German Nazi Swing for Americans

WFMU, an underground radio station from New York is featuring some genuine Nazi swing music from the 1930’s. The story behind this is a very interesting historical footnote, I didn’t know about either. Although swing music was banned s “degenerate” and “nigger music” in Germany itself, Joseph Goebbels, the Reichspropagandaminister, used it to spread the Nazi message to the UK, USA, and Canada. He put together a big band of pretty respectable Jazz musicians called “Charlie and his Orchestra” led by someone called Karl Schwendler singing the latest swing hits with an adorably thick German accent and not very subtle rants and raves against the Jews, the BBC and everything democratic, while praising past German victories in wars and the virtues of National Socialism. What is fascinating is the contrast between the superficially harmless and joyfull music and the hate preaching lyrics.

The WFMU has two blog posts with links to the MP3s:

“Charlie and His Orchestra“, March 6, 2005 and
“Still More Nazi Swing Music” December 6, 2005.

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