Vienna orchestra's Nazi links revealed
The Vienna Philharmonic, one of the world's leading orchestras, has revealed the depth of its collusion with the Nazis, admitting that it honoured a senior member of the party decades after the end of World War Two.
It confirmed that a "ring of honour" was awarded to Baldur von Schirach in the late '60s after he was released from Spandau prison. Von Schirach, the Nazi governor of Vienna, oversaw the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews.
At a press conference at the Vienna State Opera, a team of historians commissioned by the orchestra to investigate its past said the ring was sent to Von Schirach as a replacement for one given to him in 1942.
The historians disclosed that 62 out of 123 active wartime members were Nazi Party members and two were in the SS.
The orchestra has been criticised for not acknowledging the part its Jewish musicians played in its history, or its own collaboration with the Nazis.
Harald Walser, an Austrian Green politician and one of the orchestra's most persistent critics, has demanded the Vienna Philharmonic open its archives for a full and open inquiry. © Daily Telegraph, London)