Silenced Voices

The Bayreuther Festspiele and the Jews from 1876 to 1945

This exhibition focussed on a subject which had never been investigated before, namely, the misuse of the festival as a means of political mobilisation and the systematic exclusion of Jewish artists which started well before 1933. This part of the exhibition was presented in the form of an open-air installation on the festival hill. The second part of the exhibition in the city hall featured 44 personal stories and selected audio clips, which shed light on the fate of those stars of the German opera scene who were persecuted or murdered in Nazi Germany on account of their Jewish background.

The historian Hannes Heer, the music journalist Jürgen Kesting and the designer and Bayreuth native Peter Schmidt presented the exhibition for the first time in Hamburg in 2006. Since then, they have adapted the show to include local references to the state opera houses in Berlin, Stuttgart, Darmstadt and Dresden. More than 100,000 people have visited the exhibition so far.

A scientific conference on the subject took place in Bayreuth from 12 to 14 July 2012 (Chamber music room in the Steingraeber Haus, Bayreuth).

22 Jul. 2012 – 14 Oct. 2012 Festival grounds, city hall, Bayreuth, Opening: 22 July 2012, 11 am in the Bayreuth city hall


Richard-Wagner-Stiftung Bayreuth

Richard-Wagner-Straße 48

95444 Bayreuth (external link, opens in a new window)