Ernst Gombrich (2)

The reason for looking up the Conrad review of A Little History of the World is because I had been told on twitter, which I did not know, that it was Gombrich, working as a radio monitor during the war, who informed Winston Churchill that Hitler was dead. On 1 May 1945 German radio played the slow movement from Bruckner’s 7th. symphony, as a prelude to the formal announcement of Hitler’s death at 10.25. Gombrich knew that Bruckner’s second movement had been composed in preparation for Wagner’s death and deduced correctly why it was being played (his mother, by the way, had been a pupil of Bruckner). He is said to have informed Churchill, presumably by telephone or telegram, although I notice that others claim to have done so as well.

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