Back in the Nazi years (1933 to 1943) Jazz music was labeled “Neggernmusik.” Attributed (rightly) to blacks and Jews, it was considered pollution to German sensibilities. Jazz lovers, jazz musicians, and swing dancers were all sent to concentration camps.
When it comes to World War II propaganda, everybody probably has heard of “Tokyo Rose.” But do you know about Charlie and His Orchestra? This was a German jazz band put together by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
How Django Reinhard survived Word War II
Reinhardt was a Roma jazz musician. During World War II both Roma and jazz musicians were targeted by the Nazi regime. Over a million Roma were exterminated for presumed racial inferiority and jazz was believed to combine the worst of Blacks and Jews (i.e., “musical race defilement”). Just listening to a jazz record could get you sent to a concentration camp.