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During the rise of the Third Reich, when German leaders were making their speeches and martial music was becoming a norm, there was a great demand for recordings. The recording companies in Nazi Germany were almost at price-wars with each other, trying to keep up with demand. As time went on and the economy grew, the demand for military music slowed down; though when popular rallies and speeches were made, these were always in demand.
Records of a pure military nature were produced in 78 rpm records during the period of the Third Reich. They were seldom found in music shops in Germany because the German population of that era could readily avail itself to an almost endless series of state-supported political and military parades, ceremonies and mass rallies. 'Live' performances of martial music was always part of daily life.
In my RCA catalog titled," Verzeichnis der Deutschen Musikplatten", Dezember 1938, for the year 1939, there are 60-70 march titles out of 2000 general recordings produced for retail sale at record shops.
Since records were a minor luxury in Europe, the playing public saw that the classics, show tunes and dance music were the best sellers (similar to today). Most recordings of military music were produced for radio play instructional and archival purposes. Moreover, in 1943, after the fall of Stalingrad and a hasty imposition of the ' Total War ' economy, production of recordings were sharply curtailed. Very few recordings were released after the summer of 1944.
Contributing to the rarity of Third Reich (and earlier) recordings, artifacts of a political-cultural nature such as books, films, art objects and recordings - especially those too closely identified with the outlawed National Socialist Party or the Military, were earmarked for immediate destruction during the Allied Occupation period. Entire libraries were shredded, films burned, and recordings of every variety (including many priceless classical discs), were confiscated by the ton for their salvage value to the reemerging German Industry.
These artifacts were mercilessly - without regard for historical importance - reground, forming the basis of postwar ' approved ' music and plastic gadgets. This accounts mainly for the rarity of recordings - especially the recordings done in the parademarsch - and especially the paradeschritt (goosestep) form.
Most of the recordings that you hear are done mainly in the 'concert style' for radio broadcast, or live music being played by military band in a park-setting; for listening only.
Some of my information was from an article written by a company called Communication Archives, now no longer in business. Not all research can be 100% accurate on Historical information regardless of the amount of detailed research accomplished. A vast amount of material was lost, and information will differ from person to person - even if they were present during the era. If you have any information to add or to correct any errors, please send an e-mail and I will try my best to give a reasonable answer.- Keith
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Date this page was last updated:
Friday, March 24, 2017