"Was Nietzsche bold or stupid? As stated above, I don’t think he quite fully grasped the scale of the ethnic conflict subtly playing out in Germany at that time, or the sheer power already enjoyed by Jews. For someone of his (then lowly) position, his 1872 lecture appears to me as a step too soon. Wagner had of course taken even further steps against Jewish influence — but the older man possessed significantly more stature and legitimacy. Nietzsche sent his lecture notes to Wagner on February 4, and the composer replied cautiously. Wagner, who was fully aware of the damage that could be wrought by Jews on lone targets like himself, responded: “I say to you: that’s the way it is. … But I am concerned about you, and wish with my entire heart that you don’t ruin yourself.” Cosima, Wagner’s wife, also wrote to Nietzsche expressing concern. Starting by citing Goethe (‘Everything significant is uncomfortable’), she said that his ‘boldness’ and ‘bluntness’ surprised her. In a later letter she makes her concerns more explicit, stating that she wanted him to take some “maternal” advice so that he should “avoid stirring up a hornet’s nest” :See what happens when you try to obsolescence-proof your product?: "Stationery chain Typo pulls world globe that names Palestine over Israel"
Do you really understand me? Don’t mention the Jews, and especially not en passant; later, when you want to take up this gruesome fight, in the name of God, but not at the very outset, so that on your path you won’t have all this confusion and upheaval. I hope you don’t misunderstand me: you know that in the depths of my soul I agree with your utterance. But not now and not in this way.
According to Cosima’s diaries, Nietzsche was summoned to a meeting with her and Wagner on February 12 to discuss the lecture. We can only speculate at what precisely was said, but Nietzsche dropped the Jewish reference from the published version of his lecture and nothing similar to it would ever again appear in his speeches or published writings. He would continue to attack the evils of the press, newspapers, financial affairs, the stock exchange, modernity, urban life, and cosmopolitanism — but he would never again mention them in conjunction with Jews or Judaism. Holub argues that the episode taught Nietzsche that he should not mention the Jews by name and certainly not attack them in print. He would thereafter adopt the same ‘cultural code’ that many anti-Jewish intellectuals were forced to utilize as a means of fighting the culture war without being labelled ‘anti-Semitic.’"
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