the same time the memories of old Nuremberg.

On the day following the end of the Bayreuth Festival, and on the Tuesday that marks the end of the Nuremberg Congress, I’m gripped by a great sadness—as when one strips the Christmas tree of its ornaments.

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 118

the-real-hitler

 

22nd April 1942, midday

The Metropolitan Opera House in New York closes its doors—The Americans have no great artistes.

It is reported that the Metropolitan Opera House in New York is to be closed; but the reasons given for its closing are certainly false. The Americans do not lack money; what they lack is the artistes required to maintain the activities of the greatest of their lyrical theatres.

One requires but little knowledge to know that the most famous operas are all of either German, Italian or French origin, and that among the artistes who perform them the Germans and the Italians are the most celebrated. Deprived of the services of the artistes from these two countries, the management has preferred to close its doors rather than expose the inadequacy of American artistes.

Our newspapers must not miss this opportunity! Copious comment should be made on this illuminating pointer to the cultural standard of the United States.

Published in: on August 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 125

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Berghof, 30th April 1942, at dinner

German tenors—The horror of Bruno Walter and Knappertsbusch—Furtwängler, the only real conductor.

I am very sorry that Germany at the moment possesses only two really first-class tenors, for these two unfortunates are forced to tear round and round the country singing in town after town with neither rest nor respite. The fault lies with the directors of the Operas and the conductors, who are not at sufficient pains to seek and recruit new talent.

Great conductors are as important as great singers. Had there been a sufficiency of good conductors during the time of the Weimar Republic, we should have been saved the ridiculous spectacle of the rise to eminence of a man like Bruno Walter, who in Vienna was regarded as a complete nonentity. It was the Jewish press of Munich, which was echoed by its Viennese counterpart, that drew attention to the man and suddenly proclaimed him to be the greatest conductor in Germany. But the last laugh was against Vienna; for when he was engaged as conductor of the superb Viennese Orchestra, all he could produce was beer-hall music. He was dismissed, of course, and with his dismissal Vienna began to realise what a dearth there was of good conductors, and sent for Knappertsbusch.

He, with his blond hair and blue eyes, was certainly a German, but unfortunately he believed that, even with no ear, he could, with his temperament, still produce good music. To attend the Opera when he was conducting was a real penance.

The only conductor whose gestures do not appear ridiculous is Furtwängler. His movements are inspired from the depths of his being. In spite of the very meagre financial support he received, he succeeded in turning the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra into an ensemble far superior to that of Vienna, and that is greatly to his credit. Some people attribute this superiority to the fact that Berlin possesses a number of genuine Stradivarius, but this explanation must be accepted with reserve.

Published in: on July 31, 2015 at 8:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 159

the-real-hitler

 

1st August 1942, evening

British lies—A comparison with America—The Church’s cunning wisdom—Exit the Pope.

Conversation turned to a book entitled Juan in America which Bormann had recently lent to the Fuehrer. In it the author paints a picture of the unbelievable conditions which reigned in the intellectual and political circles of the United States, and of the astonishing credulity of the American citizen. Hewel stated that this credulity was not an exclusively American characteristic, and that in Britain, too, the people swallowed everything they were told. Hitler said:

It is perfectly true that the British swallow everything they are told. At the moment, nevertheless, there is a certain amount of murmuring over faked reports. According to the Americans themselves, America has the finest, biggest and most efficient of everything in the wide world; and when one then reads a book like this about them, one sees that they have the brains of a hen! Well, the disillusionment will be all the more severe, and the consternation, when this house of cards collapses, will be enormous.

It is very difficult to argue with Americans. They immediately shout: “Say, take a look at what our workers earn!” True, but let us take a look at the shady side as well. The industrial worker earns his eighty dollars; but the man who is not in industry gets absolutely nothing. At one time they had no less than thirteen million unemployed. I have seen pictures of shelters built out of old kerosene tins which the unemployed had erected for themselves and which remind me of the holes of misery to be found in the Bolshevik industrial cities. I grant you that our standard of life is lower. But the German Reich has two hundred and seventy opera houses—a standard of cultural existence of which they over there have no conception.

To sum it up, the Americans live like sows in a most luxurious sty!

Reichsleiter Bormann drew attention to the gifts which France made almost every day to the Church, and on which the power of the Church was thriving mightily. The Fuehrer continues:

It was exactly the same in Bavaria! Held restored to the Church forest lands to the value of thirty or forty million marks, lands which by expropriation belonged to the State!

The Church has succeeded in striking a very pretty balance between life on earth and in the Hereafter. On earth, they say, the poor must remain poor and blessed, for in Heaven the earthly rich will get nothing; and the unfortunate poor on earth believe them!

It is only by keeping the masses ignorant that the existing social order of things can be maintained; in the eyes of the faithful, this is the justification for supreme Papal authority. Cramer-Klett told me one day that he had become a Catholic because he realised that Luther with his Reformation had completely destroyed authority as such.

Possibly—but I cannot help thinking that man has been endowed with a brain which he is intended to make use of, and that anything which is founded on a premise unacceptable to the human intellect cannot endure for ever. It is not possible to hold fast for very long to tenets which the progress of knowledge have proved to be false. I should be wrong if I condemned as a liar a man who believed firmly in the Aristotelean or Ptolemaic world, when he had no other alternative to choose from. But a man who still believes in this old conception of the world today certainly is a liar. No science remains stationary. In my eyes the ability of mankind to reject a proven untruth is one of its virtues. By the Church the Unknown is described and explained with precision, and if she advances with the times, the ground must inevitably be cut from under her feet. For this reason she is opposed to all progress. It adds little to our knowledge of the Creator when some parson presents to us an indifferent copy of a man as his conception of the Deity.

