Martin Lücke

Jazz in Germany during World War II

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Germany; Nationalsozialism; Charlie and His Orchestra; Deutsches Tanz- und Unterhaltungsochester; Concentration Camp.

The history of Jazz during the Third Reich is more than changeful. On the one hand jazz music was banned e.g. on wireless. On the other hand several attempts were made to establish a political conformal German kind of jazz, without success. During the Second World War these efforts increased. The official Deutsches Tanz- und Unterhaltungsorchester (DTU) and the unofficial Charlie and His Orchestra are two contrary examples, how the regime dealt with jazz: without any clear political line. On the one hand, jazz was a symbol of degeneration, on the other an opportunity to broadcast propagandistic messages to the front. The existence of jazz in the concentration camp system shows that even in a life-threatening atmosphere jazz survived - and helped a few to survive.

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