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The Jew and the Nazi sax

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,495
Locality
New Zealand and Australia
In one's "face", which may be appropriate, yet challenging. Change certainly comes from facing uncomfortable truths. Having to find someone who is an extreme antithesis of Nazis to play a Nazi sax is is bit of Guerrilla Theater, but the point is made. Makes one wonder what the music sounds like, but we shouldn't hope for much when the sax player admittedly has no musical ability due to brain surgery. I guess the point is the story rather than the music.
 

Karel Belgium

New Member
Messages
24
Locality
Belgium
It is tricky to do this. "Guerrilla Theater"...yes, fully agreed. I know I just had to do it. I hate "leaning backwards and do nothing, but complain about stuff that goes wrong. I always had a deep passion for history, I live in a country that is deeply marinated in (dark periods of) history. But "history" is easily forgotten.

For the purpose of these videos, we kept the music part short. These days, people have a hard time keeping focus, longer than 1 minute is tricky. Thats why we split it up. As you mention, the point is the story, not the music. Non-musicians might not "feel" the music or be bored if it takes too long, but we are considering releasing the full recording for "us people" :)

We also had a lot of (deep) conversations during this period and John was actually helping to disassemble the Nazi horn. Emotionally, especially for John, it was an intense thing to do. Most of this we have on video. Maybe it might end up becoming a documentary.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,040
Locality
UK
I came across one of these horns some 25-30 years ago. Bought it as one of pair of horns. It was made by Eugene Schuster of Markneukirchen - a silver-plated alto. Quite a nice old alto - but the bell had been engraved with (if I remember rightly) the Luftwaffe insignia.
It put me in a bit of quandary (especially given my cultural roots). On the one hand it presented quite a paradox, given what the Nazis stood for - and on the other it seemed to me to be the sort of thing that ought to be in a museum. Indeed, I rang the Imperial War Museum to see whether they'd be interested, but they told me point blank that they didn't accept 'Nazi artefacts'. Had to scratch my head about that one somewhat.

I made some other enquiries with various people before talking to a chap who specialised in conflict memorabilia, who advised me that I needed to take great care about offering such an object for sale...solely on the basis that such things tended to attract some rather unpleasant people. As a historical object I felt it had some interest - but I certainly wasn't going to pass it on a trophy.

So it languished in the workshop for quite some time, before I decided that it might be a smack in the metaphorical teeth for the Nazi regime if I ground the insignia off and sold the horn to someone who would make a joyful noise with it.
And so I very much enjoyed the vidoes. A very brave and noble gesture considering we live in a time where it feels like some things are being erased from history...and there are simply some that we should never, ever forget.
 
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Karel Belgium

New Member
Messages
24
Locality
Belgium
I rang the Imperial War Museum to see whether they'd be interested, but they told me point blank that they didn't accept 'Nazi artefacts'. Had to scratch my head about that one somewhat.

As a historical object I felt it had some interest - but I certainly wasn't going to pass it on a trophy.

So it languished in the workshop for quite some time, before I decided that it might be a smack in the metaphorical teeth for the Nazi regime if I ground the insignia off and sold the horn to someone who would make a joyful noise with it.

I fully understand. When I got the horn, I actually didn't want to keep it in the shop. Felt weird having it. My two grandfathers raised me with war-time stories...and I kinda "radicalized" as a kid. I hated Germans with such a deep hatred. I wanted to join the army and “kill em all”. When I was 12, a teacher calmly explained me that today’s Germans aren’t the Nazi’s from the ’30 & ’40. My world collapsed :D “I didn’t get to kill Germans?”

The anger and frustration did go away and I became a skinhead. I hated extreme-left and extreme-right. Never belonged to a group or a gang. Kick- & thaiboxing, lifting weights, etc… An angry young boy. Many years later, things changed. It actually was a skinhead movie that put that change in motion. “American History X”. In one scene, the main actor said something like “I am tired of being angry all the time”. I realized I was tired of being angry all the time too… Somehow that was a big revelation for me. I walked away, leaving my anger behind. 2 weeks later I quit kick-& thaiboxing. Couldn’t do it anymore. “Anger” was my drug to push my limits in sports, but it was gone.

During that period, I started dealing with stuff and turned my life around. The hatred is gone. Felt so weird in the beginning. Might all sound corny and stupid, but that’s one of the main reasons that I do what I do. With the “saxophones-from-artillery-shells”, with this “Jew-on-Nazi-sax” thing and all the other things I have lined up.

I was so honored that the first Sax4Pax saxophone I made was sold to a lovely German family. Anna, the young daughter of that family, was the first to play on it. Wasn’t really planned, but felt so good.

