Would Gergiev Have Been A Nazi?

Conductor Valery Gergiev (pictured) made an attempt this week to explain himself to subscribers of the Munich Philharmonic, the orchestra he is set to take over as music director in 2015-16. Gergiev, the head of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, recently met with Munich cultural officials and orchestra officials to discuss several things, including the situation in Ukraine and how he might work with gays and lesbians in Munich. He then wrote the letter to the orchestra’s subscribers, in which he said, “I respect my people and their traditions,” he wrote. “I also respect the principles of life that are extremely important to the people of Russia. These include upholding taboos that have not applied in Western countries for many years, but where many attempts and much time was needed to abolish them.” This is all classic double-talk. While Gergiev is attempting to mollify Munich, he is supporting Vladimir Putin’s takeover in Crimea and has said absolutely nothing in his own country in support of human rights for LGBT people. If Gergiev held a premiere cultural post in Hitler’s Germany, you can bet he would have thrilled to the Fuhrer’s marching into Austria and Sudetenland, not to mention keeping his mouth shut when it came to the Jews. Gergiev is the Furtwangler of our day. How ironic that he is making his latest statements in Munich, the stronghold of Hitler.

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