[Anti-Semitism in Music] [National Socialism] Gerigk, Herbert. (1905–1996) & Stengel, Theo. (1905–1995) [Perle, George. (1915–2009)]

Lexikon der Juden in der Musik

A copy of the anti-Semitic "Dictionary of the Jews in music," the quintessential publication of Nazi musicology and maybe the most notorious reference work of the entire discipline. First edition. Berlin: Hahnefeld, 1940. 393 (202) pp. Only the front matter counts pages; the dictionary, from page [11], counts columns instead (two per page), as do many German dictionaries, including MGG. Original binding. Handstamp of George Perle to head of front endpaper. Handstamp of "Adolf-Hitler-Schule Waldbröl" to center of endpaper. Handstamps, "Ausgabe 1" and "Ausgabe III", spread over verso of front endpaper and page [1]. 7.75 x 5 inches (19.4 x 12.3 cm). Spine mostly detached, with some loss. From the collection of the American composer George Perle.

As explained in the preface, the dictionary's purpose was to purge the last Jewish traces from Germany's music life, declaring that everybody should be able to check whether a composer, other musician, musicologist, etc. was Jewish (by Nazi standards) so that accidental performance of music by a Jewish composer, use of the libretto by a Jewish author or translator, playback of a recording by a Jewish performer, use of editions by Jewish editors, study of writings on music by Jewish scholars, etc., all of which were strictly prohibited, could be prevented. Musicians deemed "half-Jewish" are marked with the letter (H); musicians who are "certainly Jewish" but no documentation is available, are marked by a cross. Some musicians who had enjoyed canonical status and/or popularity prior to 1933 (e.g. Mendelssohn) or had been deemed otherwise historically significant (e.g. Schoenberg) are allotted longer articles, in which their achievements are systematically "refuted", i.e. denied in libelous manner. There is also a separate list of named works by Jewish composers and librettists.

Gerigk was employed by the Amt Rosenberg, while Stengel held a position at the Reichsmusikkammer. Both joined the Nazi party before 1933. They were among the rare musicologists who were denied academic positions in the post-war Federal Republic of Germany—at least partly due to their authorship of this particular publication. Still, Gerigk was able to a secure position as a music critic, while Stengel worked as a music teacher.

Ironically, the Lexikon der Juden in der Musik is now routinely used as a reference work in the research of music and musicians persecuted by the Nazi regime. A German scholar, Eva Weissweiler, published a commented reprint under the title Ausgemerzt! Das Lexikon der Juden in der Musik und seine mörderischen Folgen (Cologne: Dittrich, 1999). Copies of the original are rather rare.

The Adolf-Hitler-Schule in Waldbröl was a monstrous project of a Nazi elite school that was never completed. (22030)