The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

German media antisemites come crawling over Kirill Petrenko

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Berlin – Two
responses in German media to the election of Kirill Petrenko as chief
conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic have been decidedly hostile, verging on
racist.

 

Sabine Lange on NDR Kultur drew an
unfavourable comparison between the rejected candidate Christian Thielemann, ‘a
world acclaimed expert in the German sound’, and the Russian-born Petrenko, ‘
the tiny gnome, the Jewish caricature of Alberich’ who threatens to seize
power.

 

If that’s not bad enough, Manuel Brug in Die Welt points out that
three leading conductors in Berlin are now Jews – Barenboim and Ivan Fischer
are the others. Unhelpful and unnecessary, the more so since the three are so
different in almost every aspect of character.

 

Both are castigated by the magisterial Eleanora Brüning in the Faz for
disseminating racist clickbait, but the damage has been done. Lange on NDR has
appended a semi-apology to her post, saying she was using Wagnerian rather than
racist imagery when comparing Petrenko to Alberich. She misses the point
entirely.

 

Two German publications find fault with Kirill
Pentreko being a Jew, one of them likening him to an offensive character. This
is, as Ms Büning rightly says, unacceptable conduct. Lange and Brug should be
ashamed.