Richard Strauss: a reluctant Nazi collaborator

201402straussMichael Kennedy at The New Statesman:

In 1933, Hitler became Germany’s chancellor at the head of the National Socialist Party. The non-political Strauss professed not to be worried, telling his family that this government would not last long. “I made music under the kaiser,” he told them. “I’ll survive under this lot, as well.” Strauss’s beloved daughter-in-law, Alice, was Jewish and she had two sons; his publisher, Adolf Fürstner, was Jewish and he was working on the libretto for his next opera with the Austrian-Jewish playwright Stefan Zweig, a comedy based on Ben Jonson’s The Epicene (Die Schweigsame Frau) and intended for a premiere in Dresden.

In 1933, Joseph Goebbels, the minister of propaganda who was responsible for all aspects of cultural activity, set up departments to deal with each section of the arts; in November, he appointed Strauss president of theReichsmusikkammer, overseeing music. Asked later why he accepted, Strauss said: “I hoped that I would be able to do some good and prevent worse misfortunes.”

more here.