This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Richard Wagner's Anti Semitism (Wagner:1813 1883) Essay

1141 words - 5 pages

Dr. Douglass Seaton states in his textbook that Richard Wagner (1813-1883) "...like many artists of the time, became involved in the political uprisings that swept through Europe, and his revolutionary activities made him persona non grata in Germany." While this is true, what Dr. Seaton fails to mention in the short blurb about Wagner is his extreme hatred for Jewish people. It was not necessarily only the radical ideas that caused him to fall from favor for many people; it was also his extreme anti-semitism. This paper will explore the many instances of Wagner's anti-semetic feelings, both within his life, letters, and music.Wagner often attributed any ill will toward him as being a part of an organized Jewish opposition. This was not a completely baseless accusation, as most of the presses that were giving him bad press were owned and controlled by Jews. It did not seem to matter what was really causing bad press or hard feelings; it was always the Jews. After being hissed at the Tannhauser in Paris in 1861, he attributed it to "... not the French, but the German Jews." In a letter to Otto Wesendonck on April 5, 1885, he stated that he did not find it worth the effort to pick up the paper to read the critism of his music by the critics of the British Press. He felt that anyone with any opinion of their own and really understands anything would not mingle with "...this gang of Jews." So it becomes apparent that Wagner was never able to take any critism because he wrote it off as being all from Jews, and he did not feel that Jews were even good enough to be considered real Germans.Wagner also opposed several Jewish musicians. Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) was a great German composer, but partly because of his Jewish beliefs, Wagner could never consider him really worthy of praise. He felt as though followers of Mendelssohn were somehow betraying the "true" German spirit. However, he did not always feel this way about Mendelssohn. As a budding composer, Wagner adored Mendelssohn, and even sent his first symphony to Mendelssohn. It was lost, which is probably part of the reason why Wagner built up dislike for the composer. He never did establish a real relationship with Mendelssohn. However, he did not have such hard feelings for him until after his death. He also had these hatred feelings toward composer Giacomo (Jacob) Meyerbeer (1791-1864). These feelings were more unfounded than the feelings for Mendelssohn. Again, he was not always so disenchanted with Meyerbeer. He too helped Wagner in more ways than one. Some of his attempts to bring Wagner more publicity failed, which at the time Wagner did not attribute to the fact that he was a Jew. He used this fact to hate Meyerbeer later. Interestingly, there was one Jew that he liked in some ways when he was changing into racist later in life. The conductor of the orchestra in Munich, Herman Levi, was indeed the son of a Rabbi. There are suggestions that Wagner insisted on having Levi...

Find Another Essay On Richard Wagner's Anti-Semitism (Wagner:1813-1883)

Nietzsche and Wagner Essay

5162 words - 21 pages are replaced with ethical decisions of a weaker group of beings, the overman is doomed to suffer his own un-fulfillment. Please refer to the first attached biography of Richard Wagner (Bio 1) and to the second biography of Friedrich Nietzsche (Bio 2). Wilhelm Richard Wagner was born on May 22, 1813 in Leipzig, the son to Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Wagner(b. , who died later that year, as a result of the Battle of Nations fought just outside of

"Was Hitler gay?" Discuses the evidence that points to the homosexuality of hitler. includes bibliography

2544 words - 10 pages genius have been tainted by his frequent, overzealous personal references to militarism and nationalism and his overt anti-Semitism. Wagner was a cultural hero for Hitler and his Nazis. It's not surprising that his works would later be adopted by Adolf Hitler to symbolize his notion of the Third Reich. (Rector, 10) Author and diplomat Frederic Spotts reported that family members told him Hitler sexually abused Wieland Wagner, Richard Wagner's

Hitler's Rise to Power

1883 words - 8 pages ://www.usc.edu/~douglast/hietzcshe.htm/* Adolf Hitler The Discovery of Anti-Semitism in Vienna. Levy, S. Richard. January 16, 2000 *htttp://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~german/gtext/kaiserreich/hitler1.html/* Building Up German Hegemony In Central Europe 1933-1938. January 16, 2000 *http://www.colby.edu/personal/rmscheck/GermanyE2.html/ * III. Electronic Encyclopedias "Effects of World War I". Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia "National Socialism". Microsoft

The Uberman, Friedrich Nietzsche

982 words - 4 pages Cosima. Nietzsche was captivated by Richard Wagner. Nietzsche personally thought the reason behind this was Wagner's musical art and talent. Nietzsche's sister Elizabeth was "closer to the truth in her belief that what held Nietzsche was Wagner's tremendous will power and instinct of command. Wagner, Nietzsche thought for a time, was the highest of higher men and he held the key to a new epoch of art and and new epoch of life."(Bentley, p. 91

A Brief Biography of Richard Wagner

1346 words - 6 pages subtle but deep racial hatred. For the purposes of this article I will present Wagner’s taking them at face value, without examining the theory stating that Anti-semitism was inherent to Wagner’s operas. I will use Wagner’s music drama Parsifal as the lens through which we can frame Wagner’s early operas and follow the themes of development to his mature style in this his final opera. Examining Wanger’s developments to music especially as regards the

Nietzsche : The Father of Existentialism?

