30th May 1942, midday
The rôle of Vienna—Death of Mozart—Artists should be supported before they die!
It should be the task of any reasonable culture policy to discover talent early, to encourage and foster it, and so give it the opportunity of reaching its highest fruition for the benefit of both the present and posterity.
During the last few centuries, the Viennese, who always used to set such store by the cultural standards of their city, have neglected this most important principle of cultural policy in an almost insanely irresponsible fashion. For example, they actually allowed a genius like Mozart to starve. He was even buried in a pauper’s grave, they say, and now no one knows where he lies. Like him, too, Bruckner and Haydn would have been allowed to die of hunger, if they had not found patrons in the Bishop of Linz and the Prince von Esterhazy respectively.
These examples show that the Viennese, like the people of Munich, owe their accumulation of artistic wealth solely to their rulers. Between the Viennese and the people of Munich, however, there is this vital difference, that the latter do show a measure of appreciation to their living artists, while the former wait until an artist has been dead for perhaps centuries and has acquired an international reputation before giving their approval.
Our own cultural policy can learn a lesson from this. It is, that artists who do good work must be assured of recognition in goodtime. It is for this reason that I have caused to be organised the arts exhibition in the House of German Art in Munich, and not merely because I wished to give the already famous a chance to exhibit, where their works will be seen by the whole world. By far the most important object of this exhibition is to seek out the best of German creative art.