Hitler set the standard for evil, but scholars still argue over what made him so evil. Was he a madman, or just a political opportunist? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, explaining Hitler. Also, the real story of Anne Frank. And reckoning with Wagner — the man hated Jews, but are his operas anti-Semitic?
Austrian journalist Melissa Muller has written a new biography of Anne Frank that restores several previously unpublished pages from the famous diary. Muller tells Jim Fleming that she wanted to get to know the real Anne, and that the young woman grew and developed over the years in hiding. Also, Jim Fleming reads excerpts from "I Will Bear Witness," the Holocaust journal of Victor Klemperer.SEGMENT 2:
Ron Rosenbaum is the author of "Explaining Hitler." He tells Steve Paulson that no-one can explain why Hitler did what he did, but that there are all kinds of theories - cultural, historical, psychological and religious. They all show how difficult it is for people to come to terms with real evil.SEGMENT 3:
Journalist Hector Feliciano has spent the last decade tracking down art plundered by the Nazis. His book is "The Lost Museum." Feliciano tells Steve Paulson what the Nazis collected, and what happens when the art turns up in major museum collections. Also, Richard Wagner was a paranoid bigot and Hitler's favorite composer. But, William Berger tells Judith Strasser, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy his operas. Berger cites some specific examples of anti-semitism in the music and makes the case that audiences should make their own moral judgements about all art. Berger's book is "Wagner Without Fear: Learning to Love, and Even Enjoy, Opera's Most Demanding Genius."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-12-13-A.
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