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Overview Netherlands


Classical Music Life During the German Occupation
Musical life continued throughout WWII. At first the Germans let musicians carry on freely, but German ideology soon began to impose itself. The first anti-Jewish measures were introduced in early October 1940, and musicians were collectively registered with the Kultuurkamer ["Dutch Chambre of Culture"] over the course of 1941. Music became a state affair, and was to remain so after the war. 
 
The Jewish Symphony Orchestra
As part of its Aryanization campaign, the German occupier decreed that all Jewish orchestra musicians be dismissed. If not for this measure, the Netherlands would never have known a Jewish Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra consisted of 73 musicians, and it performed for eight months. Half of the musicians survived the war.
 
Light Music During the War Years
Like classical music, light music was also impacted by the directives issued by the Department of Public Information and the Arts. The departement imposed a ban on “music and lyrics alien to the people and detrimental to taste.” Jazz had to be purified of “Negroid” and English-speaking elements".
 
National-Socialist Song Culture
During WWII, German marching songs were heard in the streets of cities throughout occupied Europe. The importance of songs in the Third Reich was unparalleled. 
 
Organized Music Looting
The Nazis took a special interest in the music and musical objects formerly belonging to Jews. A special task force for music called Sonderstab Musik seized large quantities of musical instruments, sheet music, gramophone records, and other musical material in Western Europe.
 
After the war
The history of music during the war continued to shape much of the period following liberation. Purges were carried out in the musical world almost immediately after liberation, with the conduct and attitude of musicians closely scrutinized. And however loathsome the Nazi ideology that had produced them, a number of new regulations introduced by the government during the war proved irreversible.