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Hitler's Airwaves: The Inside Story of Nazi Radio Broadcasting and Propaganda Swing cover
  • ISBN: 9780300067095
  • ISBN10: 0300067097

Hitler's Airwaves: The Inside Story of Nazi Radio Broadcasting and Propaganda Swing

by Bergmeier, Horst J. P. A Bergmeier, H. J. P.

  • List Price: $55.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publish date: 04/01/1997
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Jazz was banned from German broadcasting as soon as the Nazis came to power in 1933. Yet throughout the Second World War, American jazz and swing were core components of the Third Reich's propaganda. Jazz classics such as W. C. Handy's famous St. Louis Blues, their lyrics neatly tampered with, came belting over the airwaves, alongside the famous "Germany Calling" programs directed at Britain and allied forces around the world.

This fascinating book sets Goebbels's propaganda orchestra, a swing band fronted by the crooner Karl ("Charlie") Schwedler, within the context of the Reich Ministry for Propaganda. The first book-length study of the full extent of the Nazi propaganda effort, it draws on a vast array of newly available material from Germany, England, and the United States. Horst Bergmeier and Rainer Lotz explore the origins of subversive radio broadcasting, describe the establishment of Goebbels's Propaganda Ministry and the rapid growth of its foreign-language broadcasting division, and provide the most detailed anatomy we have of its organization, operation, and personnel. They examine the workings of the so-called "Secret Stations", ostensibly run by opposition groups broadcasting from inside target countries but actually based in the Berlin Olympic stadium. They reveal the ingenious scam of Radio Arnhem that, for several months in 1944-45, the Germans passed off as a genuine Allied forces program. Interwoven with the narrative are fascinating biographies of key figures and leading foreign expatriates in the service of the Reich.

The book is illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs and includes an invaluable CD sampler featuring rare tracks of "Charlie andHis Orchestra" and other contemporary broadcast material.

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