Mozart and the Nazis How the Third Reich Abused a Cultural Icon Erik Levi

Publication date:
15 Nov 2010
Yale University Press
336 pages: 235 x 156mm
16 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Despite the apparent incompatibility between Mozart’s humanitarian and cosmopolitan outlook and Nazi ideology, the Third Reich tenaciously promoted the great composer’s music to further the goals of the fascist regime. In this revelatory book, Erik Levi draws on period articles, diaries, speeches, and other archival materials to provide a new understanding of how the Nazis shamelessly manipulated Mozart for their own political advantage. The book also explores the continued Jewish veneration of the composer  during this period while also highlighting some of the disturbing legacies of Mozart reception that resulted from Nazi appropriation of his work. Augmented by rare contemporary illustrations, Mozart and the Nazis will be widely welcomed by readers with interests in music, German history, Holocaust studies, propaganda, and politics in the twentieth century.

Erik Levi is reader in music, Royal Holloway University of London, and author of Music in the Third Reich. He lives in Surrey, UK.

"One of the year’s most important books." —Adam Lively, Sunday Times

"Erik Levi handles his material with grace and erudition, giving an intelligent account of the battle between the forces of brutality and of civilisation in the Nazi years. A handsome volume, lavishly illustrated and packed with detail, his book would make a worthy addition to any cultural historian’s bookshelf." —Catherine Lafferty, The Tablet

"Mozart and the Nazis is as readable as it is informative: for all the scholarly weight of the content, it holds your attention as a good murder mystery does."—Martin Anderson, International Record Review

"Levi perfectly captures the nervous oscillations between highly emotive patriotism and more thoughtful commentary. He is cool, articulate and backed by painstaking scholarship and research."—Rob Cowan, Gramophone

Related links

Read an article by Erik Levi on Yale's London Blog: Mozart and the Charade of Fascist Culture