Music in the Third Reich by Erik Levi

By Erik Levi

In this authoritative learn, one of many first to seem in English, Erik Levi explores the ambiguous courting among song and politics in the course of one of many darkest sessions of modern cultural historical past. making use of fabric drawn from modern files, journals and newspapers, he strains the evolution of reactionary musical attitudes which have been exploited by means of the Nazis within the ultimate years of the Weimar Republic, chronicles the mechanisms that have been confirmed 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 tune both within the opera apartment and live performance corridor, or at the radio and within the media.

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Fearing that he might encounter problems similar to those that had occurred in Leipzig, Walter tried to pre-empt matters by requesting police protection so that this concert could go ahead. The plan failed. An application for a public safety order was sent by Walter's agents to the Propaganda Ministry. It was turned down, and Walter Funk, state secretary in the Ministry, made it known that if the orchestra really wanted the concert to take place they should employ the services of an Aryan conductor.

Many of the most stigmatised musical figures had already left Germany by this stage. Yet while the Nazis could claim success at the speed with which they managed to purge further Jewish participation in German music, they were less adept at anticipating the consequences of their action. A bone of contention amongst the leadership was the degree to which vested interests could interfere with the strict interpretation of the numerous anti-semitic laws. In a number of cases, there were instances where musicians ofJewish origin were afforded temporary protection from discrimination if it suited the programme and ambitions of a particular politician.

During March and April 1933, he corresponded extensively with Nazi officialdom, urging those in power to undertake a thorough purification of various music organisations. From the tone of these documents, it is evident that reform could not come fast enough for him. 8 Because of his persistence, Havemann's proposals managed to gain ground. On 10 May, he unveiled the Reichskartell der deutschen Musikerschaft (Reich Cartel of German Musicians), a new organisation which incorporated under its wing three previously established music associations.

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