Wagner descendants promise to disclose ties between Hitler and German composer

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Berlin, July 27 (ANI): Descendants of famous German composer Richard Wagner have decided to reveal their family's proximity to Adolf Hitler.

The two great-granddaughters of Wagner, who held their first Bayreuth Festival this weekend, have promised to reveal whether their grandmother, Winifred Wagner, slept with Hitler, the Times Online reports.

Eva Pasquier-Wagner, 64, and Katharina Wagner, 31, took over the festival from their ailing father, Wolfgang, and are committed to making the event, which is a high point in the classical music calendar, modern.

"Wagner was Hitler's favourite composer, but how close were the family to him? I was repeatedly confronted with this topic when I was growing up. Was my grandmother Hitler's lover? To what extent was my father embroiled with Hitler? If my sister and I don't ask the questions, who will?," Ms Wagner said.

The plan is for historians to produce a report by 2013, the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth. Wahnfried, the Wagner family villa, will house a permanent exhibition on the Nazi years.

Wolfgang Wagner, 89, remembers sitting at the feet of Hitler with his brother, Wieland. Hitler promised that he would be "director of the theatre of the East," and make Wieland, the theatre supremo of the West, just as soon as the F|hrer had conquered the world.

Winifred Wagner, who was born in Hastings to the journalist John Williams, became a passionate supporter of Hitler.

She was one of the first members of the Nazi party, supplied him with paper and pens to write Mein Kampf when he was in prison in the 1920s, and sheltered him in the Wahnfried villa when he was a wanted man.

It remains to be seen what the historians will discover, but Wagner recalls how his mother, still shocked by Hitler's suicide, received Klaus Mann, the American war reporter, in May 1945.

"In reply to the question that you don't have to ask me, Mr Mann, I would say: No, I have never slept with Adolf Hitler" she had said. (ANI)

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