Between Cultural Alternative and Protest. On the Social Function of Jazz after 1945 in Central Europe (GDR, Poland, Hungary, CSSR)


The author deals with the meaning of the term “protest“during communism in Central European countries: GDR, Poland, Hungary and CSSR. The protest against authoritative regime has been manifested in different forms: from open form of resistance to all forms of internal opposition. The word “protest“ had hybrid character especially in jazz in these four Central and Eastern European countries. It would be better to talk about jazz as a cultural alternative against gradually more powerful socialist regime than to talk about jazz as a way ofprotest. Jazz was forbidden in some places in these four countries. Some of the jazzmen were prisoners; jazz organizations were under control and censored between 1948 and 1989. In the context of American jazz, which had been used as a strong ideological and cultural weapon and as a symbol of free life style and human rights, the Polish and Hungarian national jazz styles had been developed. Comparing to Polish and Hungarian jazz, German jazz left the frame of individuality without folk elements in the context of the new music and German tradition in classical music which reached the avant-garde form of German free jazz.

I. Introduction: Necessity for research on the nature of “protest”

In actual research on Central European societies after World War II a focus is made on protesting structures against the established socialist system, looking for inner reasons for the decline and finally the end of socialism in Central European countries. In this context all aspects of social life are regarded. It is one of the main objectives of the research to come to more elaborated concept of protest. Protest was not only the vehement opposition against an authoritarian regime, but it also occurred in many ways. There are various protest forms that range from open resistances by uprisings to all forms of inner opposition. Looking at every-day-life, we can see this variety of protest forms represented in many spheres of life.

This paper intends to look at jazz-scenes after World War II in four Eastern and Central European countries in order to describe the specific character of this milieu protest. Surely, jazz was not part of protest movements in these societies, which is the reason why jazz is taken as an example of a certain social milieu here. By examining jazz, its milieu and its social function we can get to a better understanding and classification of the simple word “protest”, this is due to a specific hybrid nature of protest in the jazz world. Very often, we cannot speak of a function of jazz as medium for open protest, but rather as a medium for social niches of individual freedom with less government control. So we should not speak of jazz simply as a medium of protest, but as a way to realize a cultural alternative to the strengthening socialist system. The symbolic “American” nature of jazz played a decisive role in this process.


II. How jazz works socially

In the existing relations or memoires of Central European jazz musicians one will find all but direct and clear hints on the fact that they understood their performance of music additionally as a manifestation of any political program or as an expression of political protest against specific circumstances. On the contrary, we can read a lot about the music itself, the technical and artistic challenges, the problems of improvisation or the internal scene, but almost nothing about the political context. Thus, one could get the impression that jazz is located in a world free of politics and power. The relations mentioned above have an open and detailed character, therefore it is not possible to explain these missing political aspects with the efficiency of a government censorship.1 At the same time jazz in socialism was attacked and often forbidden. Several musicians were arrested jazz organisations were under extreme regulation and finally got destroyed. Government estimated the political meaning of jazz as a threat. The first task of this paper is to formulate a methodological base in order to examine the nature of this political meaning of jazz.

Two questions are to be answered; first, – How can we conceptualize “political music” in a theoretical, analytical and empirical-phenomenological way? Second, – Can we speak of a “protest” character of jazz?

Very often, the “political nature“ of jazz is taken as starting point for research without reflecting the genesis of this category.2 Instead of formulating myths of a political force by nature of jazz and instead of putting this political function of jazz a priori, one should consider a political function of music and jazz as a result of the process of reception under certain macro- and micro social conditions. Corresponding with positions of actual research3 the following hypothesis on the political nature of jazz shall serve as a base for reflections in this paper:

First it is important to state that music exists in a social context all the time,4 but this does not mean that music is combined with certain functions. Even if the idea of freedom and modernity was associated with jazz, this does not yet mean a political nature or a permanent political instrumentality. The early American jazz researchers state that jazz is the expression of the emotional situation of the oppressed coloured people, but this should not be a political manifesto.5 On the contrary, the early jazz was a manifesto for joy of love and playing music.

