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Hitler's favourite singer dies aged 108

The Local · 25 Dec 2011, 08:52

Published: 25 Dec 2011 08:52 GMT+01:00

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A favourite of Hitler, Heesters was born in the Netherlands in 1903 and made his name performing in Nazi Germany.

He died in a clinic in the town of Starnberg in Bavaria where he lived, said his agency Ross.

Heesters played in numerous films and theatre plays, including performing the main role in the Merry Widow, an operetta by Franza Lehar, some 1,600 times.

Heesters' popularity with the Nazis haunted him throughout his life, with protests accompanying his 2008 concert in the Netherlands, his first in decades in his home country.

During his previous concert in the Netherlands in 1963 the audience chased him off by giving him a Hitlerian salute when he appeared on stage.

Heesters had recently been ailing, being cared for in a hospital intensive care unit since December 17.

His death prompted condolences, including one from Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer who said “elegance and lightness were his trademark.”

Story continues below…

AFP/DAPD/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:32 December 25, 2011 by William Thirteen
only the Good die Young...
09:54 December 25, 2011 by twisted
The Hitler headline, while perhaps true, wasn't really necessary for this gentle old man. Shame on you.
10:51 December 25, 2011 by Shiny Flu
The Local: Trying to replace "News of the World"

Seriously, he happened to be young and popular in a time around Nazi Germany. That doesn't make him a Nazi - as your headline suggests. In fact Hitler like many things, but that doesn't make them or those that created them Nazis. For example, if you drive a VW today, that doesn't make you a Nazi!

I'd suggest The Local take a look upon itself and come up with its own New Years Resolution - try and actually report news rather than slant headlines and stories with tinges of non-existent nazism.
12:08 December 25, 2011 by raandy
Why give this person the raspberry for being Hitlers favorite singer when all of Germany was singing Deutschland über alles.
13:05 December 25, 2011 by wood artist
While he may well have been Hitler's favorite, I suspect he'd rather be remembered as a performer who did his best. From what I can discover...here and elsewhere...he never joined the party nor publicly advocated the party line. It seems he was reasonably apolitical, and never sought Hitler's praise. He, apparently, didn't deny it, but given the times that might well be somewhat understandable.

If we (collectively) can "pardon" Wilhelm Furtwängler then I think this man deserved nothing less. I'm glad he enjoyed a long and productive life, and I suspect he made life a little better for millions who heard him.

13:37 December 25, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
Like it nor not, being an actor/singer/celebrity wasn't easy in Nazi-era Germany. Being the totalitarian regime that the Nazis were, they had a firm grip on Germany's cultural scene, and if you didn't play ball, they would ban you completely from appearing in films or theater, or even deport you to a concentration camp. Heesters carved out an existence in Nazi Germany for himself by not being critical of the fascist state that was being installed. Which today does seem like very bad judgement to us. But I guess he really had no choice but to accept this Faustian bargain.
19:44 December 25, 2011 by heyheyhey
May he rest in the PEACE that he has so earned through a life of giving beauty to others. He, like so many, lived in a hellish reality. To blame him for staying alive with the gift of his talents is absurd.

As humanity so often does, it torments those who have already suffered.

I will hope that he is at peace.
22:47 December 25, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Victor's justice. Had Germany won the war, this guy's life would have been completely different.
23:37 December 25, 2011 by wood artist

Had Germany won the war, EVERYONE's life would have been completely different.
10:21 December 26, 2011 by Sastry.M
The brutal stance of brown shirts was probably necessitated because of the 'red' tape socialism which was authoritatively entrenched and militantly threatened the rising national socialists.The D.J.V probably also failed to support national interests and played into the hands of kindred foreign organizations, kindling the spirit of Hitler's anti-Semitic harangues.

If Stalin should be exonerated sweetly for his dictatorial crimes and Hitler should only be demonized bitterly for similar crimes, the present day campaigns for democracy and freedom against all dictatorships may be unwittingly submitting themselves into doubtful truthfulness, given the contemporary chaotic economic conditions threatening many nations and unilateral proceedings against whistle bowers like Assange and Manning with curtailed freedom of expression .
10:33 December 26, 2011 by heyheyhey

PLEASE spare us the mental masturbation, will you?

NOT impressed!!!!

An intelligent person would respond "on topic".

Sounds like you didn't even attend to the story line here.
11:52 December 26, 2011 by Sastry.M

I am sorry for my apparently irrelevant comment. But the heading of this article placing Hitler as if an all important person favoring a contemporary singer whom,many Europeans would also have liked and appreciated his artistic talents and yet became conspicuous because he happened to live in Germany of Nazi era seemed it unnecessary, considering the ripe old age the singer lived up to, to permanently silence his voice.
16:23 December 26, 2011 by Englishted
I don't mind all the fuss but he was born in Holland and was Dutch and he made his name without hitler's help .

I have seen him on T.V. many times and he was not wearing a black or brown shirt so I am not informed enough to know his political views are you?
11:11 December 27, 2011 by raandy
I agree with the comment that pointed out that the title" Hitlers favorite singer" could have been written differently, "The oldest European performer dies at 108." who during the Nazi years was a favorite of Hitlers although he was Dutch and never was a member or supporter of the party.
18:10 December 27, 2011 by franconia
I am always amazed "how much " Americans et al seem to know about Germany. Case in point (above writer). Volkswagen was not Hitlers invention. Professor Ferdinand Porsche had it already as a proto type and on the drawing board when H itler was still having his first beer at the Munich Brauhalle !
20:53 December 27, 2011 by raandy
Hey Dude , go back to the drawing board you are in a time warp, what has that to do with anything here? (above commenter ) Vw ,Hitlers beer? hugh???
05:18 December 28, 2011 by heyheyhey

Like I said.......your verbal masturbation is not impressing!!!!!!
05:16 December 29, 2011 by drckol
Screw the old nazi bastard. Rot in hell
08:38 December 30, 2011 by heyheyhey
Which old nazi bastard?
08:37 January 3, 2012 by delvek
Sad article, so pompous to judge others. I didnt know him and he doesnt seem to be a war criminal, why so much hate?

Where have we come from Nazi Germany if all day people are mean and offensive verbally here, do you think it not possible to move from the keyboard to the streets? Think again.
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