All kinda off-topic, but you got me started Stephen :)
 

Yansalis

Member
Messages
77
Locality
USA
In our era, naming victims is a substitute for reasoned moral judgment. The modern brand of moralizing is not a result of better moral arguments than those of the past, it is just that after generations of indoctrination and careful re-framing, barely anyone dares to question a statement which names a victim. We have dumbed down laborious religious and philosophical arguments for "I am my brother's keeper" to the point that the thumbnail version, "X victimized Y", has become holy writ in an inquisitionist era.

Probably your first reaction is "well what's wrong with that, victims need our empathy". What's wrong is that we will repeat history unless we truly understand what went wrong in the past. Empathizing with victims, wallowing in the horrors of the past, reframing things to find new victims so we can feel more moral--none of these can substitute for truly understanding what makes evil evil and how it comes into power. You can't understand if you can't think. You can't think if some thoughts are taboo. You can't develop understanding, you won't find the causal chain of mass death in your culture, if you are not allowed to question.
 

Karel Belgium

New Member
Messages
24
Locality
Belgium
Probably your first reaction is "well what's wrong with that, victims need our empathy". What's wrong is that we will repeat history unless we truly understand what went wrong in the past. Empathizing with victims, wallowing in the horrors of the past, reframing things to find new victims so we can feel more moral--none of these can substitute for truly understanding what makes evil evil and how it comes into power. You can't understand if you can't think. You can't think if some thoughts are taboo. You can't develop understanding, you won't find the causal chain of mass death in your culture, if you are not allowed to question.
I think get what you are saying.

To bring it back to John: he isn't a victim and doesn’t behave like one. In the documentary "Escape from room 18", where he shares his story, he is very clear on these matters. His story isn’t a “blame game” story. That’s what I liked in the documentary and also about the lectures he gives.

I fully agree we shouldn’t worship “victimhood” and yes, we should truly try to understand what makes evil “evil”. Our desire for justice has been satisfied by a long sentence, but “crime” isn’t going to be stopped by only locking up perpetrators. We also need to work with them. If you understand that you can break the “machine” that causes victims to be created. “Taboos” sabotage a lot, we can complain about that, but it shouldn’t keep us from trying to do what needs to be done.

The book “The Psychology of Human Cruelty” by criminologist and doctor of psychology Jan De Laender is an interesting read on this topic. (Probably only published in Dutch.)

There’s a lot to say about these things. I wasn't expecting to headed in this direction. Thanks for bringing this up though!
 

John Setchell

Member
Messages
255
Locality
Norfolk UK
In our era, naming victims is a substitute for reasoned moral judgment. The modern brand of moralizing is not a result of better moral arguments than those of the past, it is just that after generations of indoctrination and careful re-framing, barely anyone dares to question a statement which names a victim. We have dumbed down laborious religious and philosophical arguments for "I am my brother's keeper" to the point that the thumbnail version, "X victimized Y", has become holy writ in an inquisitionist era.

Probably your first reaction is "well what's wrong with that, victims need our empathy". What's wrong is that we will repeat history unless we truly understand what went wrong in the past. Empathizing with victims, wallowing in the horrors of the past, reframing things to find new victims so we can feel more moral--none of these can substitute for truly understanding what makes evil evil and how it comes into power. You can't understand if you can't think. You can't think if some thoughts are taboo. You can't develop understanding, you won't find the causal chain of mass death in your culture, if you are not allowed to question.
Psychopathic megalomaniacs have peppered history all over the world, with their armies of unthinking followers and egotistic beliefs. We have to find a way of challenging them as weapons have become so powerful that collateral damage is devastating. Head-in-sand won’t cut it.
 

helen

Member
Messages
208
Amazing @Karel Belgium

I know you likely have the photos on your website, but you can always post them on mine as well.

If you would like to guest write an article, my site is open to you anytime. Given what's going on in the world right now, this is a story that is most timely.
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,266
Locality
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
This horn has always struck me as a candidate for being an ex Nazi saxophone. There is absolutely not a engraving, makers mark or number to be seen anywhere.
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Vetinari

Senior Member
Café Supporter
Messages
1,660
Locality
East Manchester
Most of the keywork and guards look like my conn c-mel. It also looks like it's got a fine tuner. The bell stay is different, and the left hand side key near the thumb hook is missing
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,266
Locality
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
Most of the keywork and guards look like my conn c-mel. It also looks like it's got a fine tuner. The bell stay is different, and the left hand side key near the thumb hook is missing
Yep. I originally thought it was a huller or other German horn. It feels, weighs the same as a truetone tenor but the microtuner and brace mean it's not so straight forward.@milandro would know if he still frequents the forum
 

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