Descriptions of jazz scenes or memoirs of jazz musicians stress this element of joy very often. Using the practice of improvisation musicians had found a way to live and to express self-definition and freedom. Performing this practice they crossed borders and broke taboos, e.g. playing Bach in a jazzed version or adapting all elements of the high culture for the own purposes freely.6

Understanding the orientation of jazz as expression of choosing an identity, e.g. a pro-western orientation, we can conceive this form of political nature according to Hanns-Werner Heister as “a concentrated form of social issues” in music.7 For Dionizy Piątkowski jazz in after-war Poznań was “music, but not only music“, it was “expression of a special cultural independence“.8 Under the socialist regime this could mean that the governing power estimated the jazz-scene as politically dangerous.

The regime gave jazz a political meaning. Together with the consolidation of socialism after World War II this perception and function grew constantly. At this point it is important to stress that political function of jazz is a result of social conditions. Claiming jazz as political active music per se means misunderstanding its role in Central Europe after World War II. From this point jazz musicians conceived the political nature of their music practices and combined musical performance with the myth of fighting for freedom. From an analytical and methodological point of view it is very important to stress the difference between intended function on the one side and function as a result of the process of reception on the other side.9

This shows that jazz in Central Europe under socialism had two-folded position: its political meaning as expression of opposition which was visible and a position articulated in a characteristically indirect way. This shows that we should not simply understand jazz as a form of “protest”. Jazz under socialism was neither open resistance nor only a form of alternative culture. This is the reason why for example Eric Hobsbawm claims a “rebellious” nature of jazz. The notion of a rebellious nature of jazz means that here was also articulated protest but not openly in form of a political manifestation or as an act of resistance, but rather as a habitus in the sense of Pierre Bourdieu.

Why are these distinctions so important? If we understand jazz as a form of protest, then we claim at the same time a political intention from the very beginning, i.e. the protest against the system. But we already know that this was not the case. People liked jazz; they played it, heard it and danced to it. Doing so, they demonstrated their acceptance of western, modern and American culture, but these people did not automatically understand it as a form of political action.


III. How jazz expresses ideas

In the simplest way the intention of the author, the structure of the music composition and the real existing function in the process of reception go parallel. In the best case the intention of the author / composer is obtainable in written form and as such quotable. This is the case with Dances by the famous Polish jazz musician Zbigniew Namysłowski. In the text of the CD booklet Namysłowski is explaining his intention of the music as a form of jazz integrating Polish folk music elements in the form of dances. Indeed we find on the CD music with corresponding titles (e.g. Kuyaviak Goes Funky or Oberek), which were accepted by the public as definitely Polish jazz music. If we have all this information, it is simple to isolate the musical parameters supporting this function.

Music works without words and as a consequence it cannot transport explicit formulated messages.10 So, if the intention of a composer was to transport a message, they added either a programmatic title or a text to be sung.

Even if we can understand music in a semiotic way in analogy to language as a system of signs,11 this does not yet mean the possibility to draw conclusions on the meaning of the music only by examining the text (what is simple to be done with the ordinary philological means). In the example of the composition Original Fables of Faubus Ekkehard Jost demonstrates that one can combine the meaning of the text together with the intention of the author (which is documented) and that the music itself transports not more than a gestus in the sense of Bertolt Brecht, even if this gesture goes well with the socio-critical intention of the text.12 So, adding text is a possibility to give a concrete message and meaning to the inconcrete music.

This technique works the other way around, too. In 1958 Sonny Rollins produced a LP with the title Freedom Suite, what was followed by so harsh critics of conservative jazz commentators, that Rollins took his music back and republished the same composition with the totally harmless title Shadow Waltz. Only by changing the title Rollins had given another meaning to the music and calmed down his critical commentators. Jost adds, that this practice has nothing to do with the music, because the music itself remains without knowledge of its title and its creation is nothing more than an “aesthetic building. “13

This complex function gained importance in socialism, thus creating political function of jazz. Jerzy Milan describes that in the Poznań of the 1950s the performances of jazz musicians were observed by police, who wanted to know “which pieces we would play. When we had American orchestra pieces, we put over the original English titles homelike sounding ones […]. In respect of the music there were no pretensions, because no one of the ZMP-controllers was able to read music notes. “14

As a consequence the musicians could play their American jazz-standards without any disturbances, strengthening the milieu in its cultural autonomy and having a decisive political function.


