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Hitler Birthday Show Planned For Berlin Opera House. What Were They Thinking?

Op-Ed: The Berlin opera house scheduled a performance of Richard Wagner’s "Rienzi" – Hitler’s favorite opera – for April 20, the Führer’s birthday. After complaints, the show was rescheduled. Still, how could the Deutsche Oper have organ

Hitler's Reichstag speech in 1933 promoting the bill (German Federal Archives)
The capital's classic music lovers gather at the Berlin opera house (@boetter)
Lucas Wiegelmann

BERLIN--You only need to know a few basic facts to understand how the German opera world's latest bit of theatrics demonstrates zero historical awareness and even less of a sense of how to manage the past.

1. Richard Wagner's "Rienzi" was Adolf Hitler's favorite opera.

2. During the Nazi era, the Deutsche Oper Berlin was, along with the Bayreuth Festival Theater, the bastion of music for the Nazis.

3. This year is the Deutsche Oper's 100th anniversary.

4. Hitler's birthday was on April 20, and during the Nazi years it was a big day known as "Führers Geburtstag" (Führer's birthday).

This information is available to anyone as educated as, say, an opera house director.

So if you conducted a poll and asked on what day in 2012 you should NOT, as director of the Deutsche Oper, schedule a performance of "Rienzi," the answer -- after maybe Christmas Eve and the day of the European Soccer Championships finale – would be April 20. Right? Talk about a bad idea: Hitler's opera, on his birthday, during the centennial year of an opera house adored by Joseph Goebbels and Nazi big-wigs in general. Really?

Christoph Seuferle, however, didn't have a problem with it. The commissioning director of the Deutsche Oper set the date long ago and nobody put two and two together.

Until recently, that is, when staffers at the Deutsche Oper did notice and protested. So now the institution has released a statement that reads: "During internal discussions, a number of those associated with the opera house stated that for personal reasons a performance of that opera on that particular night would be difficult or impossible."

"Rienzi" has now been rescheduled for the following night. Leos Janacek's "Jenufa" will be performed on April 20.

Read the original story in German

Photo - @boetter

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Migrant Lives

Latin America's Migrants Trying To Reach The U.S.: Risk It All, Fail, Repeat

Searching for a safe home, many Latin American migrants are forced to try, time after time, getting turned away, and then risk everything again.

Photograph of thousands of migrants marching  to the US-Mexican border under the rain.

06 June 2022, Mexico, Tapachula: Thousands of migrants set off north on foot under the rain.

Daniel Diaz/ZUMA
Alejandra Pataro

BUENOS AIRES — With gangsters breathing down his neck, Maynor sold all of his possessions in Honduras, took his wife and three kids aged 11, 8 and 5, and set out northwards. He was leaving home for good, for the third time.

"I had to leave my country several times," he said, "but was deported." He was now trying to enter the U.S. again, but the family had become stuck in Mexico: "Things are really, really bad for us right now."

Migration in Latin America is no longer a linear process, taking migrants from one place to another. It goes in several directions. Certain routes will take you to one country as a stopover to another, but really, it's more a lengthy ordeal than a layover, and the winners are those who can find that receptive, welcoming community offering work and a better life.

The aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF) calls this an international, multidirectional phenomenon that may include recurring trips to and from a home country.

Marisol Quiceno, MSF's Advocacy chief for Latin America, told Clarín that migrants "are constantly looking for opportunities and for food security, dignified work opportunities (and) healthcare access." These are the "minimum basics of survival," she said, adding that people will keep looking if they did not find them the first time around.

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