ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Performing Arts

Hitler's Bizarre Propaganda: Charlie and His Orchestra

Updated on October 25, 2014

Imagine, your an American GI somewhere on the front or perhaps further away listening to a radio broadcast and in "perfect" American English the announcer plays a favorite jazz, like St. Louis Blues. The music is spot on as to seemingly authenticity and even the vocalist sounds 100% American. Yet, as you listen and perhaps sing along, you stumble over the lyrics that, as best as you recall, seem different. The song continues and you think, "these can't be the words".

They are not the original lyrics and that was the bizarre propaganda machine Hitler used between 1940-43 using "Charlie and His Orchestra", a professional German unit that had learned perfectly American jazz favorites. The idea was to undermine American morale through their own music but altered lyrics that favored Germany. The Germans would use lyrics that were anti-Semitic, promoted attacks by the German forces. For instance, the lyrics to "You're Driving Me Crazy" were changed to: "The Jews are friends that are near me to cheer me, believe me they do, but Jews are the kind who will hurt me, desert me, and laugh at me too".

Charlie was the singer, his real name was Karl Schwendler. Recordings show there was no German accent when he sang, he sounded American. Much of the other targets for propaganda were Winston Churchill and the French. However, weird all this is, the Americans had their own propaganda music show conducted by Glen Miller in 1944. Glen Miller and others would perform during the, "German Wehrmacht Hour". The singer of this band was Johnny Desmond. Unlike the German version, the American version was subtle. Glen would play German standards and an American-German woman would then make statements about why it is great to be free and other virtues of being free.

The propaganda plan totally failed for Hitler. Not only did no American convert but even many German officers who loved American jazz scoffed at Charlie. It was just a stupid idea even though it was well executed.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      A WWII trivia I had not heard before. How would you compare it to the Japanese effort with Tokyo Rose? How did Schwendler fare after the war compared to Tokyo Rose?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)