IV. Jazz as a symbol and as a political weapon

World War II had led to a deep disillusion of national elites in Central Europe on behalf of the real role of leading European governments. The Polish and the Czechoslovak example show this most clearly: France and England left Central Europe to its fate, not doing anything to help these countries. Especially after “Munich” in 1938, this was a popular perception. Germany, what was traditionally accepted as “country of literates and philosophers”, had discredited this fame by the brutalities of the NS-regime from the very base. In Eastern and Central Europe, especially national-conservative circles, intending to propagate “European cultural values” as an alternative to the socialist power which they perceived simply as russification, suddenly felt that the base for their argumentation grew weaker and weaker. In this situation it was no wonder that a huge part of Eastern and Central Europe’s population accepted and expected the USA positively as “fresh” power, up to then only perceived as mighty homeland of democracy and human rights.15

In this mental construction jazz together with the transported myth of freedom could get an enormous social role. In all countries of Eastern and Central Europe especially in the first time after World War II the willingness to receive and accept the American jazz-music was extremely high. Not only from a political but also from a cultural perspective there was a common orientation on American cultural values. Jazz got a mobilizing character because of the fact that it was possible to oppose the Soviet occupants and the socialist system. Jazz meant not only a Western orientation, but also modernity. In the ongoing process of ideological polarity jazz offered the possibility to demonstrate the own position by the music.16

Beyond this, there was also a moment of direct, conscious and planned use of jazz as political weapon. When Soviet Union got discredited because of the forced introduction of socialist system in Eastern and Central Europe, the popularity of the USA increased rapidly. Jazz with its mythical meaning of music for freedom and against suppression got a crucial role in these countries and was warmly accepted in the developing socialist countries. Soon, American politics realized this social and political potential of jazz and tried to use it for their own purposes.17 During the Cold War, the USA made propaganda politics like the Soviet Union, putting jazz as key to American culture in the middle of their efforts. Concerts of great jazzmen like Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe were not simply musical events, but strengthened also the jazz-scenes in these countries, bringing them nearer to the “American” ideas of freedom. These concert tours were supported by the American government, making from simple musicians ambassadors of a certain political ideology.18 The same aim had various jazz emissions in the Cold War radio stations like Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and Voice of America19 or – for GDR – the Deutschlandfunk.20 Thus, jazz had become a political weapon of the West with the aim to weaken the political power of the Socialist countries.21


V. Americanism and own traditions

Jazz was intended as political weapon and got this function. But it would be false to state that jazz musicians in Eastern and Central Europe simply reproduced American jazz standards like Benny Goodman or Glenn Miller, celebrating a myth of freedom. Far more important for the development of the music itself and the jazz scenes in the observed countries is the ongoing process of a decentralized, chaotic reception of the music not officially from above but from the bottom.

This process of imitating reception, adaption and modification of American jazz in Eastern and Central Europe after World War II is a good example for cross-cultural influences. According to cross-cultural studies,22 products of a given culture are not simply translated into the context of another culture, but are transformed by this very process of slight modifications.23 The American jazz formed a sort of model that was adapted and modified in every country in a characteristic way. As a result of the combination of this American pattern with own national music traditions, soon national jazz styles began to occur. In Poland, a special jazz stream existed which dealt with the work of Chopin (Novi Sing Chopin, from 1978 onwards)24 or experimented with Polish folk music traditions like Zbigniew Namysłowski.25 In Czechoslovakia, as a consequence of the strong modernist tradition of art in the interwar period, jazz styles like Third Stream and Fusion Music got higher influence;26 in Hungary folk music elements influenced jazz heavily, continuing one of the main trends in Hungarian art music from Bartók and Kodály onwards;27 in GDR musicians tried also to give jazz an autonomous face.28 Thus there were autonomous jazz traditions in all the observed countries represented by musicians who were famous in their countries in the interwar period: e.g. in Germany Teddy Fischer,29 in Czechoslovakia Karel Vlach,30 in Poland Eddie/Ady Rosner31 and in Hungary Bubi Beamter.32 Of course their music was rooted in different stylistic and functional contexts than jazz after World War II,33 but these musicians represented the first roots for the development of independent jazz traditions in these countries, forming the base for the later Free Jazz there.

