Politique et propagande

Swing as an Attitude Towards Life

Despite discrimination against jazz music and jazz culture in the Third Reich, swing found an enthusiastic and dance-hungry audience. For a group of mostly young fans, however, swing music and dancing represented more than a passing fad.

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Entartete Musik and Entartete Kunst in the Third Reich

Nazi ideology extended to cultural and social life, imposing strict controls over art, music, literature and film and works that were considered Entartete, or ‘degenerate.’ This regulation of cultural life culminated in two exhibitions: Entartete Kunst and Entartete Musik.

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Jüdischer Kulturbund in Berlin

Kurt Baumann developed the preliminary plan for the Jüdischer Kulturbund, to be set in Berlin, in the first months of 1933.                                                                                                                                  

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Hitlerjugend (HJ) and the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM)

By 1945, the Hitlerjugend (HJ, or Hitler Youth) included almost every German boy in the Reich; hundreds of thousands of girls were incorporated into its sister organisation, the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM, or League of German Girls).

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Charlie and his Orchestra

Charlie and His Orchestra was a Jazz band created especially for the radio show "Germany Calling" in April 1940 by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry. This musical form of propaganda contributed to the spread of Nazi ideology and conveyed a defeatist message to British audience.

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Wagner, Richard

Compositeur

Hans Pfitzner

nazi
Compositeur

The composer Hans Pfitzner (1869-1949) saw himself as a defender of the German nation, its values, and its culture against a ‘degenerate’ and ‘corrupt’ France. During his denazification trial, along with Furtwängler, Egk and Strauss, he was found not guilty.

Carl Orff

Compositeur

Otto Klemperer

Compositeur
Chef d'orchestre

Otto Klemperer (1885-1973) was a Jewish German-born conductor and composer, described as "the last of the few really great conductors of his generation." In April 1933, he fled to Austria, leaving his wife and children behind, to follow when he had secured a permanent residence.

Herbert von Karajan

Chef d'orchestre

Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. Generally regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, he was a dominant figure in European classical music from the mid-1950s until his death.

Gustav Havemann

Musicien
nazi
Chef d'orchestre

Violinist and conductor Gustav Havemann (1882-1960) moved from being a modernist musician and friend of radical Jewish composers, to becoming a committed Nazi music ideologue and finally a fervent anti-fascist after the war.

Wilhelm Furtwängler

Compositeur
Chef d'orchestre

Few are so mixed with debates around collaboration, passive resistance, and the tension between art and politics as Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886-1954). In 1933 he was 47, at the peak of his career and saw himself as defender of Germany’s musical heritage.

Clemens Krauss

Chef d'orchestre

Clemens Heinrich Krauss (1893-1954) was an Austrian conductor and opera impresario, particularly associated with the music of Richard Strauss. Called ‘the most powerful man in German opera,’ and a ‘culture leader’, his career advanced significantly under the Nazi regime.

Walter Starkie & the British Institute in Madrid

Réalisateur

Musician Walter Starkie who set up 'El British' and met with General Franco to formalise cultural exchange between Britain and Spain. Starkie's efforts helped keep Spain neutral during WWII.

Myra Hess

Musicien
Réalisateur

Dame Julia Myra Hess, DBE (1890-1965) was an English pianist, best known for her performances of the works of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann. During WWII, she put on concerts at the National Gallery to raise morale.

Franz Schmidt

Musicien
Compositeur

After the Anschluss in 1938, Franz Schmidt (1874-1939) was named the greatest living composer in the Ostmark by the Nazis. At the premiere of his Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln, it was reported that Schmidt made a Nazi salute.

Karlrobert Kreiten

Musicien

Pianist Karlrobert Kreiten (1916-1943) was overheard saying Hitler was ‘brutal, sick and insane,’ by a Nazi sympathiser. He was executed by hanging. The day after his execution, his mother discovered her clemency plea had been accepted.

Jack Hylton

Musicien

Jack Hylton (1892-1965) and his band made regular tours in Germany during the 30s when Nazis were banning jazz music. During WWII, Jack Hylton and His Orchestra disbanded, having out-sold every other band in Europe.

Charlie and His Orchestra

Musicien
Chef d'orchestre

Maurice Chevalier

Chanteur
Acteur

A troubling story of one French musician is that of the singer Maurice Chevalier. His case will always draw suspicion, but it also highlights the difficult situation experienced by many musicians in wartime France, who simply could not avoid getting entangled in the political crisis.

Edith Piaf

Chanteur

Edith Piaf (1915-1963) was not a devoted Resistance fighter. Her career was her first priority, and she clearly felt some compassion towards the Nazis, some of whom had been her fans. All in all, it seems that she made the most of the situation.

Marlene Dietrich

Chanteur
Acteur

Marie Magdalene "Marlene" Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer. Throughout her long career, which spanned from the 1910s to the 1980s, she continually reinvented herself. In 1920s Berlin, Dietrich acted on the stage and in silent films.

Hans Joachim Moser

Musicologist
nazi

Hans Joachim Moser (1889-1967) blamed America and the Jews for commercialising music. His commitment to celebrating Germany won him Nazi approval and was promoted to general secretary of the Ministry of Propaganda.

Herbert Gerigk

nazi
Musicologist

Herbert Gerigk’s (1905-1996) Lexikon der Juden in der Musik was so popular that by 1943 thousands of copies were circulating throughout the German Reich. Even within the framework of Nazi ideology Gerigk was known as being particularly conservative and critical.

Karl Blessinger

nazi
Compositeur

Author of the 1939 book Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer, Mahler: Three Chapters of Jewry in Music as the Key to Music History of the 19th Century, established Karl Blessinger's (1888-1962) reputation as one of the most prominent anti-Semitic musicologists of the Third Reich.

Politique et propagande

Classical Music Radio in Wartime Britain

For better or worse, BBC radio was the dominant voice of Britain throughout WWII for which classical music was an important and revealing feature.

Politique et propagande

Jews and Music in Fascist Italy

The modern nation of Italy had existed for barely more than sixty years when, in October 1922, Benito Mussolini became the country’s prime minister.

Politique et propagande

Hartmann, Karl Amadeus

Politique et propagande

Le Troisième Reich

Politique et propagande

Strauss, Richard