Menuhin's son--uh, oh!

November 17, 2005 at 06:32 PM · Has anyone seen this or know about this?

Replies (29)

November 17, 2005 at 07:09 PM · This a really sad case. Because not only Gerard Menuhin turned out to be a nazi, his grandfather Moshe Menuhin was the head of "culture" section in the same nazi paper around 1970 where his grandson published his fairly strange views. Moshe left the paper because he claimed the paper "was not antijewish enough". Clearly Yehudi Menuhin could not choose who would be his father and failed terrible to give his own son (born 1948) some proper moral education.


November 17, 2005 at 08:01 PM · Another summary:

Notice that depending on which summary of the situation you read, you can form a radically different opinion about the guy. Having not read his actual words and only these two press summaries, I would be hesitant to claim he is a nazi.

November 17, 2005 at 08:03 PM · How can someone with a name like Moshe write for a nazi paper? And how can someone with the name Menuhin be a nazi and how can someone with the name Yehudi (literally meaning "Jew") be a Christian? What an odd family.

November 17, 2005 at 08:12 PM · Hmm, your name dictates religious orientation? That's almost as crazy as claiming a religion defines your race ;).

November 17, 2005 at 09:26 PM · I'm just saying it's funny. Yehudi's name isn't only a Jewish name but it literally means Jew.

November 17, 2005 at 09:37 PM · I know. It is odd.

November 17, 2005 at 09:42 PM · If in fact his son only said "it is 'not healthy' to continue to hold Germany responsible for the crimes of the Nazi era", I don't find any fault in that.

Many Germans were not even born until after the war ended, so Germany, as a whole, should not be held responsible for those crimes. Those punished should only be those who committed the crimes and those who had the ability to prevent the crimes from occuring, but did nothing.

My guess is that the Foundation did not want to any hint of right wing sentiments burning their international bridges and so an innocuous comment, in that situation, turns dangerous.


November 18, 2005 at 02:42 AM · Well, the first article mentioned states:

"Gerard Menuhin, 57, caused an uproar by suggesting that Germany was being blackmailed by an international Jewish conspiracy preying on the country's war guilt. "

So maybe the 2nd article doesn't detail all of what Gerard said - simply saying;

"it is 'not healthy' to continue to hold Germany responsible for the crimes of the Nazi era"

could surely not be enough to to assume he felt there was a Jewish conspiracy???

November 18, 2005 at 02:47 AM · The worst thing about Gerard is not even what he said or wrote. It's WHERE he wrote it: in the worst extreme rightist paper imaginable, a paper e.g. regularily denying any atrocities had happened to Jews during German Third Reich and if any then because they deserved it etc.. I would fire anyone even for placing a used car ad into this publication.


November 18, 2005 at 03:32 AM ·

Here is a better article. It's translated from

German via google. It's a rough read in some spots, but not bad.

From his quotes in that article, he believes prominent jewish people around the world actively pursue an agenda to keep Germany oppressed in some fashion. He also hates America for being friend to such folks.

It is interesting that, according to the article, he is in fact Jewish. I notice in the article they never quote him as expressing a hatred of his race as a whole, rather he hates jews who he feels are in some way oppressing his homeland. It is a subtle difference (if accurate) and makes me wonder if this is not anti-semitism but right-wing extremist style nationalism. I am too chicken to brave getting logged as a visitor to such a website as the rightwing paper he writes for, but it would be interesting to see his texts in full.

November 18, 2005 at 03:41 AM · Some background: Gerard Menuhin's homeland is England, not Germany. And he lives in Switzerland really. He also worked as a movie producer for United Artists.

Anyone who likes to have a visual impression about the weekly paper where he writes as a columnist:


November 18, 2005 at 04:15 AM · Interesting. His response is on that page, not worth linking.

November 18, 2005 at 08:03 PM ·

If this article I just read is reporting the truth, it is indeed the saddest thing for the rest of Yehudi Menuhin's family.

November 18, 2005 at 08:28 PM · It is true, sorry.


November 18, 2005 at 08:39 PM · I may be way off on this, but doesn't Bobby Fischer have similar viewpoints?

November 18, 2005 at 08:48 PM · Unfortunately, anti-semitism has been smoldering underneath the surface of a good deal of the world's societies for a couple of thousand years. It doesn't take much for it to erupt full blown. And of all people, Mr. Menuhin is the son of a man who marched into the concentration camps with the troops very quickly after the camps were liberated. It is one thing to say the people who were not even born during WWII should carry the blame for what their elders did, which is clearly not right. But it is quite another thing to claim that there is some kind of world conspiracy by one of the tiniest minorities on earth to subject an entire country to this kind of guilt. It is more than sad, it is bizarre, and it is disgusting.

November 18, 2005 at 08:49 PM · Well he's also grandson of a guy who wrote for the same paper so if anything it would appear that the 2nd generation was the oddity in the family, with the 1st and 3rd carrying on business as usual.

November 18, 2005 at 09:29 PM · Wow. I had no idea.

