For people who don’t know classical music the name Richard Strauss will mean very little, but for music and movie fans they know the music of the man. His composition “Also Sprach Zarathustra” was made famous by the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”
In the early 1930s, Strauss did not join the Nazi party. For reasons of expediency, however, he initially cooperated with the early Nazi regime in the hope that it would promote German art and culture. Much of Strauss’s motivation in his conduct during the Third Reich was, however, to protect his Jewish daughter-in-law and grandchildren from persecution. Strauss used his considerable influence to prevent them from being sent to concentration camps.
In 1933, Strauss wrote in his private notebook:
- I consider the Streicher-Goebbels Jew-baiting as a disgrace to German honour, as evidence of incompetence—the basest weapon of untalented, lazy mediocrity against a higher intelligence and greater talent.
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