Jazz music, very popular in the Weimar Republic, came under attack from right wing conservatives in the Third Reich. Despite efforts to eliminate fremdländisch (alien) music by Hitler and his followers, jazz survived early efforts at prohibition.

Popular demand for syncopated music by civilians and soldiers on leave from the front resulted in an upswing in Jazz and swing dancing during the early years of the successful German Blitzkrieg (Lightning war).

Nevertheless, in January 1942, all public and private dance events were prohibited. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels’ February 1943 proclamation of ‘total war’ signaled the end for most of the venues used by swing bands, which eventually effected jazz as well.

But Nazi response to jazz oscillated between prohibition for ideological reasons, and toleration for economic considerations. The Nazi government never decreed a nationwide ban on jazz, nor issue any corresponding law.