November 18, 2005 at 09:39 PM · It's possible that no one else has any idea either. So, Moshe Menuhuin wrote for a right-wing German newspaper? He was born in in 1893 in Gomel, Belorussia and moved to Palestine (pre-Israel) when he was 10 to live with his grandfather, attended a nationalistic Jewish school (Herzlia Gymnasium) and moved to America in 1913 where he studied at NYU and where (USA) he made his home. He was a teacher of Hebrew and named his son Yehudi, which means "Jew." So, please tell us more about this obvious Nazi sympathizer and his "business as usual" work as a writer for German right-wing newspapers. I'm all ears. Was he a regular columnist, a cartoonist, or what? Or are we talking about the maternal grandfather...?

November 18, 2005 at 09:41 PM · I suppose reading any of the above articles is too much to ask. Allow me to quote from the last one:

" There has, in fact, been a history of family sympathy for German nationalists. Mr Menuhin’s grandfather, Moshe, was a determined anti-Zionist and expounded his views in the National Zeitung; he was arts editor from 1968 to 1970 although he was aware of its extreme German nationalism. He left the job only because the paper was not anti-Zionist enough."

November 18, 2005 at 10:06 PM · Ouch. You're right. It was too much to read. Moshe's opposition to how he perceived the state of Israel was deveopling is illogically and irresponsibly framed on the web as "...a history of family sympathy for German nationalists." Bull. His opposition to the policies of the developing state of Israel did not make him a "supporter of German nationalism" or an anti-semite subject to conspiracy theories. (Although it makes for fun reading.) Clearly, his view of Israel served their purpose. That does not make him a supporter of German nationalism or a holocaust denier (as are members of the paper's staff)any more than it entitles Yehudi's son to be heir to a "history of family sympathy" for such nonsense.

November 18, 2005 at 10:14 PM · A rather odd choice of forums to express his views in if that's the extent of what his views were. Maybe the real problem with the family is piss-poor lack of judgement when it comes to finding a spot to publish their opinions (however goofed up their opinions are/were).

November 18, 2005 at 10:12 PM · Has anyone read "Unfinished Journeys"? Yehudi Menuhin goes out of his way (this is one of his books) more than once to infer that there will one day be no need for religion. In other words, he is first a "humanist" before a Jew. While I do not have the book with me to quote presently, I remember distinctly reading that Mr. Menuhin was almost apologizing for being Jewish.

Then, in a complete twist, the "humanist" goes on and on about how Hinduism and other Eastern religions are the cure to world strife. How can one be an advocate for no religion and then embrace Hinduism and Buddhism? While I do not in any way wish to discredit these great religions, I find it no coincidence that his son would logically continue the legacy of his father by turning away from his roots. It is heartbreaking, considering that Yehudi's father was a highly devout and observant Jew.

November 19, 2005 at 02:25 AM · Daniel, I don't know how heartbreaking it is. I read a marvelous interview with Menuhin in a Buddhist study magazine where it was evident that his world view was consistent with that particular Buddhism's philosphy and practice that all living beings are individual manifestations of a single, great golden life. The heartbreaker is when people harbor beliefs that place human happiness a distant second to adherence to dogma, and justify harming others based on religious differences. This is the heartbreaker of our (and other) ages. Some so-called religions are so unlike our own that we cannot conceive how they are not only consistent with humanism, but place humanistic behavior as the ultimate goal of their practice for inner and societal transformation. This does not apply to every sect, but it is definately the essence of some. Menuhin's father was, in addition to being a devout Jew, a strong iconoclast who had passionate and personal views of social justice. Perhaps that influence is what Yehudi was exeplifying, and that is the tradition he chose to inherit rather than the specific religious practices of his forebears. Such a spirit of inquiry surely cannot be inimical to any religious feeling, but should rather lead to its development, as I personally think it did for Y.M.

November 19, 2005 at 02:29 AM · Is the book you're referring to, "Conversations with Menuhin," by David Dubal?

November 19, 2005 at 04:41 AM · This book is called "Unfinished Journeys" by Y.M.....

Alan, I would like to just ask respond by telling you that I can say with 100% certainty that Judaism is also in agreement that each individual is a manifestation of a single, great golden life - in fact, most religions believe this...It's just that different religions call this "life" by different names. I would also like to add that while I agree that being happy is important, what happens if my happiness contradicts your happiness? It is because corrupt leaders throughout the millenia imposed their views of happiness onto the masses that religious wars were and are often fought. I'd also like to add that it was because of Judaism that Menuhin's father was an advocator of social justice. The Jews were among the first to have a functioning democracy virtually 2000 years ago.

November 19, 2005 at 03:33 AM · Sorry, Daniel. I see now that you wrote that.

November 19, 2005 at 05:06 AM · Yeah, if you were implying that Judaism doesn't believe we're all part of one "golden life" then you're off. Most religions say the same things but with different words... Menuhin probably didn't learn that much about Judaism and liked Buddhism and Hinduism which there's nothing wrong with.

November 19, 2005 at 05:58 AM · Whew! Lucky I wasn't implying that!

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