The most pressing danger, as I see it, is that Christianity, by adhering to a conception of the Beyond which is constantly exposed to the attacks of unceasing progress, and by binding it so closely to many of the trivialities of life which may at any moment collapse, is ripening mankind for conversion to materialistic Bolshevism. And that is a terrible tragedy. Man will lose all sense of proportion, and once he considers himself to be the lord of the universe, it will be the end of everything. And if the Church in Spain continues in the way it is doing, it will end on the refuse-heap.

In Venice, in 1934, the Duce once said to me: “One of these days the Pope will have to leave Italy; there is not room for two Masters!” The Church of today is nothing more than a hereditary joint stock company for the exploitation of human stupidity.


_____________________________

Consider obtaining a copy of the complete notes
published by Ostara Publications.

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 181

the-real-hitler
 

1st September 1942, evening

Vienna before 1918—and after.
 

After 1918 the average Viennese found himself reduced to extreme poverty. But before the war it was wonderful; never shall I forget the gracious spectacle of the Vienna Opera, the women sparkling with diadems and fine clothes. In 1922 I was again at the Opera—and what a difference! In the places of the cultured society of old there now sat the Jewish riffraff; the women stretched out their hands to show off their jewellery—a heart-rending sight! I never once saw the Imperial box occupied. I suppose the Emperor Franz Josef was not musical. I am an implacable enemy of the Habsburgs, but the sight of this mob sprawling to the very edge of the Imperial box was disgusting and repulsive, and it angered me immensely.

I returned to Vienna quite recently. This repellent mob has now disappeared, but Vienna is an impoverished city. In the old days it was quite a sight to see the handsome carriages bowling along the roads, which were for the most part paved with wood. The relations between master and man in old Vienna were charming in the mutual loyalty and affection which characterised them.

There is only one town in Germany, Munich, in which social differences were so little marked. I can blame no Viennese for looking back with sad longing to the Vienna of old; my younger sister is filled with this nostalgia.

_____________________________

Consider obtaining a copy of the complete notes
published by Ostara Publications.

Published in: on March 20, 2015 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 186

the-real-hitler

 

13th June 1943, evening

The French painters—The great artistic achievements of the nineteenth century were German—Architecture in Munich.
 

I cannot make up my mind to buy a picture by a French painter, because I am not sure of the dividing line between what I understand and what I do not understand. I have the same feeling when I look at paintings by Corinth and Trübner—to mention only two of our German artists. These men started by painting pictures of great merit, and then, urged on by pride, they started to produce the most startling and extraordinary works. In literature the Jew has already blazed the same pernicious trail, and artists like Corinth and Trübner have followed them. The result is the frightful daubs with which they now inflict us.

In painting, the Italians were truly great from the fourteenth century to the seventeenth; in the eighteenth century they rested on their laurels, in the nineteenth their light began to wane, and today Italian art is completely degenerate. All this seems quite incomprehensible to me, but I suppose it is the law of averages. In the nineteenth century the greatest masterpieces in every branch were the works of us Germans. In the same period the French, too, had some good artists, but they all deteriorated in time.

When I think of the Paris Opera House, I cannot help feeling that those of Dresden and Vienna are in a very different category. The design itself of the Paris Opera is a work of genius, but the execution, from the artistic point of view, is very ordinary; and the interior is pretentious, overcrowded with decoration and devoid of all artistic taste. We must make sure that the new Opera House which we intend to build in Munich surpasses everything, in every way, that has ever gone before it.

The Palace of Justice in Munich is perhaps the most beautiful example of the baroque of recent times. Typical of the epoch of liberalism is the Palais de Justice in Brussels. It is a cyclops which dominates the whole town; and fancy having the Law Courts, of all things, as the dominating feature of a place! I am quite sure that a man is never more ready to fight for his country than when it is a question of defending the artistic and intellectual heritage of the nation. We have a fresh proof of it today. The destruction of a national monument has a greater effect on public opinion than the destruction of a factory.

_____________________________

Consider obtaining a copy of the complete notes
published by Ostara Publications.

Published in: on March 15, 2015 at 1:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dresden: death from above

by Tom Sunic

Originally published
in The Occidental Observer


Dresden

Image of Dresden during
the 1890s before extensive
World War II destruction



What follows below is the English translation of my speech in German which I was scheduled to deliver on February 13, 2013, around 7:00 PM in downtown Dresden. The commemoration of the Dresden February 13, 1945 victims was organized by Aktionsbündnis gegen das Vergessen (action committee against oblivion), NPD deputies and officials from the local state assembly in Dresden.

There were 3,000 leftist antifa demonstrators. The city was under siege, cordoned off into sections by 4,000 riot policemen. The bulk of the nationalist participants, approximately 1,000, who had previously arrived at the central station, were split up and prevented from joining with our group at the original place of gathering. Toward 11:00 PM, when the event was practically over, the riot police did allow our small group of organizers and speakers to march past the barricades down to the central station. There were approximately 40 of us—mostly local NPD officials. On February 14, while still in Dresden, I provided more information as a guest on the Deanna Spingola’s RBN radio show: Hour 1, Hour 2.


Human improvement by terror bombardment

Dresden is only one single symbol of the Allied crime, a symbol unwillingly discussed by establishment politicians. The destruction of Dresden and its casualties are trivialized in the mainstream historiography and depicted as “collateral damage in the fight against the absolute evil—fascism.” The problem, however, lies in the fact that there was not just one bombing of one Dresden, but also many bombings of countless other Dresdens in all corners of Germany and in all parts of Europe. The topography of death, marked by the antifascists, is a very problematic issue for their descendants, indeed.

In today’s “struggle for historical memory,” not all victims are entitled to the same rights. Some victimhoods must be first on the list, whereas others are slated for oblivion. Our establishment politicians are up in arms when it comes to erecting monuments to peoples and tribes, especially those who were once the victims of the Europeans. An increasing number of commemoration days, an increasing number of financial compensation days show up in our wall calendars. Over and over again European and American establishment politicians pay tribute to non-European victims. Rarely, almost never, do they commemorate the victims of their own peoples who suffered under communist and liberal world improvers. Europeans and especially Germans are viewed as evil perpetrators, who are therefore obliged to perpetual atonement rituals.

