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Menuhin Foundation ousts violinist's son over remarks

November 15, 2005|From Associated Press

BERLIN — The son of Yehudi Menuhin was ousted as head of the German branch of the music foundation set up by the violinist and humanist after comments he made to a newspaper run by Germany's leading far-right party, the foundation said.

The German branch of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation had asked Gerard Menuhin to step down earlier this month, after comments he made to the German Voice, the newspaper of the National Democratic Party, surfaced on the Internet.

In the article, Menuhin says it was "not healthy" to hold Germany to the crimes it committed 60 years ago.

"There are very unemotional reasons to bring an end to these customs," Menuhin said.

Leaders of the Duesseldorf-based foundation decided to remove Menuhin from office after he ignored the Nov. 2 request to step down, the foundation said.

"The Yehudi Menuhin Foundation distances itself completely from the content of the comments made by Gerard Menuhin, and sharply condemns the naming of our foundation and its activities in a media outlet that the [German] Interior Ministry has said 'must be considered part of the extreme-right,' " the foundation said in a statement.

The Yehudi Menuhin Foundation promotes contacts between cultures through art and encourages the teaching of music in schools.

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