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Image: Overtone Films

Richard Wagner and the Jews

July 18, 2016

The composer Richard Wagner was rabidly anti-Semitic. Nevertheless, Jews artists were among his biggest supporters. How can one explain this contradiction?


Filmed on location in Germany, Italy and Switzerland, this documentary uncovers some dramatic but little known stories, told through the writings of key figures, interviews, excerpts from Wagner's operas and unreleased performances of musical works by Wagner’s Jewish collaborators. It also takes a close look at the still ongoing controversy over the performance of Wagner’s works in Israel, prompted by the Israel Wagner Society and its tireless efforts to organize a Wagner concert in Tel Aviv.

We talk to experts and well-known public figures: the conductors Zubin Mehta, Asher Fisch and Leon Botstein; the Israeli politician Yossi Beilin; Israel Wagner Society founder Jonathan Livny, chairman; the late deputy chairman of the Center of Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, Uri Chanoch; and leading academics.

06.07.2016 DW Doku Wagner und die Juden 2
Wagner developed a fatherly interest in the young Jewish pianist Carl Tausig and took him under his wing.Image: Overtone Films

Broadcasting Hours:


SUN 24.07.2016 – 19:15 UTC
MON 25.07.2016 – 01:15 UTC
MON 25.07.2016 – 15:15 UTC
WED 27.07.2016 – 05:15 UTC
THU 04.08.2016 – 03:15 UTC
SUN 07.08.2016 – 09:15 UTC

Lagos UTC +1 | Cape Town UTC +2 | Nairobi UTC +3
Delhi UTC +5,5 | Bangkok UTC +7 | Hong Kong UTC +8
London UTC +1 | Berlin UTC +2 | Moscow UTC +3
San Francisco UTC -7 | Edmonton UTC -6 | New York UTC -4

DW (Amerika)

MON 25.07.2016 – 09:15 UTC

Vancouver UTC -7 | New York UTC -4 | Sao Paulo UTC -3