Text Box: Conductor photographs


Price: sold



One page, large octavo typed letter signed to musicologist and critic Dr. Arno Huth, Florence, July 19, 1933.  We offer with a matte 5” x 7” photograph suitable for framing.

Dear Doctor,


I was in Zurich and very much regretted not having met you again. It's not impossible that I can still come to Paris in August, but not sure yet. I would like to talk to you about the “Independent International Opera” (U.I.O.). The thing is initially still in the puppet state.


Accept my best wishes for your and your Mrs. Wohlergehen's well-being.


Sincerely, I am






This Klemperer (1885 - 1973) letter has far more significance than it outright appears.  Klemperer despite his conversion to Catholicism in 1919 saw what was coming, as the Kroll Oper which he led until it closed in 1931due to lack of funding in post WWI Germany.  After the Berlin Reichstag fire in February 1933, the new German government under Hitler decided to use the Kroll Opera House as the new seat of government as it was located next door.  Klemperer had kept offices in the otherwise shuttered opera house and saw virulent anti-Semitism emanating from the government, heard what was coming and knew his conversion to Christianity could not save himself, or his family.  The Klemperers left for Vienna, then Florence, before he moved with his family to Switzerland.  Whilst in Germany, he met with Bruno Walter and Stefan Zweig to discuss what was going on in Germany and they conceived of an organization which they called, “Unabhängige Internationale Oper”, or by the Acronym U.I.O.  Huth was a Berlin based critic and musicologist then living between France and Switzerland, also Jewish, reliable and thoughtful.  His non music role was as a University Professor in Berlin and an expert in the field of radio broadcasting.  He was known professionally to both Klemperer and Walter and it stands to reason Klemperer would want his opinion.  While we do not know what if anything Huth did for the project, in September, 1933 Klemperer returned to Vienna and the organization was announced.  The trio of Klemperer, Walter and Zweig stated their goals and intentions for the organization and held auditions.  They hired Rudolf Bing a local artist’s manager to run the operation which was designed to go to America with Jewish talent as the Salzburg International Opera Guild.  The troop would be based in America as a touring company and many Jews who were losing their positions in the German opera houses were invited to join the Guild and go to America.

While all three were Jewish, Zweig never converted to another religion.  Both Klemperer and Walter who were raised as secular Jews had converted to Catholicism, Walter was required to as the Chief Conductor of the opera house in Riga, Latvia in 1898 and Klemperer and his sister Marianne had both converted in 1919 while living in Cologne, lured in by the speeches of Max Scheler.  Never-the-less this clearly shows that early on both were creatively thinking about ways to help Jews out of Germany.  This initial plan did in fact work out and they did in fact save Jews from likely death through this opera company.  As an aside, Klemperer renounced Catholicism and reverted back to Judaism in the 1960’s, became a citizen of the State of Israel in 1970 and was buried in Zürich in the Jewish cemetery.


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