Commentary on 3rd Reich rules for dance bands

From ABJ


Nazi Germany: Dance Band Rules and Regulations During the 3rd Reich (courtesy: Malcolm Rockwell)

  1. In the repertoire of light orchestras and dance bands, pieces in fox-trot rhythm (so-called swing) are not to exceed 20%
  2. In the repertoire of this so-called jazz type, preference is to be given to compositions in a major key and to lyrics expressing joy in life ("Kraft durch Freude"), rather than Jewishly gloomy lyrics
  3. As to the tempo, too, preference is to be given to brisk compositions as opposed to slow ones (so-called blues); however, the pace must not exceed a certain degree of allegro commensurate with the Aryan sense for discipline and moderation. On no account will negroid excesses in tempo (so-called hot jazz) be permitted, or in solo performances (so-called breaks)
  4. So-called jazz compositions may contain at the most 10% syncopation; the remainder must form a natural legato movement devoid of hysterical rhythmic references characteristic of the music of the barbarian races and conducive to dark instincts alien to the German people (so-called "riffs")
  5. Strictly forbidden is the use of instruments alien to the German spirit (e.g. so-called cowbells, flex-a-tone, brushes, etc.) as well as mutes which turn the noble sound of brass-wind instruments into a Jewish-Freemasonic yell (so-called wa-wa, in hat, etc.)
  6. Prohibited are so-called drum breaks longer than half a bar in four quarter beat (except in stylized military marches)
  7. The double bass must be played solely with the bow in so-called jazz compositions; plucking of strings is prohibited, since it is damaging to the instrument and detrimental to Aryan musicality. If a so-called pizzicato effect is absolutely desirable for the character of the composition, let strict care be taken lest the string is allowed to patter on the sordine, which is henceforth forbidden
  8. Provocative rising to one's feet during solo performance is forbidden
  9. Musicians are likewise forbidden to make vocal improvisations (so-called scat)
  10. All light orchestras and dance bands are advised to restrict the use of saxophones of all keys and to substitute for them violin-celli, violas, or possibly a suitable folk instrument.

Signed, Baldur von Blodheim, Reichsmusicfuhrer und Oberscharfuhrer SS


That piece is quite remarkable. But it seems to me to be just a relatively minor metaphor of the great intellectual corruption and debasement that took hold of the the German government when Hitler came into power.

And it puts one in mind of the early beginnings of the same thing happening here now -- when we see our governmental science advisory boards, including FDA, EPA, NASA, etc., agreeing to the administration's attempt to suppress or censor important scientific or environmental information that can be politically embarrassing for the administration.

And the same know-nothing and cavalier attitude about our Constitution and democratic traditions is shown by the writers of the PATRIOT Act within the Department of Justice, and by those senators and congressmen who wish to excuse the president's absolute illegalities and his unilateral breaking of international laws that the US has long been signatory to, not to speak of his evisceration of much of our previously revered Bill of Rights.

Who would ever have imagined that in our country someone could be held incarcerated without trial, without legal recourse -- for years? Who could have imagined that our government carries out a policy of "rendition*" or our government carrying out torturous forced feeding of prisoners in a Guantanamo concentration camp, prisoners who choose to starve themselves to death rather than continue to live in hopeless limbo with no legal recourse forever -- who could have fancied those images? And then there is no press or media outcry in response. Who could have thought up the total picture of what our country has already been turned into?

"It Can't Happen Here" was, we always used to think, just a cautionary title of an old book about the advent of a police state. But it IS happening here before our eyes, at an accelerating pace with the final passage of the PATRIOT Act and the "so-what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it" attitude of the president and the administration, which threatens more war, now in Iran, and God knows where else, and more of the same inept, illegal, unconscionable policies in everything until the end of its tenure.

The wonder and mystery of it all is that the party of the "opposition" chooses to be so ineffective or apparently blind to what is happening.


(*) "Rendition" is the made-up term in PR Pentagonese -- "rendering" prisoners (i.e., flying them usually drugged and blindfolded) to other countries, ones that practice torture, usually 3rd world ones such as Egypt, Syria or Pakistan but also eastern European areas such as Romania, etc., when "more information" is required to be gotten from the detainees. Some of the prisoners are ultimately released, others disappear.

Sec. of State Condolezza Rice says the US "is not aware" that these countries use torture on the detainees that the CIA kidnaps and brings there. But much evidence has come out in EU reports and testimonials about the degrading and brutal treatment undergone by the prisoners.