Freddie Brocksieper: Half-Jew JazzMusician from National-Socialist Germany

Freddie Brocksieper drummed with Charlie and his Orchestra, a swing-band
commissioned by Joseph Goebbels to broadcast musical propaganda to the Allies.


What follows is a translation from German Wikipedia of an article about jazz drummer Freddie Brocksieper:

Fritz “Freddie” Brocksieper (24 August 1912 in Istanbul, Turkey – 17 January 1990) was a German jazz-musician, drummer, and band-leader.

From 1930 he played professionally in Nuremberg. In 1939 he went to Berlin. There he made recordings with the Golden Seven (1939), with Benny de Weille (1940), and Willy Berking (1940-1941), and also in the National-Socialist propaganda big-band Charlie and his Orchestra. His style on the drums was influenced above all by Gene Krupa.

The son of a Greek-speaking Jewish woman and a German engineer was able to survive National-Socialism as an indispensable swing musician. Freddie Brocksieper is considered a key figure of early European big-band jazz. After the Second World War he led various bands in Stuttgart, Munich, and Berlin, and played also in American officers’ clubs. With his bands he made the front-page of Stars and Stripes. From 1957  he regularly broadcast live concerts from his studio in Munich.

From 1964 he played chiefly in trios and often with American soloists in Europe. In 1980 he received the German Record Prize (der Deutsche Schallplattenpreis).[German Wikipedia]

The article contains some important facts. It reveals, contrary to some claims, that jazz was tolerated in National-Socialist Germany, and it shows that a Jew (according to Jewish standards, but a Mischling under the Nuremberg Laws) could have a nice career under Hitler’s rule — without ever being gassed or otherwise mistreated! The details of Freddie Brocksieper’s career are very inconvenient for the perpetuation of the traditional Anglo-American and Jewish propaganda about National-Socialist Germany.

That is why I translated the article from German Wikipedia and posted it on English Wikipedia some time ago. 

Well, what happened? Apparently, a little less than a year ago, this article caught the attention of somebody who felt that it was not good to let  Anglophones read such information. The article was not merely edited — since that would have left evidence of suppressed information — but was removed, and replaced by a new article that entirely omits reference to Brocksieper’s Jewish ancestry and his career under Hitler’s rule.


The article on German Wikipedia does have the deficiency that its information is not sourced. But there is plenty of information on English Wikipedia as well that is not sourced. The normal procedure on Wikipedia, if somebody thinks that a claim in an article might not be true, is to insert a note, “citation needed,” then to wait for someone to find the necessary documentation, then to modify the article accordingly. Normally corrections on Wikipedia are made piecemeal, not through deletion and substitution of entire articles. My translation should not have been deleted. The crucial points, that Brocksieper had a Jewish mother1, and earned his living playing jazz and swing in National-Socialist Germany2, are easily documented with credible online sources.

If you don’t know German and you have doubts as to whether I have accurately represented what the original German article says, I invite you to view the original German article through an automatic online translator; then compare it to the current, much smaller English version that now appears in place of my translation.

1. Phil Daoust, “Swingtime for Hitler,” The Guardian 27 October 2004: “Who could be a jazz musician Nazi?” said drummer Fritz Brocksieper, whose grandmother was Jewish.
2. F. Steinbiss and D. Eisermann, “Wir haben damals die beste Musik gemacht,” Der Spiegel 18 April 1988: Hinter der Phantom-Band “Charlie And His Orchestra” standen der Bandleader Lutz Templin, der Jazz-Sänger Karl “Charlie” Schwedler und eine Besetzung, der in den letzten Jahren des Zweiten Weltkriegs die Elite der europäischen Swingmusik angehörte – aus Italien der Trompeter Nino Impallomeni und der bedeutende Jazzpianist Primo Angeli, aus Belgien der Klarinettist Benny de Weille und der Posaunist Josse Breyre, außerdem der Meistergitarrist Meg Tevelian und aus Deutschland der Posaunist Willy Berking, der Tenorsaxophonist Eugen Henkel und der Schlagzeuger Fritz Brocksieper.

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