Reader Response #5 – UNST-132E
Why/How does art become political, according to Meyer?
In a time of revolution Nazi Germany used the art of music as a catalyst for their gain into absolute control and power. Music was used to manipulate the Germans to have a sense of loyalty to the Führer. The lyrics were based on “Nazi theory,” and that, “[music] was the cultural façade for a state that had terrorized the population into submission and was about to launch its imperialist wat.” (Meyer, 175) Music was used to blind the population and establish a more loyal German community to Hitler; it was a form of propaganda. The music was implemented into Hitler’s campaign to achieve total population control, to counter boycotts, and to cover up Hitler’s scheme.
The idea that Jazz music was considered “degenerate” as well as all Jewish music, whether it be traditional music or not was all to be banned. Hitler needed a reason for the disbandment from all that is Jewish, and music was on of his outlets. There was such a strong hate for “non-Aryan” music that people were forced to sing the Fuhrer’s songs,” [Hitler’s] hymns, cantatas, oratorios, and other political fighting songs… were sung by children daily,” (Meyer, 180) This was done so when they grew up they would want to join the Nazi nation without hesitation and to commit loyalty to Hitler’s Third Reich.
Meyer, Michael. “A Musical Façade for the Third Reich.” “Degenerate Art the Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany”. Ed. Stephanie Barron. L.A.: L.A. County Museum of Art. N.Y.: Abrams, 1991.