Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Verena Wagner Lafferentz

Catching up on old news: Richard Wagner's last surviving grandchild, Verena Wagner Lafferentz, died in April at age 98. She was the youngest child of Winifred and Siegfried Wagner.

I remember standing in front of the Wagner family tree in Haus Wahnfried, Bayreuth, in 2015, and being shocked to discover that one of Siegfried's children was still alive. I'd somehow completely missed her existence, overshadowed as she was by brothers Wieland and Wolfgang and their roles at the festival.

She had led a retiring life after World War II, and remained silent on the matter of her family's relationships with the Third Reich and prominent members of that rightly-reviled regime. She was romantically linked to Hitler, according to her Wikipedia page, which features a photo of Verena, her older sister Friedelind, and Hitler, and married to Bodo Lafferentz, a Nazi officer and party member who was many years her senior.


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