HITLER'S AIRWAVES

THE INSIDE STORY OF NAZI RADIO BROADCASTING AND PROPAGANDA SWING

The previously untold story of how the Nazi war machine used jazz and swing for propaganda. Independent scholars Bergmeier and Lotz have succeeded in crafting a work that will appeal to both a specialized audience and the general public. Most people know that jazz and swing were immediately banned upon Hitler's ascension to power in 1933. Swing represented the decadent society of America, while jazz threatened the racial purity of the Aryan race. A deep-rooted anti-Semitism underlay these attitudes: Swing was one component of modernism (``the refuse of a rotting society''); and jazz was being used by the Jews to corrupt the Aryan race through ``musical race defilement.'' Music at the home front had to conform to the traditionalist tastes of Hitler and the Nazi elite, but when it came to propaganda aimed at foreign countries, swing and jazz seemed the perfect bait. Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels was always sensitive to the enormous influence of the radio, which he viewed as second only to the press as the ``most effective weapon in our struggle for existence.'' Strictly speaking, the book's title is misleading; only one of the eight chapters deals with jazz and swing radio propaganda. Four chapters offer a historical introduction to the propaganda ministry and the development of radio in Germany after WW I. An additional chapter reviews the well-known rivalry within the Nazi hierarchy over propaganda; and the final two chapters deal with Nazi radio broadcasts over Europe. The authors have made good use of previously unseen documents to reconstruct the Nazi effort to use music as propaganda. The CD accompanying the book includes catchy tunes (such as a jazzy ``Onward Christian Soldiers'' with new, anti-Semitic lyrics) and original radio broadcasts. A fascinating footnote to the history of the Nazi propaganda machine. (40 illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: June 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-300-06709-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1997

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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