'Forbidden' music found in Hitler's secret record collection
RELATIVES of a Russian officer who looted Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's Berlin bunker in 1945 have unearthed the Fuehrer's personal record collection among his belongings.
What they found does not make sweet music to those who still worship the racial quackery of mankind's greatest tormentor. For amid the Wagner and Beethoven were works by Jewish and Russian composers - Hitler's greatest enemies - including Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Borodin.
Throughout the 12-year lifespan of the Third Reich, Hitler forbade his followers from listening to anything but German music. Even jazz was banned as "negro swamp music" and orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic were forbidden from playing anything other than Teutonic classics.
Now, the pillaged recordings, taken by the Red Army officer Besymenski after Berlin fell in May 1945, show Hitler was a hypocrite as well as a monster.
Besymenski, himself a Jew, conducted the interrogation of Field Marshall von Paulus after the Sixth Army was destroyed at Stalingrad in 1943. When Berlin fell, the Russian officer was dispatched with others to make an inventory of artifacts in the bunker and Hitler's destroyed Reichschancellery above it.
Inside concealed cabinets he found the records and decided to keep them as souvenirs. According to his daughter, Alexandra Besymenski, her father first showed them to her in 1991. The much-honoured history professor at the Moscow Military Academy hid them in his loft. "I stumbled across them as I was looking for a football," Alexandra said. The family thinks the captain, who died two months ago aged 86, hid the records - bearing the stamp 'Fuehrer headquarters' - because he did not want to be thought of as a common looter.
The usual Hitler favourites are there; Beethoven's 'Ninth Symphony', the 'Flying Dutchman' by Wagner and works by Brahms and Schumann. But the discovery of the recording of Russians and Jews reveal Hitler did not practice what he preached. "I think my father found it astonishing that millions of Jews and Russians had to die because of the ideology of Hitler, and here he was enjoying their art," said Alexandra, who has yet to decide what to do with the collection.