How not to rewrite history: Play on, Vienna

How not to rewrite history: Play on, Vienna

An alarming cultural and political craze in the closing years of this decade has been the enthusiasm for the kind of virtue signalling expressed in demands to sanitise history so as not to disturb sensitive students and enrage social justice warriors unable to accept reality.

They call for statues to be pulled down and avenues and buildings to be renamed.

They demand apologies and financial compensation from institutions that centuries on are in no way culpable for the sins of their predecessors.

Bizarrely, their next target could be the annual Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year’s Day concert which, its critics correctly say, began as a fixture in the city’s cultural calendar in 1939 as a fundraising event to raise money for a Nazi party charity, thus keeping Vienna’s pitiless gauleiter happy.

To which the thousands of people who enjoy the event might reply: So what?

Today’s Vienna Philharmonic isn’t responsible for the event’s Nazi origins, and its music has nothing whatsoever to do with fascism.

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