Organ music in Nazi Germany
ORGEL 104 (2008), nr. 4, 36-43 [summary]
German church music of the 1930s can be viewed as practically useful
church music originating from a re-orientation toward the roots of
German culture, in which neo-classical ideals like “generally
comprehensible” and “uniting the
congregation” played a role.
It also functioned within
national socialism. Church music composers in nazi Germany made
themselves opportunistically useful to nazi culture, and composed also
secular works of which some are interwoven with national socialism.
even German organ culture could escape the control of nazi culture.
Monumental organs could symbolize better than any other instruments the
ideals of the time: they symbolized society as a whole, that could be
played by a single person (Führer).
The static sound of the
organ matched the desired objectivity, and the overwhelming sound of
the organ referred to the innate power of society. The organ was
therefore used with great frequency in (political) celebrations.