Sunday, March 15, 2009

Evil Incarnate and the Arts, Hand-in-Hand

I have already written, in a previous blog, about Hitler having been rejected twice by Vienna's prestigious Academy of Fine Art, and what a different turn the history of the twentieth century would almost assuredly have taken, had he become a professional artist; for most of us, perhaps the most disturbing example of art and evil being coupled in one human.
Consider the following, as well:
Unlike Hitler, this man was born into a sophisticated, well-to-do family.
His father was founder of the Halle Conservatory of Music.
His mother's father was founder of the Dresden Conservatory of music.
He became highly drawn to music, and became an accomplished violinist.
During the twenties, he became a close friend of Wilhelm Canaris, an admiral in the German navy, who was ultimately chosen by Hitler to become head of Intelligence.
The wife of Canaris, Erika, was an accomplished violinist, and invited this young man to perform in regular sessions of chamber music, in the Canaris home. What we know of these sessions was that Haydn and Mozart were the most often performed. It appears that had he chosen to do so, this young man could have entered the world of music as a professional.
He decided to embark upon a different mission.
In January of 1942, he gathered some fifteen of the top officials in the Nazi party, and conducted a meeting with one agenda; namely, the Final Solution - a meeting which took about ninety minutes, and sealed the fate of millions in Occupied Europe. This was the infamous Wannsee Conference.
He achieved great power within the Nazi regime, and was greatly admired by Hitler.
Later in 1942, he was assassinated by two Czech patriots who had been trained in England for this one purpose, then flown into Europe to fulfill this mission.
For pure evil, he was equaled only by Hitler himself. The blood of millions was on his hands.
It is thought by many that had this man lived on, he would have become Hitler's successor.
In retribution for this man's assassination, the town of Lidice was totally destroyed, all of the male population of that town executed, and the women and children sent off to Germany for a fate not totally known.
And this man loved the vaunted human achievement we call Music.
His name was Reinhard Heydrich.

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