Wiesbaden Orchestra Director Resigns Due to Antisemitism

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Sven Helge Czichy)

Ilia Jossifov, a Bulgarian-Israeli musician, has resigned from his post as the orchestra director of the Hessian State Theater in the city of Wiesbaden due to antisemitic bullying.

In his resignation letter issued on Sunday Jan. 22, 2023, Jossifov stated that he has been subjected to “systematic antisemitic belittling and months of harassment” by his colleague Holger von Berg, the theater’s managing director.

According to Joosifov, there was a poster that hung in von Berg’s office for several months showing a Nazi swastika alongside the likeness of Richard Wagner. The poster was apparently commissioned for a 2017 lecture series examining the impact of Nazi antisemitism on German music following World War II.

The conductor added that Von Berg refused to remove the poster after repeatedly being asked to do so. Jossifov added that Von Berg than made antisemitic comments.

He added in his letter, “I and my family would never have thought that something like this would still be possible in Germany more than 70 years after the Holocaust.”

According to reports, Von Berg’s lawyers have vigorously contested Jossifov’s charges. His lawyers have said, “Our client firmly rejects any allegations of antisemitism or support for National Socialism.