Jazz in West Germany: Early 20th Century

| March 24, 2010

Kater, M. 2006, New democracy and alternative culture: jazz in West Germany after the second world war. (journal article, accessible online)

Kater, M. 1992, Different Drummers: Jazz in the culture of Nazi Germany.

He offers a frightening and fascinating look at life and popular culture during the Third Reich, showing that for the Nazis, jazz was an especially threatening form of expression. Not only were its creators at the very bottom of the Nazi racial hierarchy, but the very essence of jazz–spontaneity, improvisation, and, above all, individuality–represented a direct challenge to the repetitive, simple, uniform pulse of German march music and indeed everyday life.

“Jazz not only survived persecution, but became a powerful symbol of political disobedience–and even resistance–in wartime Germany” (Product Description)