Music and Jews under Nazi rule

Music and Jews under Nazi rule


norman lebrecht

February 28, 2014

I’ve just been notified that my sold-out session at Jewish Book Week in London this Sunday has been moved too a much larger hall within King’s Place and tickets are once more available – either by the website (tickets a very reasonable £6.50) or at the door.

I shall be talking to Michael Haas, producer of Decca’s Entartete Musik series and author of Forbidden Music, and Raphael Yerushalmy, author of an exquisite novella on the 1939 Salzburg Festival, Saving Mozart. Lots to discuss.

Link here. Do come.



  • Valerio Tura says:

    The stories of a certain number of Soviet composers, beggining during the Stalin era, up until shortly before Gorbaciov, are also very interesting. And there are loads of very good and largely unknown music…

  • Michael Schaffer says:

    Because Jewish musicians and composers were, by 1933, the principal conveyors of Germany’s historic traditions and the ideals of German culture, the isolation, exile and persecution of Jewish musicians by the Nazis became an act of musical self-mutilation.

    There were many eminent and important German Jewish performing musicians and, indeed, many highly promising composers in 1933 and their persecution and exile was definitely a serious loss to German music life, but to say they were “the principal conveyors of Germany’s historic traditions” is an exaggeration, German music traditions survived without them and after the war, many of them came back and participated in music life in Germany anyway.

    I agree that the impact on contemporary music (meaning, new compositions) was probably much more severe, but that doesn’t explain why the talents who fled Germany did not really flourish elsewhere, with few exceptions. Why weren’t they more appreciated in the places they fled to (mostly Britain and the US, I guess)?

    Under the guise of organizing a concert for Nazi officials, Steiner formulates a plan to save Mozart that could dramatically change the course of the war.

    Really? That doesn’t sound like a particularly great plot to me. The war was a huge catastrophe, it shouldn’t be trivialized in such a way.