Tyrannic dictators can put a lot to their hand, but fortunately not everything. Thus Hitler could not prevent a black athlete with the ultimate honor at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. The four gold medals that Jesse Owens took back to the United States were a thorn in the eye of the Führer, who wanted to use the Games to demonstrate the superiority of Germany and the Germanic race. The fact that an Untermensch like Owens made a long nose to all those pernicious racial theories was no less than a slap in the face of Hitler and the party.
In those years before the war Hitler had to adjust his own (delusional) ideas even more. In his beloved Bayreuth, where the Wagner Festspiele took place every summer as well, the role of Siegfried in Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” was sung by Max Lorenz A fantastic boom-length German singer with a voice like a cannon; in appearance, descent and sound the ideal man for the role. But no cow so fur …
The blondest hero of the heroes, the ultimate personification of the Übermensch, appeared on closer consideration to get the voice of a ‘despicable’ homosexual, who was also married to an ‘even more despicable’ Jewess. Au !
Lorenz was flagrantly caught in Bayreuth in 1934 with a young man behind the stage. He would sing Siegfried in the ‘Ring’ that year. Hitler could not help but declare Lorenz a persona non grata, but on the intercession of Winifred Wagner, leader of the Festspiele, it was not a process and Lorenz could sing. Hitler was apparently so captivated by Lorenz’s voice that he also turned his eye on his Jewish wife. Hitler was even observed laughing and talking in detail with Lorenz in Bayreuth.
Being black is of course more in the eye than a little bit of niece. So it was that the black baritone Simon Estes in the seventies in Bayreuth was allowed to sing the title role in ‘Der fliegende Hollünder’ (a weird, degenerate character), but not that of the Germanic supreme god Wotan in the ‘Ring’. It would be the ultimate ‘denazification’ of Bayreuth if, after a gay Siegfried, a black Siegfried – a sort of Jesse Owens from the opera – came as well. For the time being, no black heroic actors have been spotted and want to be able to play the role.