Dvořák dis­hon­oured

BBC Music Magazine - - Letters -

I had not heard about the Nazi regime try­ing to use Dvo ák’s cen­te­nary for its evil pur­poses (Tug of War, Oct). It’s well known that dur­ing his stay in the US, Dvo ák lis­tened to the mu­sic of the na­tive Amer­i­cans and African Amer­i­cans, whose value was not widely ap­pre­ci­ated at the time. There was a ra­cial as­pect to it. While Nazi pro­pa­ganda was talk­ing about ‘es­tab­lish­ing a po­si­tion of peace­ful co­ex­is­tence through shared val­ues’, a gen­er­a­tion of Czech com­posers was strug­gling to sur­vive in the There­sien­stadt con­cen­tra­tion camp. Later they were mur­dered along with other mu­si­cians be­cause of their ra­cial ‘in­fe­ri­or­ity’. One won­ders what were the ‘shared val­ues’. Joseph Fodor, Ash­ford

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