The Routledge Handbook to Music under German Occupation, 1938-1945: Propaganda, Myth and Reality, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook to Music under German Occupation, 1938-1945

Propaganda, Myth and Reality, 1st Edition

Edited by Erik Dr Levi, David Professor Fanning


552 pages | 95 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138713888
pub: 2019-12-20
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Following their entry into Austria and the Sudetenland in the late 1930s, the Germans attempted to impose a policy of cultural imperialism on the countries they went on to occupy during the Second World War. Almost all music institutions in the occupied lands came under direct German control, or were subject to severe scrutiny and censorship, the prime objective being to change the musical fabric of these nations and subject them to the strictures of Nazi ideology.

This pioneering collection of essays is the first in the English language to look in more detail at the musical consequences of German occupation during such a dark period in European history. It embraces a wide range of issues, presenting case studies involving musical activity in a number of occupied European cities, as well as in countries that were part of the Axis or had established close diplomatic relations with Germany. The wartime careers and creative outputs of individual musicians who were faced with the dilemma of complying with, or resisting, the impositions of the occupiers are explored. In addition, there is some reflection on the post-war implications of German occupation on the musical environment in Europe.

Music under German Occupation is written for music-lovers, students, professionals and academics, including all who have in interest in 20th-century music and/or the vicissitudes of European cultural life during World War II.

Table of Contents



Introduction: The foundations of Nazi musical imperialism

David Fanning and Erik Levi Section A: Musical life, resistance and destruction in occupied European capitals

Chapter 1: Composers as critics in occupied ParisNigel Simeone

Chapter 2: The Conservatoire in occupied Kiev (19 September 1941– 6 November 1943)Elena Zinkevych

Chapter 3: Nazi musical imperialism in occupied Poland Katarzyna Naliwajek

Chapter 4: Music and musical life in occupied Athens Alexandros Charkiolakis

Section B: Adaptation and opportunism

Chapter 5: The Rome-Berlin Axis: musical interactions between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in redrawing a ‘New Order for European Culture’Erik Levi

Chapter 6: In search of a musical identity in the Nazi-occupied NetherlandsDario van Gammeren

Chapter 7: Symphonic music in occupied Belgium (1940–1944): the role of ‘German-friendly’ music societies Eric Derom

Chapter 8: Music, Culture and the Church in the German-occupied USSR: the Smolensk area and other provinces Svetlana Zvereva

Section C: Appropriations and reputations

Chapter 9: Celebrating a Mozart Anniversary in occupied Belgium: the Mozart Herdenking in Vlaanderen (1942)Marie-Hélène Benoit-Otis and Cécile Quesney

Chapter 10 Kateřina Nová: The ambiguous reception of Antonín Dvořák’s music during the Reichsprotektorat Böhmen und Mähren (The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia), 1939–1945 Kateřina Nová

Chapter 11: Celebrating the Nordic tone – fighting for national legacy: the Grieg Centenary, 1943 Michael Custodis and Arnulf Mattes

Section D: Between two evils

Chapter 12: The song collector, the year of terrors and the catastrophe that followed: a life in occupied Latvia Kevin C. Karnes

Chapter 13: The music of Čiurlionis in the context of resistance and Lithuanian national identity during the Nazi occupation (1941–1944) Vytautė Markeliūnienė

Chapter 14: Power through music: strategies of the German occupation authorities in Estonia Kristel Pappel and Anu Kõlar

Section E: The limits of tolerance

Chapter 15: Getting away with Cultural Bolshevism: the first European performance of Porgy and Bess in Copenhagen, 1943 Michael Fjeldsøe

Chapter 16: Music criticism in the Swedish Nazi daily press: the case of Dagsposten Henrik Rosengren

Section F: Damaged careers

Chapter 17: (Re)visiting the (Jewish) archive of Gideon Klein – Terezín, 1941–1944 David Fligg

Chapter 18: Eugeniusz Morawski: life under the Nazi occupation of Warsaw Oskar Łapeta

Section G: Symphonies of war and resistance

Chapter 19: Religious patriotism and grotesque ridicule: responses to Nazi oppression in Pavel Haas’s unfinished war-time Symphony Martin Čurda

Chapter 20: Paul von Klenau’s Ninth Symphony: a case study Niels Krabbe

Chapter 21: Shostakovich’s ‘Leningrad Symphony’: music of endurance David Fanning and Michelle Assay

Section H: Complex and uneasy legacies

Chapter 22: Listening in the Grey Zone Michael Beckerman

Chapter 23: The marketing of backstories: approaches to the legacies of music composed in fraught circumstances Mirjam Frank

Chapter 24: Nazism, music and Tyrolean identity Kurt Drexel

Chapter 25: Bartók against the Nazis: the Italian premieres of Bluebeard’s Castle (1938) and The Miraculous Mandarin (1942) Nicolò Palazzetti

Chapter 26: Contemporary music and cultural politics in Switzerland during World War II: between neutrality and nationalism Simeon Thompson

About the Editors

David Fanning is Professor of Music at the University of Manchester and author and editor of books, articles and critical editions on Nielsen, Shostakovich, Weinberg, Expressionism, and the 20th-century symphonic tradition. An experienced chamber music pianist and accompanist, he is also active as a critic for Gramophone and The Daily Telegraph.

Erik Levi is Visiting Professor of Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is author and editor of several books relating to Music during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich, and is also active as a broadcaster and critic for BBC Music Magazine Amongst his recent publications are Music and Displacement, co-edited with Florian Scheding, (2010), Mozart and the Nazis (2010), The Impact of Nazism on Twentieth-Century Music (2014) and Hanns Eisler and England (2014).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General