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date: 05 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the controversy surrounding the Wagner affair in Israel: the ban on composer Richard Wagner (1813–1883) by Israeli authorities following Kristallnacht, the anti-Jewish pogrom that took place in Germany in November 1938. After the State of Israel was created in 1948, Wagner became identified with the racist views of National Socialism and vicious anti-Semitism and his work emerged as one of the explicit symbols of the Holocaust and its atrocities. This chapter considers the fundamental reasons for the opposition to performing Wagner’s work in Israel within a broad cultural and political context, suggesting that his music served as a stark reminder in Israel of the Holocaust of European Jews. It also discusses the cultural, historical, and educational implications of the ban on Wagner.

Keywords: Israel, ban, Richard Wagner, National Socialism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust, music, Jews

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