Monday, 09 December, 2019 @ 22:21:34

Author Topic: Carnival gone off song  (Read 674 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Maik

  • Administrator
  • Forum Deity
  • *****
  • Posts: 18244
Carnival gone off song
« on: Friday, 01 March, 2019 @ 12:45:57 »
Germany: Bitter Carnival in Constance after songwriter's Nazi origins revealed
A Constance Carnival club has dissociated itself from songs by a deceased composer after a probe into his Nazi past. Some pub-goers, however, are sticking to his melodies despite the recent disclosures.

Germany's southern lake city of Constance debated its Carnival festivities on Thursday after a local club's decision to rid itself of once popular songs composed by Willi Hermann, a resident who died in 1977 and was recently exposed as a fervent Nazi linked to a World War II massacre of Italians in Greece.

In its Thursday coverage, Germany's public radio broadcaster, Deutschlandfunk (DLF), cited research done for Constance's Niederburg Narrengesellschaft [carnival club] by city archive historian Professor Jürgen Klöcker.

Klöcker documented Hermann's role as a former Nazi school-sector propagandist and then soldier implicated in a Wehrmacht massacre of surrendering Italian soldiers on the Greek island of Cephalonia in September 1943.

Released from post-war detention in 1949, Hermann became an obscure textile industry worker but reemerged locally as an eloquent orator during Carnival — known across southern Germany as Fasnacht — and composer of some 40 songs, including one depicting Lake Constance as a lake full of regional wine.

Klöcker told DLF that Hermann, originally from Stochach, a town just north of Constance, had begun his Nazi career in the then-Baden Gau [region] as a propagandist.

By September 1943, Hermann was stationed as a Wehrmacht soldier on the Greek island of Cephalonia, where both German and Italian units were located.

Italy, which had previously been allied with Nazi Germany under dictator Benito Mussolini, had just surrendered under the so-calledCassibile Armistice treaty that was signed with Allied commanders on Sicily and made public on September 8, 1943.

Two weeks later on Cephalonia, 12,000 Italian troops keen to return home by ship instead ended up battling reinforced German Wehrmacht units, who were ordered not to take prisoners over Italy's defection from its previous pact with Hitler-led Germany.

Between 2,500 and 5,000 Italian soldiers, many who had just surrendered, were gunned down by German mountain infantry troops, according to a Spiegel magazine dossier published last September.

Klöckner told DLF: "He [Hermann] was right in the midst of the fighting. Under present-day terms, he would have been indicted for aiding and abetting murder. We must be aware of this."