Shostakovich on Jews

Shostakovich on Jews

Quotes from the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975):

“I often test a person by his attitude toward Jews. In our day and age, any person with pretensions of decency cannot be anti-Semitic….

“I never condoned an anti-Semitic tone, even then, and I didn’t repeat anti-Semitic jokes that were popular then. But I was much gentler about this unworthy trait than I am now. Later I broke with even good friends if I saw they had anti-Semitic tendencies….

“It would be good if Jews could live peacefully and happily in Russia, where they were born. But we must never forget about the dangers of anti-Semitism and keep reminding others of it, because the infection is alive and who knows if it will ever disappear.”

Volkov, The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich, 156-159.

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