BERLIN – The president of Austria’s National Council pulled the plug on the song “Mauthausen Trilogy,” which was slated to be sung at a Holocaust remembrance event in Vienna on May 5, because of the songwriter’s anti-Jewish statements. Barbara Prammer said that she was “made aware of alleged anti-Semitic statements from Mr. Theodorakis,” and that “without being able to examine the content” decided to change the music program, Austrian media reported late last week.
Mikis Theodorakis achieved global fame with his musical score to the 1964 film Zorba the Greek. Earlier this year, he declared on Greek television that he was “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.” “Everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists,” the composer said. He asserted that “American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also.” Theodorakis also slammed Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for establishing closer relations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who was guilty, he said, of “war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza.” The “Mauthausen Trilogy” was composed by the 86-year-old member of the Greek Communist Party in 1965 to the poem by Mauthausen death camp survivor Iakovos Kambanellis (1922-2011). Recordings of the “Trilogy” have been translated into Hebrew.
Victor Eliezer, a spokesman for the Greek Jewish community, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, “After the cancellation, the Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece issued an announcement expressing respect for Theodorakis’s composition of “Mauthausen,” but also grief because of his recent anti- Semitic remarks.”
The composer published an open letter defending his hatred of Zionism, but denied that he was anti- Semitic, according to Eliezer