Thursday, August 30, 2007

From Jack Krumbein

Posted via on August 30, 2007 at 3:39 PM
My greatgrandfather was Hans Blechschmidt. He was Pablo Sarasate's accompanist, chief conductor of the Hamburg Opera and in 1932 conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. He was also known as Germany's greatest Wagner interpeter. When Hitler came to power the Nazi's tried recruiting him to become their state conductor in Berlin over Furtwengler. He hated the Nazi's... he organized a group to tour the United States and "defected" in San Francisco. Became the conductor of the San Francisco/Los Angeles Opera Association (their name at the time) and eventually made his way to Los Angeles. He died in 1954 and is buried in Santa Monica. Everyone has a choice... he chose to do the right thing over his career. Furtwengler and Karajan were wrong in closing their eyes as to what the Nazi's were doing in order to further their career's. This was on my Father's mother's side... on my Father's father's side it was a tragic story of German-Jewish persecutions and escapes, hunger and suffering I cannot even imagine... many Krumbein's were murdered during the war... there are no excuses for genocide... or for a population pretending not to know... or not bearing up arms against its governments when truth and righteousness demand it...

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