Despite the fact that swing and big band music were forbidden as “degenerate” in 1930s Nazi Germany, Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich’s propaganda minister, cobbled together a skilled group of jazz musicians to form a propaganda swing orchestra. The result was a bizarre combination of cheery tunes and hateful rants which were broadcast on medium- and short-wave bands to Canada, the US and Britain. It must have been pretty demoralizing to be listening to the radio only to hear a lightly-accented German interject his anti-American sentiments in the middle of a nice swing tune, particularly when the outcome of the war was far from certain.

Sample tracks:

See the links section below to listen to more of this strange music.