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Friday, October 30, 2015

The Anti-Nazi Teen Gang that Beat Up Hitler Youth and Danced to Jazz

If you are a fan of music (and I assume you are if you somehow landed here at my blog), and particularly jazz, no doubt you have run across stories of a counterculture of jazz loving young people that formed in Nazi Germany.

Like young people all over the world, these German youth fell in love with the sounds that began in New Orleans, and they wanted to listen to it, play it, and dance to it. Rules be damn!

MessyNessy over at messynessychic.com shared a great post that tells their story - complete with incredible pictures.

If you have ever wondered why the people of Germany didn't stand up and fight back, these young badasses did. They broke all the rules, hanging out in the mixed company of boys and girls, listening to banded music, and even taking delight in beating up their mainstream counterparts, the Hitler Youth.

Here's an excerpt of MessyNessy's post:

"A band of adolescent music-lovers, swing dancers and snappy dressers– not exactly the type you’d expect to take on the Nazi Hitler Youth. But in pre-WWII Germany, the Nazi regimentation of society inadvertently gave rise to massive teenage street gangs who beat up the Hitler Youth, tagged anti-Nazi graffiti at train stations– and listened to jazz.
Aged 12 to 17, these non-conforming youths were usually referred to as Edelweiss Pirates by the Gestapo, an anti-authoritarian subculture of kids rebelling against the system– in this case, the Nazi regime.

When membership of the Hitler Youth became mandatory in 1936, thousands of youths, particularly from Cologne and of working class families, wanted no part in it. The strict paramilitary and gender segregated organisation didn’t exactly fit in with their teenage lifestyle of hanging out on street corners, listening to jazz and swing music and flirting with the opposite sex.
Jazz music was considered “degenerate music” by Nazi ideology, because it was often performed by black and Jewish musicians and promoted free love."

For the rest of the post, and more pictures and stories of these cool jazz loving kids, go to: http://www.messynessychic.com/2015/10/29/the-anti-nazi-teen-gang-that-beat-up-hitler-youth-and-danced-to-jazz/

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