ENG  »  Explanations  »  Aryanization


When Hitler came to power in 1933, the music business was deemed to be “corrupt,” “Bolshevik,” and “run by Jews.” Music in the Third Reich had to be “Aryan,” German through and through. The State did not leave music to its citizens but seized it with an iron grip.

The process of Aryanization, the isolation and elimination of Jews and Jewish influence from “Aryan” society, was a fundamental component of Nazi policy and gradually took over musical life.

In the Netherlands, the first anti-Jewish measures came into effect at the beginning of October 1940 until the performance of music by Jewish composers was prohibited. Later, Jewish musicians working as civil servants were dismissed; this included teachers at conservatories and music schools. In late May 1941, it was announced that Jews were banned from playing in symphony orchestras. In September, a provision followed prohibiting Jews from taking part in “artistic productions,” thereby signaling a decisive end to the careers of Jewish entertainers and jazz musicians as well.