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Michael H. Kater

Teoksen Hitler Youth tekijä

19+ teosta 353 jäsentä 5 arvostelua 2 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Michael Kater is Distinguished Research Professor of History at the Centre for German and European Studies, York University, Toronto.

Sisältää nimet: Michael Kater, Kater Michael H.

Image credit: Michael H. Kater

Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

Cleansing the Fatherland: Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene (1994) — Esipuhe, eräät painokset55 kappaletta

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Muut nimet
KATER, Michael H.
Zittau, Germany
University of Toronto
University of Heidelberg
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Kater was born in Zittau, Germany. He moved to Canada as a teenager where he first studied at St. Michael's college before eventually going onto the University of Toronto where he earned his BA degree in 1959 and then his MA in 1961 respectively. In 1966, while at the University of Heidelberg, he produced a written thesis on the subject of the Nazis' 'Ancestral Heritage' association.
Since 1967, Kater has been teaching at the York University in Toronto. Many of his books have been translated into German.



Having wrapped up this work, I come away with the sense that a better name would be "The Purge," in that the purge of modernist and "Jewish" currents from Nazi German, and the organizational fight to control those processes, is what Kater is mostly writing about. As for Nazi culture creation, there is really not much to say, apart from writing checks to the artistic second-raters left after this purge.

Besides that, Kater does write sympathetically (mostly) about those artists caught up in the maelstrom, and their attempts to survive. Kater basically ends by considering the continuities that made it past "Zero Hour," into post-1945 Germany, and how just because Hitler's vision was slapped down, it doesn't mean that his victims could pick up and begin anew in Germany. One suspects that, in a twisted irony, that those who had not been present in the homeland to experience the whirlwind were not wanted as witnesses to the failures of German society, as the silent complicity to try and forget the immediate past draped itself over Adenauer's Germany. Remembrance and coming to terms would have to wait until another decade.

On the whole I thought this was a worthwhile book, but as a magisterial final statement (Kater is in his mid-eighties), I thought it fell a bit short. At points I got the impression that Kater himself is tired of writing about the Third Reich. Kater's conclusion trying to draw comparisons between how the great totalitarian states managed culture mostly came off as a throwaway effort.
… (lisätietoja)
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Shrike58 | May 15, 2023 |
Before I start reading this book I had the vague idea that Nazis didn't like jazz and they had acted accordingly. It thus came as a surprise to realize that truth was a lot less straightforward than I had antecipated. Being jazz in the twenties and thirties a music created largely by black americans and often associated with cabaret life and to the margins of respectful bourgeois society, it was understandably loathed by the Nazis before and after their ascent to power in January 1933. To compound the problem, Nazis disliked jazz also on ideological grounds: a sizable proportion of white jazzmen, in Germany and elsewhere, were jewish and it was rather natural for the Nazis to extend their antisemitic paranoia to the "degenerate jewish-nigger music." Having said this, a few extra surprising factors were at work to prevent the complete formal ban on jazz in the Third Reich: one was the very nature of the Nazi dictatorship itself: contrary to what has become the general misconception afterwards, the fascist regime of Germany was not a strictly top-down affair: much effort was spent by the top Nazi hierarchy to promote public consensus around their policies and avoid arousing unnecessary hostility among sizable fractions of the population. In the other hand, a relatively high latitude for iniciative was given to middle and low level party and state servents to "work towards the fuhrer." This very nature of the regime accounts for erractic policies in diverse areas of public life being followed at different times, places, and decision levels, not only in the period before the outbreak of the War but even later. Besides these features of the Nazi regime, some characteristics intrinsic to jazz helps explain its survival in Germany under such extremely adverse conditions: first of all, jazz by the thirties and forties have become a popular dance music (the swing style) and, even more relevant, has permeated a lot of other dance music styles that were not, strictly speaking, jazz, so that the boundary of what was and what was not jazz had become somewhat murky; secondly, the hard core fans and players, always a tiny minority, were willing to go on listening and playing jazz even when that could imply risking their own physical integrity, and even their lifes. All these general factors explain that the history of jazz in the Third Reich is a notoriously more interesting affair than one would have expected: the official repulsion for the "jewish-nigger music" went hand-in-hand with the also very official promotion of a "German jazz" style by the top leadership, notably by Goebbels himself. The prohibition of jazz in German radio stations went in parallel with the radio diffusion of jazz music in the Wehrmacht radio stations and with swing orchestras touring the troops in occupied countries, in the front lines, and even in German proper. This far from consistent attitude of the Nazi authorities didn't prevent the harassement and persecution of jazz fans and musicians by several repressive bodies (Hitler's Youth, Gestapo, SS) and some of them, most notably the Hamburg Swingers, ended up spending time, or even losing their lives, in concentration camps. This book is an excellent place to get to know these and other facets of jazz in the Third Reich: not only the general policies but also the lives of the musicians and fans and their struggle to keep jazz alive in spite of all the formidable adversities build up by an unbelivably paranoid dictatorship. To sum up: this is a must read book to everyone interested in jazz, the Nazi regime, or both.… (lisätietoja)
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FPdC | May 25, 2010 |
Describes the systematic approach the Nazi's used to indoctrinate Germany's youth into National Socialism. Frightening in its implications for the susceptibility of all of us to appeals to our interests and our human need to belong.
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JONESBOROUU | 1 muu arvostelu | Feb 9, 2009 |


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