"One of the anomalies of art and culture, enigmatic and inexplicable, is that the Germanic peoples who, with Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Wagner, have produced the world's greatest music, should also have the most dolorous record in barbaric militarism since the dawn of Christianity. Not only in the 20th century, but as far back as Attila the Hun, it almost seems as if there has been an Anti-Christ gene in the Germanic heritage. Then whence the music? A mere handful of poets dominated by Goethe; a meagre contribution to painting; one novelist, Thomas Mann, great but not on the same shelf with Balzac, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. But music, yes. Genocide, yes. I repeat, enigmatic and inexplicable."
Alan Jay Lerner