The Politics of Music in the Third Reich

By Michael Meyer | Go to book overview

and imitated him. Thus, the Nazis believed in the efficacy of art, in the delusionary spell of the phantasmagoric suspension of reality, change, and relative truths; they manipulated art in behalf of an artistically conceived thousand- year empire. There can be no doubt that the Nazi emphasis on the arts reflected a profound understanding of human nature, fears, anticipations, needs and history. Since religion of the day was losing control over human emotions, a secular cult was offered, in whose spell music was to act out its potential. The totalitarian state realized the potential, but not beyond the level of a crude functionalism. Actual musical development could not be commanded at a time of its severe crisis. Then again, that was not really the intention of the Nazi elite. The Nazis simply organized culture as a life-blood for their own cult and as a facade. In terms of history of the art, the period can only be regarded as an external imposition of a regressive message which was no longer relevant to system-immanent impulses.


ENDNOTES
1
DM, 806.
2
See Klaus Vondung, Magle und Manipulation, Ideologischer Kult und Politische Religion des Nationalsozialisrnus ( Gbttingen, 1971), 70-74; Fröhlich, 347.
3
Fröhlich, 358-359.
4
See Klein, "Konformität,"145.
5
Fritz Stege, "Berliner Musik," ZfM ( December 1935), 1364.
6
See Prieberg, Musik, 174-175; Hans-Werner Heister and Jochem Wolff, "Macht und Schicksal: Klassiker, Fanfaren, höhere Durchhaltemusik," in Heister and Klein, 120-121.
7
See Michael Meyer, "The Nazi Musicologist as Myth Maker in the Third Reich," Journal of Contemporary History ( October, 1975). 649-666; Eckhard John, "Vom Deutschtum in der Musik," 49-55, and Pamela M. Potter, "Wissentschaftler im Zwiespalt,"62-66, the latter followed by the paper of Friedrich Blume, "Musik und Rasse: Grundfragen einer musikalischen Rassenforschung," 67-76, in Dümling and Girth.
8
Prieberg, Musik, 361-362.
9
"Musikalische Begabung und Rassenforschung im Schrifttum der Gegenwart." Similarly, scholars cited less than established musicologists like Blessinger and Eichenauer regarding the application of race to music.
10
The different papers have been published in the professional press. See the review of the Conference in Potter, above, n. 7.

-321-

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The Politics of Music in the Third Reich
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Glossary of Select Terms and Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Endnotes 15
  • 1933: Nazi Power, Purges And Revolutionary Promise 19
  • Endnotes 79
  • Music Organization (1933-1945) 89
  • Race, Folk Hero and the New German Musician 253
  • Endnotes 321
  • Wilhelm Furtwängler: Collaboration And a Struggle of Authority 329
  • Endnotes 388
  • Index 395
  • Ullustrations 417
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