My dear friends, wherever you are on this intimate little planet,
I am sitting in the comfort of my home and writing to you while, for the second time, I am listening to an old recording of one of the essential musical performances in history: Yehudi Menuhin playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (my favourite piece) on Michaelmas, 28 September 1947 with the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of its most renowned conductor. Wilhelm Furtwängler was also the leader of this world philharmonic orchestra during the Second World War. This one kept performing continuously under Hitler and kept something of the true German soul alive in a regime that was the absolute opposite of the true German soul.
meeting like an act of freedom
Year1947. Berlin still lies inruins. Not all bodies and not all unexploded bombs have been recovered from the ruins of three years of constant air and land bombardment. The occupying allies have complete control over Germany. Everyone, especially everyone who operated in any leadership position during the 12 years of Hitler’s absolute control – is a suspected Nazi. The conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic is a suspected Nazi.
A Yehudi Menuhin, the leading Jewish-American violinist, is flying in that time to Berlin to play Beethoven’s violin concerto in that city with this conductor and orchestra- as a free act of defiance against the demonization of Germany.
Wilhelm Furtwängler was unable to work, perform and travel overseas between 1945 and 1952 in American occupies West Berlin for the crime of keeping conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Hitler. The most famous Jewish violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, in a later interview said that Nazism was the opposite of the true spirit of Germany. A gang of criminals took over Germany, he said. Wherever a gang of criminals takes over a mighty nation, something like this is bound to happen. This does not change what Germany is in its true essence.
Wilhelm Furtfangler stayed in Nazi Germany as a leading national cultural figure, paying absolute minimum lip service of silence to all the anti-human and anti-German catastrophic distortions of everything he believed in, but to stay – so as to maintain something of the true spirit of the German people and their cultural contribution to humankind to stay for the German people in their darkest hour, like a beam of light in the midst of an abominable nightmare?
Yehudi Menuhin, the acclaimed prime musician of his American nation and of his Jewish tribe – managed to recognise the human and the genius artist in that noblest of German cultural leaders. He joined him in his worst rejection by the civilised world, while the blood is still oozing from the wounds afflicted by his previous masters, while his proud city, culture and nation lied in ruins, and to be the first man to distinguish, well ahead of his time and for all times between Germany and Nazism?
heroism as an inspiring force
I do not know how they did do it! We are not born equal. We are born with the fruits of soul maturation we have achieved in previous lives. Humans are not comparable beings. All I know is that seeing these two people play Beethoven’s violin concerto together in Berlin on September 28, 1947, makes me again proud to belong to the human race. These are my heroes!
May we all be renewed by the potential power of such meetings in 2023
Blessings on your creative work and peaceful holidays to you and all your loved ones.