James Loeffler: Wagner’s Anti-Semitism Still Matters

Pro Musica Hebraica Resident Scholar, James Loeffler, writes in the The New Republic:

What are we to do with Wagner’s anti-Semitism? The recent Wagner anniversary has brought a predictable amount of equivocation and hand-wringing about the German master’s role in the history of hate. We know by now not to read history backward. A nineteenth-century composer who died in 1883 cannot logically be accused of personal complicity in a twentieth-century genocide. Yet that does not mean that the broader question of his responsibility for the spread of modern anti-Semitism can be simply ignored. 

Read the whole thing.