Dresden is not only a German city, or the symbol of a German destiny. Dresden is also the universal symbol of countless German and countless European, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, Belgian and French cities that were bombed by the Western Allies, or for that matter that were fully bombed out. What connects me to Dresden connects me also to Lisieux, a place of pilgrimage in France, bombed by the Allies in June 1944; also to Monte Cassino, an Italian place of pilgrimage, bombed by the Allies in February 1944. On 10 June 1944, at Lisieux, a small town that had been dedicated to Saint Theresa, 1.200 people were killed, the Benedictine monastery was completely burnt out, with 20 nuns therein. To enumerate a list of the bombed-out European cultural cities would require an entire library—provided that this library would not be again bombed out by the world improvers. Provided that the books and the documents inside are not confiscated.

In France, during the Second World War, about 70,000 civilians found death under the Anglo-American democratic bombs, the figure reluctantly mentioned by establishment historians. From 1941 to 1944, 600,000 tons of bombs were dropped on France; 90,000 buildings and houses were destroyed.

The establishment politicians often use the word “culture” and “multi-culture.” But their military predecessors distinguished themselves in the destruction of different European cultural sites. European churches and museums had to be destroyed, in view of the fact that these places could not be ascribed to the category of human culture. Further south, in Vienna, in March 1945, the Burgtheater was hit by the American bombers; further to the West in northern Italy, the opera house La Scala in Milan was bombed, as were hundreds of libraries throughout Central Europe. Further south in Croatia the ancient cities of Zadar and Split were bombed in 1944 by the Western world improvers and this panorama of horror knew no end. The Croatian culture town Zadar, on the Adriatic coast, was bombed by the Allies in 1943 and 1944. German politicians and German tourists often make holiday on the Croatian coast; yet along the coast there are many mass graves of German soldiers. On the Croatian island of Rab, where the German nudists like to have fun, there is a huge mass grave containing the bones of hundreds of Germans who were murdered by the Yugo-communists. German diplomats in Croatia have shown no effort to build monuments for those martyred soldiers.

Recently, the so called democratic community put on display a big concern about the ethnic cleansing and the destruction in the former Yugoslavia. It was also quite busy in bringing the Yugoslav and Serbian perpetrators to justice at the Hague tribunal. But those Serbian and Yugoslav perpetrators had already had a perfect role model in Communist predecessors and in their Anglo-American allies. By the late 1944 and early 1945, there were massive ethnic cleansings of Germans in the Yugoslav communist areas. In May 1945, hundreds of thousands of fleeing Croats, mostly civilians, surrendered to the English Allied authorities near Klagenfurt, in southern Carinthia, only to be handed over in the following days to the Yugoslav Communist thugs.

I could talk for hours about the millions of displaced Germans from Silesia, Pomerania, the Sudetenland and the Danube region. In view of the fact that those victims do not fall into the category of communist perpetrators, for the time being I’m not going to ascribe them to the Western world improvers. In hindsight, though, we can observe that the Western world improvers would have never been able to complete their world improvement job without the aid of the Communist thugs, the so-called anti-fascists. Clearly, the largest mass migration in European history, from Central and Eastern Europe, was the work of the Communists and the Red Army, but never would have their gigantic crimes against the German civilians and other Central European nations taken place without deliberate help of the Western world improvers. Well, we are still dealing with double standards when commemorating the WWII dead.

What was crossing the minds of those world improvers during the bombing raids of European cities? Those democratic pilots had good conscience because they sincerely felt that they had to carry out a God-ordained democratic mission. Their missions of destruction were conducted in the name of human rights, tolerance and world peace. Pursuant to their messianic attitudes, down under and below in Central Europe—not to mention down here in Dresden—lived no human beings, but a peculiar variety of monsters without culture. Accordingly, in order to remain faithful to their democratic dogma, those airborne Samaritans had always good conscience to bomb out the monsters below.

ruins DresdenAs the great German scholar of international law, Carl Schmitt, taught us, there is a dangerous problem with modern international law and the ideology of human rights. As soon as one declares his military opponent a “monster” or “an insect,” human rights cease to apply to him. This is the main component of the modern System.

Likewise, as soon as some European intellectual, or an academic, or a journalist critically voices doubts about the myths of the System, he runs the risk of being branded as a “rightwing radical,” “a fascist,” or “a monster.” As a monster he is no longer human, and cannot be therefore legally entitled to protection from the ideology of human rights. He is ostracized and professionally shut up. The System boasts today about its tolerance toward all people and all the nations on Earth, but not toward those that are initially labeled as monsters or right-wing extremists, or fundamentalists. In the eyes of the world improvers the German civilians standing on this spot in February 1945, were not humans, but a bizarre type of insect that needed to be annihilated along with their material culture. Such a mindset we encounter today among world do-gooders, especially in their military engagement in Iraq or Afghanistan.

We are often criticized for playing up the Dresden victims in order to trivialize the fascist crimes. This is nonsense. This thesis can be easily reversed. The establishment historians and opinion-makers, 70 years after the war, are in need of forever renewing the fascist danger in order to cover up their own catastrophic economic failures and their own war crimes.

Moreover, establishment historians do not wish to tell us that that each victimhood in the multicultural System is conflict prone; each victimhood harps on its own uniqueness and thrives at the expense of other victimhoods. This only points to the weakness of the multicultural System, ultimately leading up to the balkanization, civil war and the collapse of the System. An example: The current victimological atmosphere in today’s multicultural System prompts every tribe, every community, and every non-European immigrant to believe that only his victimhood is important and unique. This is a dangerous phenomenon because each victimhood stands in the competition with the victimhood of the Other. Such victimhood mentality is not conducive to peace. It leads to multiethnic violence and makes future conflict inevitable.

