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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

RICHARD & ADOLF (article first published : 2007-04-24)

Recently launched by Adams Musgrave is Chris Nicholson's Richard & Adolf.

Did Richard Wagner incite Adolf Hitler to commit the Holocaust? Though there is strong evidence of his influence the question remains controversial. In Israel, Wagner's music is banned yet great musicians such as Daniel Barenboim recoil at the thought.

Chris Nicholson has had a long and deep interest in Wagner and his music. From the moment he read Wagner's assertion that "one day the German people would not shrink from their sacred duty to find a `great solution’ to the Jewish problem” he was impelled to explore just how much Hitler was influenced by Wagner. His latest book Richard and Adolph delves into the question.

Without seeking sensationalism it does not shrink from exploring their seedier sides, including their sexual dalliances and perversions in his quest to understand the full range of factors that led to Hitler's pursuit of the Holocaust.

Chris Nicholson's books on the Cradock Four - Permanent Removals - and Papwa Sewgolum - From Pariah to Legend - have both been absorbing and revealing. As a high court judge he has the skills to penetrate to the core of the issues and undoubtedly his new book will prove as important as his earlier ones for music lovers and those with an interest in the past.




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