The differences among the various jazz streams in the four observed countries were so obvious that among experts it came under discussion if one can call all this with the one word jazz – and if all this had to do anything with American jazz. But despite of these different developments and all forms of national exclusivity there was a leading idea of the American jazz as a model. Many comments demonstrate this34, not only claiming the idea of a unique jazz, but also denying the existence of specific national styles.35 The central myths of jazz, its most important places of identification remained unchanged, e.g. by repetition and orientation on jazz classics and standards of jazz history.36 So we find a latent tension between the productive reception and adaption in the sense of a cross-cultural contact on the one hand and a strong orientation on the USA as country of jazz origin on the other hand.

Examining this tension between” own national styles“ and orientation on central ideas of jazz as American music we can understand the processes of construction and preservation of collective identity in the observed countries. The “alternative” form of collective identity formed in opposition to socialist system was regarded as despotism. Collective identity used this Western alternative as a means to preserve the independent habits without giving up the own self-confidence and the own traditions. Thus, the jazz-scenes can be understood as possible seeds for the developing civil society structures in socialist system.


VI. Location of jazz in society

In the first years after World War II jazz was regarded as music of protest par excellence. Jazz is unthinkable without a special jazz scene. Jazz researchers postulate so-called “Arbeitsbündnissen“37 between producers and receptionists of music. In contrast to the classical art music, where the oeuvre stands in the focus, jazz can be regarded as an event realizing itself in specific social spheres.

Jazz proved to be attractive for two social spheres: at first there were the new developing youth movements and the beginning of what later was called “subculture“. In every country these youth culture movements got other names: ”stiliagi“ in the Soviet Union, “bikiniarze“ in Poland, “Halbstarke“ in the German-speaking states.38 This combination between jazz and youth culture demonstrates the great importance of the social components of jazz. Together with the preference of a certain culture a specific life style began to evolve. Jazz is not only music: it is combined with a certain habitus in the sense of Pierre Bourdieu.

The other social sphere where jazz in Eastern and Central Europe had an influence after 1945 was far more in the centre of society. It was these social circles that understood jazz as an expression of American culture and as consequence an antimodel to the hated sovietisation and russification. This sphere contained bourgeois circles also. It is of highest importance to know that both spheres met in jazz, but there was no coincidence of interests. Youth culture intended to oppose the established society structure, whereas the “bourgeois” jazz-friends intended to save this very society from socialism.

Beginning with the victory of rock’n’roll in the 1950s and the latest with the success of Beatles first in Europe, then all over the world, jazz lost his exclusive position as “protest music”. As a natural consequence of the great jazz orchestras of the 1920s and 30s, jazz had become acceptable also in the middle society. While with the bebop jazzmen tried to go back to the roots, jazz was taken aside by the rock music.39

Jazz, rock, pop, classical music – each form of music worked socially in its own specific manner.40 So we cannot simply speak of the political meaning of music, but we have to specify which kind of music we are speaking about in order to get to detailed descriptions. The victory of rock made jazz move nearer the established forms of music.41 Often, jazz (especially in the form of free jazz or third stream) was an intellectual problem to be solved and discussed by small intellectual elite.42 At the same time the myth of jazz as music of freedom was transported not only in jazz circles with the effect, that from the 1970s onwards jazz got a notion of music of students offering the possibility of a mental, intellectual niche. Sometimes this was combined with certain snobbiness.43 As a result jazz found its social place in a – in comparison to rock – far smaller, but very true public. The jazz scene now often had to answer questions of legitimization of this music form. This is the reason why jazz had much more influence on society in the time directly after World War II than during the last phase of socialist system