With today’s trivialization and denial of the liberal-communist crimes against the German people, inflicted before, during, and after the Second World War, there can be no climate of mutual understanding and reconciliation, but only an atmosphere of false myths and conflicting victimhoods, whereby each person and each tribe conceives of himself as a victim of his respective neighbor.

The classic example is again the collapse of the former state of Yugoslavia, an artificial state in which for fifty years different peoples were the victims of Communist historians and propaganda, with the Croatian people being demonized as a “Nazi nation.” In 1991, after the end of communism, the result was not mutual interethnic understanding, but mutual hatred and a terrible war in which each side called the other “fascist.” What awaits us soon here in the EU, is not some exotic and multicultural utopia, but a balkanesque cycle of violence and civil wars.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends. Let us not fall prey to illusions. Dresden must serve as a warning sign against all wars, as well as a place for commemorating the innocent victims. But Dresden can become tomorrow a symbol of titanic catastrophes. What awaits us in the coming years, one can already imagine. Some of you, some of us, with a longer historical memory, know well that a world has come to an end. The age of liberalism has been dead for a long time. The incoming times will be bad. But these incoming and approaching times offer us all a chance.

______________________

For the broad context of what the Allies did to Germany
see Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany
(1944-1947)

Alberich’s Revenge

For those who liked a featured article I reproduced here under the title “Wagner’s wisdom,” Michael Colhaze has now written another piece on Wagner, but this time about “Barbarians who seem to lack any access to Beauty’s divine joy, and therefore hate it, and thus try to destroy what they can’t have.”

However relevant to understand how these “gay” barbarians of San Francisco want to destroy Aryan beauty, below I omitted most of the images chosen by Colhaze in his recent article at The Occidental Observer:


Let’s assume, just for the fun of it, that they blindfold you, help you up the wide stairs of the San Francisco Opera and lower you carefully into a velvet fauteuil. You hear the murmur of many voices, a squeaking and scraping of instruments being tuned, and a few harsh coughs as mucous residues are brought under control. Then, on a more mechanical note, a different squeaking and scraping as the curtain opens. Silence! Suddenly the tentative moan of wind-instruments, perhaps oboes and bass clarinets. Horns, or possibly tubas, trumpets, bassoons, bass trumpets, trombones, contrabass trombones and contrabass tubas join the gradually accelerating symphony until a ringing crash shatters the ominous tonal procession. As an old Wagner aficionado you have already twigged the conundrum: this is Mime wielding his hammer while forging anew the sword Nothung that was broken. A sword intended for his mighty foster-son Siegfried who must kill Fafner the Dragon and divest him of his most precious treasure, the one Ring of Power. Which, as the nasty dwarf hopes, will thus end up in his own claws and so make him Master of the World! With a deep sigh you lean back, and while the powerful music overwhelms your heart and mind, its visual setting unfolds before your inner eye.

When Mime laments the Forced Drudgery! with a voluminous tenor while doggedly banging his hammer, you can’t take it anymore. You jump to your feet and rip the blindfold from your eyes. And, from your Grand Tier Premium seat, what do you see?

The above! A hideously illuminated scrap-yard with a smashed-up trailer and a stunted street-bum banging his Made in China Wal-Mart mallet onto a piece of rusty iron.

Stunned, you sit down again. And while you do so, the terrible truth dawns on you. Namely that you have been tricked into attending the modern production of a great classical opera.

Now let’s assume you weren’t in such a great mood anyway, because some run in with your Japanese SUV or Siamese tomcat or crooked solicitor had darkened the day already, and all it needed to blow your top was a piece of theatrical hogwash like this. Thus you jump to your feet again and, with all the power your lungs can muster, begin to curse the heathen hogs to kingdom come.

Which, for a while at least, has the desired effects. The orchestra stops playing. Harp, trombone and first violin allow for a sip from the pocket flask while the conductor opts for a line. Mime drops his hammer and pops another upper. The audience is in turmoil. Some people stand and stare. Others use the opportunity and rip off programs when nobody looks. Old Rebecca Greenberg-Traurig, granny to some of the House’s foremost sponsors, goes down with the vapours. David Dunn Bauer, a celebrated art critic and rabbi, recognizes you as sincerely heterosexual and therefore, amongst other deviations, terroristically inclined. The House’s General Director, David Gockley, widely derided in certain circles as one of the major innovators in American opera, appears on stage while frantically hissing into his diamond-studded I-pod. Francesca Zambello, the production’s legendary artistic director, rolls into the main isle and yells insults at you that would make a harbour trollop blush. From your elevated position you glare down at her heavily powdered pizza-face and hurl your French fauteuil at it. But the damn thing misses by half a yard and only flattens her recently wed wife, Faith Gay (sic).

Finally the door is kicked down and all the world’s cops jump on you, and you are blissfully saved from watching the rest of the outrage.

Well, too bad really! Because by refusing so callously to consider the SFO’s magnificent production of Richard Wagner’s Ring des Nibelung, you’ve missed one the season’s cultural highlights. Just read what the assorted press had to say of the old semitophobe’s most acclaimed oeuvre:

Wagner’s Siegfried a Stunning Smasher, informs Opera Warhorses, which is most likely the most consummate praise ever.

Zambello’s “decaying American landscape” and “world ravaged by greed and neglect”—on Michael Yeargan’s sets with piles of garbage, polluted water and smoke-belching chimneys”—is OK, we are categorically assured by Janos Gereben in The Examiner.

Francesca Zambello, the first American woman to direct Wagner’s macho four-opera epic, was loudly cheered (if also booed by a handful), writes Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times.

A Siegfried of unparalleled physicality and imagination. Director Francesca Zambello and her forces have created a five-hour opera that plays like a two-hour action flick, enthuses Michael J. Vaughan in The Opera Critic.

