Music in the Third Reich by Erik Levi

By Erik Levi

In this authoritative examine, one of many first to seem in English, Erik Levi explores the ambiguous courting among track and politics in the course of one of many darkest sessions of modern cultural heritage. applying fabric drawn from modern records, journals and newspapers, he strains the evolution of reactionary musical attitudes which have been exploited by way of the Nazis within the ultimate years of the Weimar Republic, chronicles the mechanisms that have been demonstrated after 1933 to regiment musical lifestyles all through Germany and the occupied territories, and examines the measure to which the weather of xenophobia, racism and anti-modernism affected the dissemination of track both within the opera apartment and live performance corridor, or at the radio and within the media.

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Although the NSKG never enjoyed the levels of membership achieved by the Kampfbund at the 24 Music in the Third Reich height of its power, it still sought an active role in the nation's musical life. For example, its music section organised its own music festivals, commissioned new works from composers, printed books on music and ventured into music publishing and recording. Eventually, the NSKG ran into financial difficulties, and in 1937 it was completely absorbed into the KdF movement. By this stage Rosenberg had, in any case, shifted his attention away from cultural issues to foreign affairs.

This policy, he wrote, 'must lead to a systematic legal opposition and elimination of the special privileges which Jews hold ... 2 Fourteen years later, as Chancellor of Germany, he was able to begin this 'systematic' removal of the Jews through a series of legislative measures which were passed within months of seizing power. Probably the most far-reaching act, as far as the music profession was concerned, was the Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums (law for the restoration of tenure for the civil service), passed by the Reichstag on 7 April 1933, which created the legal weapon with which all Jewish influence was effectively removed from public administration.

THE REMOVAL OF THE JEWS: 1933 AND BEYOND In a letter dated 16 September 1919, Adolf Hitler had already made it abundantly clear that the solution of the Jewish problem could only come about through the pursuit of what he termed a 'rational' form of anti-semitism. This policy, he wrote, 'must lead to a systematic legal opposition and elimination of the special privileges which Jews hold ... 2 Fourteen years later, as Chancellor of Germany, he was able to begin this 'systematic' removal of the Jews through a series of legislative measures which were passed within months of seizing power.

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