This important book investigates the role played by German musicology in buttressing Nazi institutions and ideology. Pamela Potter examines the social, economic, and intellectual factors that caused some German musical scholars to support with such fervor the ideological aims of the Nazis. She argues convincingly that many of the ideas that served the regime not only predated Hitler's rise to power but survived the Nazi period to influence the conception of music history-including that of American musical scholarship-down to the present time.
Potter reveals that prominent German musicologists went beyond other scholars in serving the state by publicizing the German musical legacy as a source of national pride; exploring politically relevant research topics, including pseudo-scientific race theories; and participating in the Germanization of occupied and annexed territories during World War II. Nazi leaders recognized musicology's potential service to Nazi causes, says Potter, and musicological ventures enjoyed generous support from the government, party, and SS. Scrutinizing private papers, archives, and rare publications, Potter breaks the silence imposed by the postwar German musicological establishment and demonstrates the extent to which the entire profession was politicized during the Nazi era.