And more of the same. But to get a real in-depth impression of the grandiose event, let us look at what one of the more subtle and thoughtful art critics has to say in his international journal for the arts where we are treated prominently to his curriculum vitae:

David Dunn Bauer is a rabbi, stage director, critic, and educator. He is an alumnus of Yale University, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and Pacific School of Religion, in addition to having studied with Nadia Boulanger in 1976 and at the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 2010 and 2011. Based in San Francisco, he coordinates the Jewish Queer Sexual Ethics Project at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry and is the Bay Area Director of Programming for Nehirim, the leading national provider of community programming for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Jews, partners, and allies. He writes regularly on issues of Torah, sexuality, Queer culture and community, and the arts.

Truly impressive credentials, you will agree, and particularly appropriate to give the stunning, smashing SFO production its proper due. In addition, Mr. Bauer’s journal styles itself The Berkshire Review, a somewhat misleading label since it clearly tries to give the impression that its editor is in some way akin to bygone critical genii like George Bernard Shaw who commanded the ethical and aesthetic clout to understand what the whole incredible Ring was really all about.

Here follows a brief compression of Rabbi Dunn Bauer’s critical acclaim:

Francesca Zambello forged something new and wondrous from Wagner’s tremendous and often toxic masterwork. I want to proclaim the true innovative triumph of the whole endeavour, the way in which Zambello told a worthy and contemporary feminist story through Wagner’s Romantic score, his heroes and heroines. While the sung (German) text remained unaltered, SFO’s (American) supertitles never referred to “the Rhine” (do you remember the Rhine?), only a nameless “river” and, as has become more and more the custom, often provided a slang and ironic commentary that bent the meaning of the original words.

For this Jewish Wagnerian who feels profound discomfort with Wagnerian anti-Semitism, I was deeply relieved at how thoroughly Zambello’s production eschewed the racist stereotypes implicit in the text and score. The prime Nibelungs, Alberich and Mime, were not by nature ugly or evil, more troubled and embittered. The Valhallan Gods were not lofty in manner or motivation. Neither the Volsung Twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde, nor their love-child Siegfried shone with gilded character against the dark horde of their moral inferiors. The ethical playing field was rendered strikingly even for a game played among deities and dwarves, goddesses of wisdom, demigod heroes, and scheming murderers.

As if to mete out a further measure of Borscht-Belt retribution for repugnant Aryan sins past, Zambello introduced an unprecedented amount of shtick into this portentous musical mythology. There were enough precisely timed elements of low comedy and enough laugh-provoking prop gags (beer bottles, butt kicks to God, telephones, televisions, remote controls, croquet mallets, and lap dances) to fill a revival of Gianni Schicci. In a rough tally, we find that Zambello transported the Ring out of the Rhine to the American River; brought the gods down (and the gnomes up) to a very humane plane; spiked Teutonic mead with vaudeville borscht; enriched the quality of women’s experience and agency beyond the stale limits of conventional heroine-ism; and erased the ethnic caricatures of the most offensively anti-Semitic work of dramatic art to hold an enduring place on the world stage.

And here a few visual highlights of the incredible extravaganza. The comments are lifted from Mr. Dunn Bauer’s unabridged critical piece. [images omitted]

Which seems to be a persiflage of Conrad’s “The horror! The horror!” and is therefore a perfect epitome of the entire hideous and miserable travesty.

Mr. Dunn Bauer, himself in danger to be labelled an ethnic caricature, and a damn queer one at that, has correctly identified Alberich as one of his own tribe. Though imperatives of loyalty forbid him to enlarge on the matter, he surely understands that the nasty dwarf is alive and well and wields the one Ring of Power to his heart’s content. What better therefore to divert attention to Siegfried’s heirs and crush a baby Nibelung for sport, an elegant simile clearly inspired by Elie Wiesel’s masterwork Night wherein the famed Nobelist and crackpot saw with his very own eyes how lorry-loads of small babies were hurled into a gigantic furnace?

Seen in this context, it is of course small wonder that a vengeful schmuck like Mr. Dunn Bauer rejoices about the mountains of shtick that disfigure Wagner’s incomparable magnum opus like plague spots a beautiful Rhinemaiden. Yet what seems odd is that he never mentions the generous sponsors who made this Twenty Five Million Dollar Enterprise possible. Because they are easy to make out. Just look at SFO’s official website and you will find, among small fry like La Boulange who occasionally doles out a free espresso, the usual suspects, namely a few international investment corporations who obviously laid out most of the aforementioned millions.

Just as in other great houses where there are frantic and vain attempts to destroy Wagner’s glorious legacy by presenting it as a theatrical garbage heap. Which gives us once again a clear idea about this particular type of barbarian who seem to lack any access to Beauty’s divine joy, and therefore hate it, and thus try to destroy what they can’t have.

As for those who are firmly grounded in Christian-humanist ethics and aesthetics, the smutty antics of the San Francisco Opera can’t be anything but the convulsions of an utterly diseased counter-culture that will slide back into the gutter once its sponsors have been divested of the one Ring of Power. Which, according to the developments in Greece and elsewhere, will happen rather sooner than later.

Léon Degrelle’s “The Enigma of Hitler”

Léon Degrelle was a Belgian Rexist leader, SS officer, decorated combatant on the Eastern Front. Of the first eight hundred Walloon volunteers who left for the Axis campaign against the Soviet Union and Stalinist Marxism, only three survived the war—one of them Degrelle. He died in 1994, while still in exile in Spain.


“Hitler—you knew him—what was he like?” I have been asked that question a thousand times since 1945, and nothing is more difficult to answer.

Approximately two hundred thousand books have dealt with the Second World War and with its central figure, Adolf Hitler. But has the real Hitler been discovered by any of them? “The enigma of Hitler is beyond all human comprehension,” the left-wing German weekly Die Zeit once put it.

