The Discomfiting Legacy of the Virtuoso Pianist Who Became Vichy France’s Commissar of Music

April 21 2020

Considered by critics one of the most talented classical performers of the modern era, the Swiss-born French pianist Alfred Cortot (1877–1962) was also a Germanophile and admirer of Wagner, who sought to put his talents and reputation to the service of the Vichy regime only a few days after it was established. After the war, he was imprisoned for three days, banned from playing for a year, and in 1947 was still a controversial figure. Two years later, French public opinion had more or less forgiven him. Terry Teachout, while admitting that Cortot deserves to be called a genius, examines the moral dimension of his career, and notes those of his admirers who “feel obliged to mention . . . that he was also among the most notorious of France’s collabos typically do so in muted, almost apologetic tones.”

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Classical music, Holocaust, Music, Vichy France

 

Forty Years after Israel Ceded the Sinai, the Territory Remains a Source of Trouble for Egypt

Last month, Egypt celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, which it had lost in the Six-Day War. Since then Cairo has not used the territory to launch attacks against the Jewish state, but it has once again become a bastion of terror—most of which has been associated with Islamic State and aimed at the Egyptian government. Jonny Essa and Ofir Winter examine the situation in the Sinai, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s recent speech on the subject, and the implications for Israel:

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Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Egypt, General Sisi, Islamic State, Sinai Peninsula