Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

A. Denise Phillips

Committee Members

Vejas Liulevicius, Margaret Andersen


This thesis focuses on the concept of cultural national identity during the Third Reich and how the Nazis attempted to shape an image of Germany to their liking. By specifically examining musical culture and restrictions, this thesis investigates the methods the Nazis used to define Germany through music by determining what aspects of Germany’s culture were not “traditionally” German—namely those of the Jewish minority in Germany. Therefore, this study follows the Nazi restrictions on the German population who participated in the creation and performance of music and is then contrasted with those imposed upon the corresponding Jewish population. The resulting conclusion is that the Nazis created a place for exclusion and oppression, but managed to, ironically, create a place of refuge for Jewish musicians in the Third Reich. Music was, in the end, an unstoppable force which the Nazis could not control or fully regulate.

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