Near Defeat: Jazz Toward the “Final Victory” September 1942 to May 1945

Michael H. Kater

in Different Drummers

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195165531
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199872237 | DOI:
Near Defeat: Jazz Toward the “Final Victory” September 1942 to May 1945

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After the summer of 1942, the tide began to turn against the Nazi Reich. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was losing out in the North African war arena and, in Russia, the Wehrmacht suffered more opprobrium. By May 1945, the denouement had been marked by three or four altogether disastrous developments. First, on February 3, 1943, Adolf Hitler had to concede defeat at Stalingrad. The Allied armies then landed on the Normandy coast during D-Day, the sixth of June. The Red Army entered Berlin in the last week of April 1945. On the eighth of May, a mere eight days after Hitler and Joseph Goebbels committed suicides, the government capitulated unconditionally. To a large extent, the fate of German jazz was tied up with these events. The most immediate phenomenon that increasingly affected jazz and dance music, as well as its resilient subculture, was the recurrent bombing raids, especially when they targeted Berlin.

Keywords: jazz; Germany; Nazis; World War II; dance music; censorship; musicians; Joseph Goebbels; radio broadcasting

Chapter.  21505 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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