1833 words - 7 pages Schopenhaur. This was extremely significant to Nietzsche because this book had very radical ideas of Atheism and chaos of the world. These thoughts are some of the founding principles of existentialism; which is what Nietzsche is credited with creating. While at the University, in 1868 Nietzsche met the famous composer Richard Wagner. Wagner was one other person that helped to shape Nietzsche's beliefs; "Wagner was mostly Atheistic and believed humans

Gustav Mahler

1054 words - 4 pages studied piano and composition, he was not a virtuoso pianist and his student and youthful works were already too forward looking for him to win the conservative judged composition contests of the time. As a result, Mahler was forced into a conducting career. Mahler's early career was spent at a serious of regional opera houses (Hall in 1880, Laibach in 1881, Olmutz in 1882, Kassel in 1883, Prague in 1885, Liepzig in 1886-8, Budapest from 1886-8, and

Jewish History

1071 words - 4 pages reason Jewish and Christian populations couldn’t get along was due to different religious beliefs and for many years the Church taught of how it believed the Jews had killed Jesus, however in modern times this view has been discredited by many historians. In Russia there was a long history of anti-semitism in Eastern Europe which where highlighted by the Chmielnicki massacres throughout an eight year period, 1648-1656

Nietszche

1005 words - 4 pages much their friendship could scarcely endure. Wagner was exactly the age aof Nietzsche?s father and treated the younger man as useful apostle and factotum without sharing Nietzsche own interest. Moreover Wagner changed; he returned to Germany making his peace with the young empire that Nietzsche detested and that Bayreuth created a Wagnerian cult of which anti-Semitism became an important part.Although commonly mistaken for this being one his

HItler

835 words - 3 pages Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945), German political and military leader and one of the 20th century's most powerful dictators. Hitler converted Germany into a fully militarized society and launched World War II in 1939 (see Federal Republic of Germany). He made anti-Semitism a keystone of his propaganda and policies and built the Nazi Party (see National Socialism) into a mass movement. He hoped to conquer the entire world, and for a time dominated most

Challenges of the Holocaust to Theology

939 words - 4 pages providing an explanation and possible solution to the problem would be unfeasible. In the Panel Discussion, Victoria Barnett, Directory of the Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, touched on the theological nature of the Holocaust. She described the problem of the wide spread anti-Semitism that is deep rooted into the Christian tradition. Victoria illustrated this by the degree to which people

Similar Essays

This Essay Discusses The Intersting Life Of The Musical Composer, Richard Wagner

1281 words - 5 pages It is not often that composers have had so profound an impact on their time as Richard Wagner. His operas and artistic philosophy influenced not only musicians but also poets, painters, and playwright. He was worldly renowned for his operas and compositions, and although the public both liked and disliked his works, noone can deny their greatness.Wilhelm Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig on May 22 1813. He was born into a theatrical family. He

Wagnerian Essay

4984 words - 20 pages both a bit drunk at the time, but even so, you may get a bit of an idea how much respect and love Matthew has for the various works of Richard W. Nonetheless, I stand by both of those statements. There's no point denying the proto-Nazi thing, since handsome Adolf said it himself: "whoever wants to understand National Socialist Germany must first understand Wagner." Michael Tanner tries to minimise Wagner's effect on

In Search Of Wagner By Theodor W. Adorno

1227 words - 5 pages a book that must be understood in the context of its zeitgeist and particularly, Adorno’s experience of fascism and anti-Semitism. In the preface of the book, Adorno describes its subject—Wagner—as ‘classic of the Third Reich’ (Adorno, Search, 504). However Adorno’s criticism of Wagner does not approach the political, but attempts to invalidate Wagner’s music in order to make a wider philosophical argument about about fascism and its associated

Life Of Wilhem Richard Wagner Essay

963 words - 4 pages Wilhem Richard Wagner, known by Richard, was born in Leipzig, Germany on May 22, 1813. Richard Wagner led a contentious life and is known as one of the world’s most influential composers. He is also famous for his operas such as the four-part, 18-hour Ring Cycle and Tristan Isolde. Wagner led an influential life never losing confidence in himself from financial debt due to his operas not meeting success to being too sick to even compose his