VII. Case studies

1. Poland: Jazz katakombowy

In Poland, jazz served as a mean to cultivate and preserve cultural autonomy. The focus of jazz music in Poland just after the end of the war formed the Polish branch of YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) with bureaus in Warsaw, Krakow and Lodz. So already in 1947 Warsaw YMCA organisation saw the first jazz concert opened to the public after the war organized by Leopold Tyrmand, one of the most outstanding Polish jazz musicians of that time. But only two years later the YMCA-clubs were closed and jazz officially was labelled as “bourgeois” and “decadent”. The musicians and the whole developing jazz scene had to go underground. This was the beginning of the Polish jazz katakombowy (underground jazz). From now on, jazz could only be played in private locations, always with the danger of arrests by the police or the danger of sanctions, e.g. relegation of a student from university. Thus, during Polish Stalinism Poles used jazz in the same way they had used culture already in the 19th century during the time of partitions: In the 19th and 20th centuries, each time during a repression situation Poles always had given culture the role of a place of restoration of the own identity. Playing jazz katakombowy, Poles had found a way to reassure themselves of their independence and of their cultural autonomy from the ruling power.

This milieu saw the formation of the first authentic Polish jazz group, the Melomani by students from Krakow and Lodz. It is important to stress that the ideology of this group and of the whole generation of jazz musicians was to care of jazz only for artistic reasons with the aim to fight for equal rights of jazz with other arts. That means that Polish jazz musicians of that generation had no direct political intentions. When they played their music or organized festivals, they did it for purely musical reasons. So in 1954 started the first Polish jazz-festival, the I. Krakowskie Zaduszki Jazzowe and two years later the first Polish international festival of Jazz in Zopot. These two events marked the beginning of a vivid activity on behalf of jazz in Poland, the period or the jazz katakombowy was over. Under the circumstances of destalinization, many young musicians started their jazz career, among others one of the most famous Polish jazz musicians, Krzysztof Komeda, who played with his band not only the jazz classics, but also modern jazz.

In 1957, we saw the second festival in Zopot, what became not only a musical highlight for Poland, but also one of the first real cultural contact forums between Poland and Western Europe (especially Western Germany). This was symbolized not only by the presence of the Western German jazz-papa (as he was called) Joachim-Ernst Berendt, but also by the presence of some outstanding musicians such as Albert Mangelsdorff or Bill Ramsey. Berendt noted that Poland suddenly became the leading country of jazz in Eastern Europe.

When in 1958 the enthusiasm in the public and in the streets grew once more, the regime saw the need to stop further Zopot festivals. But unlike in Czechoslovakia, where at the end the regime succeed to control the jazz-scene; in Poland the social niches were bigger during the whole time. The regime only prevented festivals with too big public exaltations, but they let musicians more or less in peace.

In this situation, jazz became a window to the west, a window to another form of life as in socialism, a form to live this cultural alternative. Jazz musicians could travel abroad, also into the West; they have been in contact with western musicians and formed part of the international world scene. Suddenly jazz got political characteristic because of this role.

It is noteworthy for the Polish case that the same process had happened in the field of classical, “honest” music: Poles wanted to work intensively on the quality of their music therefore they organized the Warsaw Autumn, a festival for New Music. Also, as in the first Polish jazz festivals, there were no political implications intended. Suddenly this festival presented outstanding composers from the West (especially from Western Germany) and also the elite of Polish composers which was a sensation in Western Europe. The Warsaw Autumn developed into a forum of exchanging ideas between East and West and attracted not only specialists, but also students and others, especially young people. The purely musical event had turned into an event of common interest, which could not be forbidden because of the international interest.

There were several key figures of Polish jazz. The most famous jazz musicians were Krzysztof Komeda and Zbigniew Namysłowski, other well known musicians were Tomasz Stańko and Jan “Ptaszyń” Wróblewski. They all were well known also abroad, transporting the image of Poland as a country with a vivid jazz scene and a high and progressive cultural life. The concentration of jazz history on several key figures and not on institutions or groups is typical for Polish jazz.


2. Hungary: The “TTT-system”

As in the other countries observed here, jazz in Hungary also had its own national traditions, which went back to the beginnings of jazz in Europe. After World War II, Hungarian jazz survived in a similar manner like Polish jazz katakombowy. Greater social influence Hungarian jazz appeared only in the 1960s – before that, Hungarian Stalinism and the 1956 uprising with its consequences did not allow greater role for jazz.

