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Different DrummersJazz in the Culture of Nazi Germany$
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Michael H. Kater

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195165531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195165531.001.0001

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On the Index: The Third Reich's Prewar Campaign

On the Index: The Third Reich's Prewar Campaign

(p.29) 1 On the Index: The Third Reich's Prewar Campaign
Different Drummers

Michael H. Kater (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Jazz was officially rejected in the Third Reich and was figuratively placed on the Index. It was denigrated as much in music journals as in daily newspapers and illustrated broadsheets. Government directives and the radio ranted against it, and public opinion maligned it as “Nigger jazz”. Such polemics were linked to the National Socialist disdain for most things of American origin, unless they were of a technical variety such as automobiles or films. These polemics were also rooted in the Nazi racist ideology that discriminated heavily against non-“Aryans” — in particular, blacks and Jews. While in power, the Nazis steadfastly believed that the United States constituted a corrupt people devoid of sophistication, with a childlike mentality that countenanced fun and games but was incapable of profundity or erudition. Despite the Nazi struggle for jazz substitution prior to World War II, jazz could not be suppressed.

Keywords:   Germany, Nazis, jazz, racism, blacks, Jews, United States, xenophobia

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