Salvador Dalí, art’s unique genius, sought to penetrate the mystery in one of his most intensely dramatic paintings. Towering mountain landscapes all but fill the canvas, leaving only a few luminous meters of seashore dotted with delicately miniaturized human figures: the last witness to a dying peace. A huge telephone receiver dripping tears of blood hangs from the branch of a dead tree; and here and there hang umbrellas and bats whose portent is visibly the same. As Dalí tells it, “Chamberlain’s umbrella appeared in this painting in a sinister light, made evident by the bat, and it struck me when I painted it as a thing of enormous anguish.”

He then confided: “I felt this painting to be deeply prophetic. But I confess that I haven’t yet figured out the Hitler enigma either. He attracted me only as an object of my mad imaginings and because I saw him as a man uniquely capable of turning things completely upside down.”

What a lesson in humility for the braying critics who have rushed into print since 1945 with their thousands of “definitive” books, most of them scornful, about this man who so troubled the introspective Dalí that forty years later he still felt anguished and uncertain in the presence of his own hallucinatory painting. Apart from Dalí, who else has ever tried to present an objective portrayal of this extraordinary man whom Dalí labeled the most explosive figure in human history? (Dalí was ejected from the Surrealist Movement in 1934 because of his fascination with Hitler and his fascist sympathies.)


Like Pavlov’s Bell

The mountains of Hitler books based on blind hatred and ignorance do little to describe or explain the most powerful man the world has ever seen. How, I ponder, do these thousands of disparate portraits of Hitler in any way resemble the man I knew? The Hitler seated beside me, standing up, talking, listening. It has become impossible to explain to people fed fantastic tales for decades that what they have read or heard on television just does not correspond to the truth.

People have come to accept fiction, repeated a thousand times over, as reality. Yet they have never seen Hitler, never spoken to him, never heard a word from his mouth. The very name of Hitler immediately conjures up a grimacing devil, the fount of all of one’s negative emotions. Like Pavlov’s bell, the mention of Hitler is meant to dispense with substance and reality. In time, however, history will demand more than these summary judgements.


Strangely Attractive

Hitler is always present before my eyes: as a man of peace in 1936, as a man of war in 1944. It is not possible to have been a personal witness to the life of such an extraordinary man without being marked by it forever. Not a day goes by but Hitler rises again in my memory, not as a man long dead, but as a real being who paces his office floor, seats himself in his chair, pokes the burning logs in the fireplace.

The first thing anyone noticed when he came into view was his small mustache. Countless times he had been advised to shave it off, but he always refused: people were used to him the way he was.

He was not tall—no more than was Napoleon or Alexander the Great.

Hitler had deep blue eyes that many found bewitching, although I did not find them so. Nor did I detect the electric current his hands were said to give off. I gripped them quite a few times and was never struck by his lightning.

His face showed emotion or indifference according to the passion or apathy of the moment. At times he was as though benumbed, saying not a word, while his jaws moved in the meanwhile as if they were grinding an obstacle to smithereens in the void. Then he would come suddenly alive and launch into a speech directed at you alone, as though he were addressing a crowd of hundreds of thousands at Berlin’s Tempelhof airfield. Then he became as if transfigured. Even his complexion, otherwise dull, lit up as he spoke. And at such times, to be sure, Hitler was strangely attractive and as if possessed of magic powers.


Exceptional Vigor

Anything that might have seemed too solemn in his remarks, he quickly tempered with a touch of humor. The picturesque word, the biting phrase were at his command. In a flash he would paint a word-picture that brought a smile, or come up with an unexpected and disarming comparison. He could be harsh and even implacable in his judgments and yet almost at the same time be surprisingly conciliatory, sensitive and warm.

After 1945 Hitler was accused of every cruelty, but it was not in his nature to be cruel. He loved children. It was an entirely natural thing for him to stop his car and share his food with young cyclists along the road. Once he gave his raincoat to a derelict plodding in the rain. At midnight he would interrupt his work and prepare the food for his dog Blondi.

He could not bear to eat meat, because it meant the death of a living creature. He refused to have so much as a rabbit or a trout sacrificed to provide his food. He would allow only eggs on his table, because egg-laying meant that the hen had been spared rather than killed.

Hitler’s eating habits were a constant source of amazement to me. How could someone on such a rigorous schedule, who had taken part in tens of thousands of exhausting mass meetings from which he emerged bathed with sweat, often losing two to four pounds in the process; who slept only three to four hours a night; and who, from 1940 to 1945, carried the whole world on his shoulders while ruling over 380 million Europeans: how, I wondered, could he physically survive on just a boiled egg, a few tomatoes, two or three pancakes, and a plate of noodles? But he actually gained weight!

He drank only water. He did not smoke and would not tolerate smoking in his presence. At one or two o’clock in the morning he would still be talking, untroubled, close to his fireplace, lively, often amusing. He never showed any sign of weariness. Dead tired his audience might be, but not Hitler.

He was depicted as a tired old man. Nothing was further from the truth. In September 1944, when he was reported to be fairly doddering, I spent a week with him. His mental and physical vigor were still exceptional. The attempt made on his life on July 20th had, if anything, recharged him. He took tea in his quarters as tranquilly as if we had been in his small private apartment at the chancellery before the war, or enjoying the view of snow and bright blue sky through his great bay window at Berchtesgaden.


Iron Self-Control

At the very end of his life, to be sure, his back had become bent, but his mind remained as clear as a flash of lightening. The testament he dictated with extraordinary composure on the eve of his death, at three in the morning of April 29, 1945, provides us a lasting testimony. Napoleon at Fontainebleau was not without his moments of panic before his abdication. Hitler simply shook hands with his associates in silence, breakfasted as on any other day, then went to his death as if he were going on a stroll. When has history ever witnessed so enormous a tragedy brought to its end with such iron self-control?