One of the turning points for Hungarian jazz was the opening of jazz-clubs in Budapest, standing at the beginning of the formation of a jazz-scene. In 1962, a jazz youth club in the café Dalia in Budapest was opened,44 what was soon followed by many similar openings.45 As in the other socialist countries, jazz officially was labelled as dance music and as such was regarded as a symbol for the normalization process after 1956. The newly established system of “Kadarism” created a special sort of limited free space in a form of a “chaotic toleration”. Jazz was situated in a gray zone between forbidden and allowed. In the Hungarian cultural policy of Minister György Aczél this situation got institutionalised into a strategy well known as “system of three “t-s” ”. All cultural products were classified by censorship machinery into three categories: “támogattot” (allowed), “tiltott” (forbidden) and “tűrt” (tolerated). “Tolerated” was a very flexible formula, offering the possibility to the regime to influence and control the cultural process as they liked it.

Hungarian jazz is the best example for the identity-creating function of musical traditions. For an adequate understanding of Hungarian music it is important to have in mind the decisive role of authentic folk music. In opposition to the developments of the 19th century, Bartók had founded a new Hungarian music explicit on these authentic Hungarian melodies. Additionally, there was a vivid tradition in Hungary of entertainment music with improvisational elements in form of the Gypsy music. As a consequence, in the interwar period already evolved an own Hungarian jazz with strong folk elements which met a very positive judgement of the most outstanding Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. This made jazz to an integral part of a “national tradition“, where the regime simply could not get rid of.46 From the 1970s onwards, a young generation of musicians felt the attractiveness of jazz as a new form of music for entertainment offering the possibility to experiment with the own folk music material.47 This is the reason why the most important Hungarian jazz musicians as Aladár Pege or György Szabados created a style between experiment and folklore. Jazz became a method to express the traditional cultural understanding in a new form. There were many connections to other sorts of Hungarian art having the same aims.48

But in Hungary at the same time this was the reason for a somehow delicate situation. Jazz musicians loving their national traditional music used this tradition so that they express musically their independence. At the same time there was the idea of a socialist music using traditional folksongs and melodies in order to create music that is easy to understand for the masses, thus confirming socialist system. Similarly, Hungarian folk music and melodies could serve as opposition or as confirmation of the system – only depending on the context.


3. GDR: Jazz as Fine Arts

Together with the consolidation of GDR a discussion started on how the regime had to conceptualize jazz. There were two contrasting ideas. Jazz was, according to the first one, a form of Western capitalist ideology and an instrument of capitalist entertainment industry. Authors of officially sponsored books attacked jazz as “bourgeois” and “decadent”; they claimed a “commercial” nature of jazz already in his beginnings in America49. According to the second idea jazz was an expression of the suppressed, coloured people and the music of an “other” America. Since the fight for the rights of the suppressed minorities was, at least officially, a central element of state socialist ideology, this conception of jazz allowed his state propagation.

This opposition regarding the nature of jazz was older than GDR. It originated from the Soviet Union in the 20s and 30s, when for the first time the position of jazz in a socialist country had to be defined. In the Soviet Union, the solution was an artificial distinction between “bad” commercial and “good” original jazz. This distinction was made in GDR as well.

For musicians, this meant two consequences. First, they had to live and work in circumstances of great insecurity. They did not know if their music would be really accepted or if at any time the state would totally ban their music. Second, a conflict could evolve between the official understanding of jazz as a form of “dance music” and the understanding of the elite of jazz-musicians in GDR. These musicians wanted to get rid of the emblem as dance musicians and wanted to create a new form of jazz independent not only from the traditions, but also from the American style. The most famous jazz musician in GDR, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky distinguished between the former idea of copying a sound of an American musician and the idea of jazz musicians in GDR to express themselves. It would be an unfair exaggeration to say that GDR jazz musicians are Anti-American, but it is important to state that in GDR the idea of cultural self-decision was higher than in the other countries.

There was a characteristic dichotomy against America: on the one hand, jazz offered a musical string without the contaminated German folk music traditions, on the other hand the decentralized character of jazz offered the possibility to develop individual and new forms of music. This is the reason why in GDR jazz was the most important in its Free Jazz period. In their ideology, GDR jazz musicians were not so much ambassadors of the West, but rather part of a cultural avant-garde.

