Kestenberg: the most powerful and effective arts administrator in German history,
                       1918-1931 — called "Kultur dictator", "Pope Leo" or "Kultur-Pope".

Beidler: grandson of Richard and Cosima Wagner, great-grandson of Franz Liszt,
                     Kestenberg's private secretary and right-hand man, 1927-1932. 


Germany in the 1920s,  Weimar Germany, that was actually the peak of western civilization. In the sciences, the arts... It was a model of democracy, [had] a huge labour movement, a lot of political activism. In 1928, in those elections,  the Nazis had only a few percent of the vote. In 1933,  they were so powerful that Hindenburg, the President, was compelled to select Hitler as his Chancellor; he hated him, he had contempt for him, class contempt and everything else, but there was just too much popular support. Well, within ten years, Germany went from the peak of western civilization to the [greatest] depths of barbarism in modern history….

Naom Chomsky - in interview with Tom Ashbrook, NPR On Point - 2010.09.28

  © Philip Maxwell © 2013