Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How Artistic Collectivity Can Converge Upon One Subject...

The subject: Reinhard Heydrich.
The artistic cast of characters:
Karl Hajos - a  Hungarian composer
Douglas Sirk -a movie director
Emil Hlobil - a Czech composer
Bohuslav Martinu - a Czech composer
Edna St. Vincent Millay - an American poet

The subject, one Reinhard Heydrich,became, arguably, the most efficient and pure form of Hitler's Nazism  under the tyrant's regime. His ascendancy, especially after directing the proceedings at the Wansee Conference, which dealt with and gave birth to the Final Solution, cast him to the top of the Hitler hierarchy within a  brief period. Hitler himself thought of Heydrich as the most potent form of Nazi activism. Had he survived, and the Nazi movement were to continue, this man could well have been chosen by Hitler to be  his successor.
Heydrich, however, was assassinated in 1942 by Czech patriots having  been flown in from England.
Hitler was beside himself, and personally ordered, in retribution, the extirpation of a village located in one of the provinces Heydrich was Protector of, named Lidice.
Lidice became one of the great tragedies coming out of World War Two - all men over fifteen were executed by the German troops assigned to  enter this village. Most of the women and children were sent  to Germany, facing a fate still pretty much unknown. Some women and children were indeed murdered within the village.  The final act was for the village to be razed to the ground, leaving veritably no viable trace of the community.
In the years following the war, various artists have come forth to bring their imagery forward in order to keep the memory of Lidice alive. Both Karl Hajos and Emile Hlobil,  rather well-known within their milieu,  have written short compositions depicting the horror of this act. I believe that some of the music may   be on YouTube, even though these men are quite unknown to most of us.
The composer Bohuslav Martinu, an internationally recognized composer, also wrote a musical memorial to Lidice's   fate. The music is available.
Douglas Sirk was a movie director who left Germany to escape the oncoming threat of Hitlerism , and was well-known in Germany. He had actually met a young Heydrich some years before he came to the West, and described Heydrich as a rather "edgy" young man.  Sirk directed one of a number of movies made about Heydrich over the years after the war; his movie being released in 1943.
The  eminent American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, who had won a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry during the '20's, wrote an extended form of Poetry titled "The Murder of Lidice," which received  much recognition after its writing; of course, the work can be found.
Other artists have also created their interpretations of the event, to be sure, and those of you who have any interest in pursuing the results will find other material.
The final twist is pure irony:
Reinhard Heydrich was an accomplished violinist, coming from a family of distinguished musicians, one of whom founded the  Halle  Conservatory of Music...

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