Hitler’s most notable characteristic was ever his simplicity. The most complex of problems resolved itself in his mind into a few basic principles. His actions were geared to ideas and decisions that could be understood by anyone. The laborer from Essen, the isolated farmer, the Ruhr industrialist, and the university professor could all easily follow his line of thought. The very clarity of his reasoning made everything obvious.

His behavior and his lifestyle never changed even when he became the ruler of Germany. He dressed and lived frugally. During his early days in Munich, he spent no more than a mark per day for food. At no stage in his life did he spend anything on himself. Throughout his thirteen years in the chancellery he never carried a wallet or ever had money of his own.


Intellectual Curiosity

Hitler was self-taught and made not attempt to hide the fact. The smug conceit of intellectuals, their shiny ideas packaged like so many flashlight batteries, irritated him at times. His own knowledge he had acquired through selective and unremitting study, and he knew far more than thousands of diploma-decorated academics.

I don’t think anyone ever read as much as he did. He normally read one book every day, always first reading the conclusion and the index in order to gauge the work’s interest for him. He had the power to extract the essence of each book and then store it in his computer-like mind. I have heard him talk about complicated scientific books with faultless precision, even at the height of the war.

His intellectual curiosity was limitless. He was readily familiar with the writings of the most diverse authors, and nothing was too complex for his comprehension. He had a deep knowledge and understanding of Buddha, Confucius, and Jesus Christ, as well as Luther, Calvin, and Savonarola; of literary giants such as Dante, Schiller, Shakespeare, and Goethe; and of analytical writers such as Renan and Gobineau, Chamberlain and Sorel.

He had trained himself in philosophy by studying Aristotle and Plato. He could quote entire paragraphs of Schopenhauer from memory, and for a long time carried a pocked edition of Schopenhauer with him. Nietzsche taught him much about the willpower.

His thirst for knowledge was unquenchable. He spent hundreds of hours studying the works of Tacitus and Mommsen, military strategists such as Clausewitz, and empire builders such as Bismarck. Nothing escaped him: world history or the history of civilizations, the study of the Bible and the Talmud, Thomistic philosophy and all the master- pieces of Homer, Sophocles, Horace, Ovid, Titus Livius and Cicero. He knew Julian the Apostate as if he had been his contemporary.

His knowledge also extended to mechanics. He knew how engines worked; he understood the ballistics of various weapons; and he astonished the best medical scientists with his knowledge of medicine and biology.

The universality of Hitler’s knowledge may surprise or displease those unaware of it, but it is nonetheless a historical fact: Hitler was one of the most cultivated men of this century. Many times more so than Churchill, an intellectual mediocrity; or than Pierre Laval, with his mere cursory knowledge of history; or than Roosevelt; or Eisenhower, who never got beyond detective novels.


Artist and Architect

Even during his earliest years, Hitler was different than other children. He had an inner strength and was guided by his spirit and his instincts.

He could draw skillfully when he was only eleven years old. His sketches made at that age show a remarkable firmness and liveliness.

His first paintings and watercolors, created at age 15, are full of poetry and sensitivity. One of his most striking early works, “Fortress Utopia,” also shows him to have been an artist of rare imagination. His artistic orientation took many forms. He wrote poetry from the time he was a lad. He dictated a complete play to his sister Paula who was amazed at his presumption. At the age of 16, in Vienna, he launched into the creation of an opera. He even designed the stage settings, as well as all the costumes; and, of course, the characters were Wagnerian heroes.

More than just an artist, Hitler was above all an architect. Hundreds of his works were notable as much for the architecture as for the painting. From memory alone he could reproduce in every detail the onion dome of a church or the intricate curves of wrought iron. Indeed, it was to fulfill his dream of becoming an architect that Hitler went to Vienna at the beginning of the century.

When one sees the hundreds of paintings, sketches and drawings he created at the time, which reveal his mastery of three dimensional figures, it is astounding that his examiners at the Fine Arts Academy failed him in two successive examinations. German historian Werner Maser, no friend of Hitler, castigated these examiners: “All of his works revealed extraordinary architectural gifts and knowledge. The builder of the Third Reich gives the former Fine Arts Academy of Vienna cause for shame.”


Humble Origins

Impressed by the beauty of the church in a Benedictine monastery where he was part of the choir and served as an altar boy, Hitler dreamt fleetingly of becoming a Benedictine monk. And it was at that time, too, interestingly enough, that whenever he attended mass, he always had to pass beneath the first swastika he had ever seen: it was graven in the stone escutcheon of the abbey portal.

Hitler’s father, a customs officer, hoped the boy would follow in his footsteps and become a civil servant. His tutor encouraged him to become a monk. Instead the young Hitler went, or rather he fled, to Vienna. And there, thwarted in his artistic aspirations by the bureaucratic mediocraties of academia, he turned to isolation and meditation. Lost in the great capital of Austria-Hungary, he searched for his destiny.

During the first thirty years of Hitler’s life, the date April 20, 1889, meant nothing to anyone. He was born on that day in Branau, a small town in the Inn valley. During his exile in Vienna, he often thought of his modest home, and particularly of his mother. When she fell ill, he returned home from Vienna to look after her. For weeks he nursed her, did all the household chores, and supported her as the most loving of sons. When she finally died, on Christmas eve, his pain was immense. Wracked with grief, he buried his mother in the little country cemetery: “I have never seen anyone so prostrate with grief,” said his mother’s doctor, who happened to be Jewish.

In his room, Hitler always displayed an old photograph of his mother. The memory of the mother he loved was with him until the day he died. Before leaving this earth, on April 30, 1945, he placed his mother’s photograph in front of him. She had blue eyes like his and a similar face. Her maternal intuition told her that her son was different from other children. She acted almost as if she knew her son’s destiny. When she died, she felt anguished by the immense mystery surrounding her son.

