Epilogue The Final Victory Postwar Jazz Triumphant

Michael H. Kater

in Different Drummers

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195165531
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199872237 | DOI:
Epilogue The Final Victory Postwar Jazz Triumphant

Show Summary Details


In the area of popular culture in the Third Reich, the history of jazz, with its inherent contradictions, inconsistencies, and paradoxes, well illustrates the improvised nature of a dictatorial regime whose alleged totalitarianism was neither seamless nor inevitable. It was punctured by compromise and accommodation, evident primarily in the executive organs of the Reich propaganda ministry and Joseph Goebbels himself, who was ridden with duplicity and often inertia. In the case of jazz, Goebbels was compelled by a never-ending series of circumstances to allow for the continued existence of a phenomenon, which he personally found contemptible from an aesthetic vantage point as well as from the perspective of the racial purist. Ironically, it was jazz and not the Third Reich that saw the Final Victory so often conjured up by the Nazi leaders. This victory was possible because enough genuine musicians and true believers in jazz had managed to stay alive, quietly treasuring the music in their hearts.

Keywords: jazz; popular culture; Germany; Third Reich; Joseph Goebbels; racism; swing; musicians

Chapter.  5727 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.