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Music under German Occupation 1938-1945: Complicity and Resistance.

Edge Hill University.

Following on from their entry into Austria and the Sudetenland in the late 1930s, the Germans pursued a policy of cultural imperialism in the countries they occupied during the Second World War. As a result, almost all music institutions in the occupied lands came under direct German control, or were subject to severe scrutiny and censorship from the occupying forces. It remains a moot point as to what extent Nazi policies infiltrated the musical fabric of these nations and how effectively musicians complied with, or resisted such impositions.

The conference proposes to explore these issues, as well as consider the degree to which German cultural imperialism impacted upon countries that were part of the Axis (Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia), had established close diplomatic relations with Germany (Spain, Portugal and from 1939 to 1941, the Soviet Union) or ostensibly remained neutral (Sweden, and Switzerland) during this period. In addition, we hope to reflect on the post-war implications of German occupation on the musical environment in Europe.

This conference is the first of its kind in the English-speaking world and has aroused tremendous interest from the academic community, with abstracts received from the UK, France, Germany, Denmark and China. Plans are already in hand to publish the most distinguished papers as part of an edited book, and if there is sufficient interest further international conferences on this theme will be organised in other countries on biennial or triennial basis.

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