Throughout the years of his youth, Hitler lived the life of a virtual recluse. He greatest wish was to withdraw from the world. At heart a loner, he wandered about, ate meager meals, but devoured the books of three public libraries. He abstained from conversations and had few friends.

It is almost impossible to imagine another such destiny where a man started with so little and reached such heights. Alexander the Great was the son of a king. Napoleon, from a well-to-do family, was a general at twenty-four. Fifteen years after Vienna, Hitler would still be an unknown corporal. Thousands of others had a thousand times more opportunity to leave their mark on the world.

Hitler was not much concerned with his private life. In Vienna he had lived in shabby, cramped lodgings. But for all that he rented a piano that took up half his room, and concentrated on composing his opera. He lived on bread, milk, and vegetable soup. His poverty was real. He did not even own an over-coat. He shoveled streets on snowy days. He carried luggage at the railway station. He spent many weeks in shelters for the homeless. But he never stopped painting or reading.

Despite his dire poverty, Hitler somehow managed to maintain a clean appearance. Landlords and landladies in Vienna and Munich all remembered him for his civility and pleasant disposition. His behavior was impeccable. His room was always spotless, his meager belongings meticulously arranged, and his clothes neatly hung or folded. He washed and ironed his own clothes, something which in those days few men did. He needed almost nothing to survive, and money from the sale of a few paintings was sufficient to provide for all his needs.


Summing Things Up

Hitler had not yet focused on politics, but without his rightly knowing, that was the career to which he was most strongly called. Politics would ultimately blend with his passion for art. People, the masses, would be the clay the sculptor shapes into an immortal form. The human clay would become for him a beautiful work of art like one of Myron’s marble sculptures, a Hans Makart painting, or Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

His love of music, art, and architecture had not removed him from the political life and social concerns of Vienna. In order to survive, he worked as a common laborer side by side with other workers. He was a silent spectator, but nothing escaped him: not the vanity and egoism of the bourgeoisie, not the moral and material misery of the people, nor yet the hundreds of thousands of workers who surged down the wide avenues of Vienna with anger in their hearts.

He had also been taken aback by the growing presence in Vienna of bearded Jews wearing caftans, a sight unknown in Linz. “How can they be Germans?” he asked himself. He read the statistics: in 1860 there were sixty-nine Jewish families in Vienna; forty years later there were two hundred thousand. They were everywhere. He observed their invasion of the universities and the legal and medical professions, and their takeover of the newspapers.

Hitler was exposed to the passionate reactions of the workers to this influx, but the workers were not alone in their unhappiness. There were many prominent persons in Austria and Hungary who did not hide their resentment at what they believed was an alien invasion of their country. The mayor of Vienna, a Christian-Democrat and a powerful orator, was eagerly listened to by Hitler.

Hitler was also concerned with the fate of the eight million Austrian Germans kept apart from Germany, and thus deprived of their rightful German nationhood. He saw Emperor Franz Josef as a bitter and petty old man unable to cope with the problems of the day and the aspirations of the future.

Quietly, the young Hitler was summing things up in his mind.

First: Austrians were part of Germany, the common fatherland.

Second: The Jews were aliens within the German community.

Third: Patriotism was only valid if it was shared by all classes. The common people with whom Hitler had shared grief and humiliation were just as much a part of the fatherland as the millionaires of high society.

Fourth: Class war would sooner or later condemn both workers and bosses to ruin in any country. No country could survive class war; only cooperation between workers and bosses can benefit the country. Workers must be respected and live with decency and honor. Creativity must never be stifled.

When Hitler later said that he had formed his social and political doctrine in Vienna, he told the truth. Ten years later his observations made in Vienna would become the order of the day.

Thus Hitler was to live for several years in the crowded city of Vienna as a virtual outcast, yet quietly observing everything around him. His strength came from within. He did not rely on anyone to do his thinking for him. Exceptional human beings always feel lonely amid the vast human throng. Hitler saw his solitude as a wonderful opportunity to meditate and not to be submerged in a mindless sea. In order not to be lost in the wastes of a sterile desert, a strong soul seeks refuge within himself. Hitler was such a soul.


Lightning and the Word

The lightning in Hitler’s life would come from the Word.

All his artistic talent would be channeled into his mastery of communication and eloquence. Hitler would never conceive of popular conquests without the power of the Word. He would enchant and be enchanted by it. He would find total fulfillment when the magic of his words inspired the hearts and minds of the masses with whom he communed. He would feel reborn each time he conveyed with mystical beauty the knowledge he had acquired in his lifetime.

Hitler’s incantory eloquence will remain, for a very long time, a vast field of study for the psychoanalyst. The power of Hitler’s word is the key. Without it, there would never have been a Hitler era.


Transcendent Faith

Did Hitler believe in God? He believed deeply in God. He called God the Almighty, master of all that is known and unknown.

Propagandists portrayed Hitler as an atheist. He was not. He had contempt for hypocritical and materialistic clerics, but he was not alone in that. He believed in the necessity of standards and theological dogmas, without which, he repeatedly said, the great institution of the Christian church would collapse. These dogmas clashed with his intelligence, but he also recognized that it was hard for the human mind to encompass all the problems of creation, its limitless scope and breathtaking beauty. He acknowledged that every human being has spiritual needs.

The song of the nightingale, the pattern and color of a flower, continually brought him back to the great problems of creation. No one in the world has spoken to me so eloquently about the existence of God. He held this view not because he was brought up as a Christian, but because his analytical mind bound him to the concept of God. Hitler’s faith transcended formulas and contingencies. God was for him the basis of everything, the ordainer of all things, of his destiny and that of all others.

Note

Excerpted from volume two of Degrelle’s uncompleted multi-volume series on the life and legacy of Adolf Hitler, Hitler: Born at Versailles (Costa Mesa, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1987). The examples of Hitler’s art have been scanned from Adolf Hitler: The Unknown Artist (Houston: Billy F. Price, 1984).

Source: Irmin Vinson’s site.