That was then, this is now, a continuing series

by on December 13, 2016 at 12:09 pm in Books, History, Music, Uncategorized | Permalink

…[Theodor] Herzl had the overture to Tannhäuser played at the opening of the Second Zionist Congress in 1898.

That is from the quite good Herzl’s Vision: Theodor Herzl and the Foundation of the Jewish State, p.102.  For one thing, Herzl was attracted by the story line that featured a man wandering without a homeland.

1 Ray Lopez December 13, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Odysseus was a story featuring a man wandering without a homeland…first?

2 Sam Haysom December 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm

This is a truly comic misinterpretation of The Odyssey.

3 Donald Pretari December 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Ray, He was trying to get back to his homeland. He knew where it was.

4 prior_test2 December 13, 2016 at 12:52 pm

That this occurred 40 years before this – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht – and 6 years before the death of Herzl and 15 years after the death of Wagner might make it much easier to understand.

Particularly as most European artists over centuries had been anit-semites. Wagner mainly (though not only) stands out due to a posthomous association, one for which he is not responsible (one cannot really speak for the dead, but it is certainly possibly that notable German anti-semites such as Martin Luther or Wagner might not have approved of Jewish mass extermination as practiced by the Nazis, regardless of how the Nazis used their words and music).

5 MMK December 13, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Most of Europe was pretty anti-Semitic for about 1800 years. Popular western hero Solzhenitsyn is also an anti-semite. There is a pretty noticeable difference between how second/third generation American Jews and Russian/Israeli Jews approach this topic.

6 Sam Haysom December 13, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Actually based on modern left wing power disparity analysis anti-semitism was almost non-existent in most of Europe. The Jews enjoyed excelllent relations with the upper crust of European society. It’s not for nothing that the second a riot broke out the Jews ran to the bishops and dukes for protection.

7 MMK December 13, 2016 at 3:09 pm

This is one of those “post-truth” MR comments.

8 Techy3 December 13, 2016 at 4:23 pm

The concepts of ‘Europe’ and ‘history’ are being used too broadly for anyone to make a useful comment here.

In the Austro-Hungarian empire from 1700-1900 there was a fair amount of acceptance and social intermixing with jewish citizens, particularly in the more cosmopolitan cities and certainly among the aristocracy and government. Certainly many of the people, tribes, cities and subnations of the empire were more antisemitic, but Jewish rights were generally protected under Hapsburg rule to a roughly similar extent that any group’s were.

On the other hand, In England in the 1500s Jews were exiled and in Spain in the 1500s Jews were forcibly converted, exiled or burnt at the stake.

It’s difficult to make any summary statement about Europe and Jews throughout a millennium when individual locations and centuries vary so hugely.

9 Anon December 13, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Your statement, “Most of Europe was pretty anti-Semitic for about 1800 years” is so general as to be meaningless. It’s a statement that fails the falsifiability test.

It must be one of those “post-logic” MR comments.

10 MMK December 13, 2016 at 5:49 pm

How the hell is anything I said controversial? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Europe#/media/File:Expulsion_judios-en.svg

Most of Europe was anti-Semitic for 1800 years. From the years 200 AD to 2000, give or take, there was a lot of anti-semitism by Europeans!

11 dearieme December 13, 2016 at 7:48 pm

“In England in the 1500s Jews were exiled”: no, it was much earlier than that. And in the 17th century they were welcomed back, which is why they were also welcomed to England’s American colonies.

12 wiki December 13, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Wagner’s music has such appeal beyond Wagner’s own ideological views that it has been a foundation stone for cinematic film. One only needs to see how Wagnerian style seems to show up in movie music from Korngold and Rozsa to John Williams. And besides, the Tannhäuser overture really does sound terrific.

13 rayward December 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

“As a young man, Herzl was an ardent Germanophile who saw the Germans as the best Kulturvolk (cultured people) in Central Europe and embraced the German ideal of Bildung, whereby reading great works of literature by Goethe and Shakespeare could allow one to appreciate the beautiful things in life, and thus become a morally better person (the Bildung theory tended to equate beauty with goodness). Through Bildung, Herzl believed that Hungarian Jews such as himself could shake off their “shameful Jewish characteristics” caused by long centuries of impoverishment and oppression, and become civilized Central Europeans, a true Kulturvolk along the German lines.” So why did Germans become barbaric? If Germans can become barbaric, anybody can.

14 Sam Haysom December 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Even status-anxious virtue signaling leftists?

15 Troll me December 14, 2016 at 2:19 am

Please stop with all your anonymous status anxiety. It’s making me feel low on behalf of humanity.

16 Troll me December 14, 2016 at 2:23 am

I feel good about myself when I go online and call people names.

This is how I acclimatize myself to effective ways of communicating with people that will carry me far. It all starts with calling people names. By such leadership, I will attract friends and teams that will take me to the stars! They will want to get in with me.

17 Troll me December 14, 2016 at 2:25 am

Also, it beats picking wings off of flies, my third favourite hobby after going around telling fat people to lose weight and girls (any) something about how they’re ugly. .

18 Sam Haysom December 14, 2016 at 8:10 am

Awww don’t be so defensive. Sure your politics are based entirely on a calculation of how you accrue status points… well actually there isn’t much to add I’m at a loss for anything positive to say about you. You cry less on average than a fifteen year old girl maybe.

19 Troll me December 14, 2016 at 10:05 am

You’re the guy running around trying to beat down “status points” of anonymous people online.

It appears that you are more than able to recognize the ethical good, but for some reason it disgusts you (inner sense of inadequacy – in the face of all that could be done, easier to reject it altogether as “virtue signalling” than to admit that you could do better…) – at the same time as knowing that others would recognize it as “virtuous” and thus be attracted to it.

I don’t suggest discussing the matter deeply with a psychiatrist – they might write you off as a psychopath or something for the inability to see “good” as anything other than “virtue signalling”.

My stake? It bothers me that some people think that the only possible explanation for “good” is “fake”.

20 Sam Haysom December 14, 2016 at 11:37 am

For me one of the travesties of political ethics is the politics of status anxiety. You are a particularly unpalatable exemplar of that ethical odium.

You apparently still don’t realize that virtue signaling is an ironic term. The virtue you are signalling is entirely of the soi distant variety. Your politics aren’t more virtuous they are just more ostentatious.

21 Brickbats and Adiabats December 14, 2016 at 11:35 am

The recent focus on Herzl reminds me of one of the better instances of “history fan fiction” written on the what-if forum site Alternatehistory.com, “A mound of Spring” which envisions an account, broadly, of the British allowing Herzl’s ideas to go forward a little earlier with the establishment of Tel Aviv in the Sinai next to Suez. Great stuff.

22 Brickbats and Adiabats December 14, 2016 at 11:37 am

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