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Transcript of Richard Strauss
Why did he have a relationship with the Third Reich?
After the War
Able to prevent his home from becoming American military headquarters in Garmisch-"I am Richard Strauss"
Hospitality to American soldiers
Went through "deNazification"- tried as "Class I –Guilty"
Declared "not incriminated"
Popular opinion agreed with verdict, but not all
Musical career began to flourish again-conducted in London, opportunities to tour the U.S., and operas being performed more and more
Most prominent living composer in Nazi Germany
Had been called the "successor" to Richard Wagner before he was twenty-one
Hitler even considered him a potential "successor to Wagner"
Nazis appointed him to the position of President of the Reichskammermusik (Reich Chamber of Music) for credibility
"Strauss was aware of his value....He used the Nazis and the Nazis used him."
Was he a Nazi?
Never a member of the NSDAP
Had working relationships with Jews
Had a Jewish daughter-in-law and grandsons
Demise with the Third Reich because of his relationship with his Jewish librettist-Zweig
Not a Nazi
Purification of German music
Better music education for students
Better royalty and copyright laws for composers
Protection of his son Franz, daughter-in-law Alice, and his two grandsons, Richard and Christian
Not able to save them from all persecution, but they were not killed in the Holocaust
Not able to protect Alice's grandmother or other family members
Benefited economically from the Third Reich more than any other composer
Thought extremely high of himself and overestimated his influence in the Third Reich
Strauss' Rise and Fall with the Third Reich
Appointed as the President of the RMK in 1933
Began using flattery to fulfill his agenda
Nazis were initially lenient on Strauss concerning his Jewish family members and working relationships with Jews
Did not want a part of any answer to the "Jewish question" in the RMK
Goebbels began to dislike Strauss because of his opposition
Strauss' Rise and Fall with the Third Reich Cont...
Gestapo began to monitor Strauss' communications
Letter from Strauss to his Jewish librettist Zweig intercepted on June 17, 1935
Immediate resignation demanded
If it had not been the letter, it would have been something else-either initiated by Strauss or Goebbels
Strauss and Stefan Zweig
Replacement librettist for favorite librettist Hofmannsthal
Nazis aware that he wrote for Strauss
Allowed for operas that he contributed to to be played
Goebbels initially defended his decision to allow the operas from Rosenberg.
Hitler and Goebbels did not come to the world premier of one of the operas
Zweig realized harmful potential of his writing for Strauss
He offered to advise another librettist, but not write-suggested Gregor
Strauss angered by Zweig's refusal to write for him
Letter from Strauss to Zweig resulted in Strauss demanded resignation
President of the RMK
Relationship with Third Reich After the RMK
Composed and conducted the “Olympische Hymne” for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin
Continued to be "president of the Nazi-controlled Permanent Council for the International Cooperation of Composers.”
Conducted his own music at the Reich Music Festival in 1938
75th and 80th birthdays celebrated
Strauss and the Third Reich
"He rejected any form of racist policies in art and therefore distanced himself increasingly from influential members of the party who sought to influence art in the since of Nazi ideology."
"deNazification" tribunal report
Speech to the RKK-filled with thanks to Hitler and Goebbels for renewing a close relationship between "music and the people"
Wrote a song commemorating his appointment as President of the RMK and dedicated it to Goebbels
Telegram to Goebbels
Wrote an essay on music education praising the Third Reich's "propaganda and cultural ministries as the most eminent in the world"
Song Dedicated to Goebbels
Der misc gerufen aus dem Stein der, denk ich, wird mein Fuhrer sein
(He who has summoned me from the stone He I believe, will be my leader)
Neither political or apolitical
Cannot be excused from blame entirely because-he was not just focused on protecting his family-he was also promoting his own agenda
After the end of the Third Reich, he showed sorrow over the destruction of German art culture rather than for the lost lives of Jews and others
Had he looked outside of his own world the story of Richard Strauss might have been different
Strauss feelings about the end of the Third Reich
"On 12 March the glorious Vienna Opera became one more victim of the bombs. But from 1 May onwards the most terrible period of human history came to an end, the twelve-year reign of bestiality, ignorance and anti-culture under the greatest, criminals,, during which Germany's 2000 years of cultural evolution met its doom and irreplaceable monuments of architecture and works of art were destroyed by a criminal soldiery. Accursed be technology!"