The great advantage of jazz was that it offered a possibility to make music of authentic expression without focus on the totally discredited German folk music tradition. This was typical for GDR jazz and at the same time the main difference of GDR jazz from the jazz developments in the other three observed countries. In Poland, Hungary and CSSR the own folk music traditions were used by jazz musicians as a means to create the own cultural identity. This was not the case in GDR. On the contrary, GDR jazz musicians were proud of having created a Free Jazz style expressing the own identity without the “schmalzige” and “kitschigen” of traditional German folk songs, which were relicts of Nazi and conservative Germany.

This artistic disposition created a milieu for GDR jazz that differentiated it from not only jazz scenes in other countries, but also from the jazz scene in Western Germany. Despite sharing the same national traditions with Western Germany jazz musicians, which were rather intensive as language barriers were absent, jazz in GDR remained an own cosmos because GDR jazz musicians had the strong intention to create their own style.

Jazz in GDR was no protest movement of the masses, but rather a way to express cultural individuality of special elite. In small GDR this cultural elite created a network of unofficial relations, friendships and contacts that led to a constant exchange of actual musical trends. Even if jazz was not forbidden, these unofficial system of contacts were perceived by the regime as a great danger for two reasons: first because of the numeric protest material gathered, second – and that was more important – because the monopoly of the party on behalf of the cultural hegemony in GDR could eventually question the jazz scene if it would evolve further. This was the reason for constant observations of the scene by the Staatssicherheit.


4. CSSR: Jazzová sekce

Jazz traditions in formal Czechoslovakia were strong as well. Before World War II, Prague was one of the European centres of modernity, not only with respect to jazz. It was especially the orchestra of Karel Vlach which transported a socially accepted jazz in the sense of Benny Goodman or Glenn Miller. During the Nazi period, jazz served as a mean of provocation against the Germans, who banned jazz officially as “entartet”.

This meaning of jazz as a medium of opposition against the rulers during the wartime was described in the literary works of Czech writer and novelist Josef Škvorecký. In his works, Škvorecký described a young man fighting against Hitler’s troops on the one hand and fighting for the love of a Czech girl on the other hand, using for both purposes a saxophone and jazz-music. The books of Škvorecký became well-known because of the fact, that this subject could be understood as an allusion to his own time. In socialist Czechoslovakia jazz served also as a medium to express independence but in a slightly different way than under the Nazi period.

After World War II, the new freedom meant a freedom for the jazz-scene, too. Many new musicians started their work. But soon after 1948 the open development of Czechoslovakia came to the end and from that time on the socialist ideas on jazz began to limit the possibilities. Jazz was not forbidden, but it got strictly controlled. The regime labelled it as dance-music and as music of entertainment, and as nothing more. That meant that only with a specific style one could get a state concession as musician or as jazz band. Special forms of modern jazz were not accepted by the rulers and could therefore serve as medium to express independence.

In 1969, the Musician’s Union established the so-called Jazzová sekce (Jazz-Section). At the beginning, this was a kind of concert promotion agency organizing the Prague Jazz Days, a festival for modern and avant-garde jazz. In 1980, the Prague Jazz Days had to be cancelled because of this avant-garde conception of jazz. However, this was not the end of the Jazzová sekce, The organisation of the jazz festival had created a network of musicians, artists, writers and intellectuals who supported this rather independent art conception. From this point on the Jazzová sekce served as a forum that assembled the most active oppositional and independent people of the Czechoslovak society.

In the case of the Jazzová sekce, music had served as a means to concentrate specific social forces together. It was not the avant-garde jazz taken by itself that was politically meaningful and so dangerous for the regime, but it was the role of this music as a nucleus for social changes. In this sense, a jazz festival really could be a great danger for a control system.

Even with the end of the Prague Jazz Days the danger of the Jazzová sekce was not put to an end. On the contrary, the Jazzová sekce proved to be what every socialist regime had a panic fear of: one independent organisation gathering oppositional thoughts with a destabilizing potential. The myth of jazz as symbol for freedom, independence and democracy now began to work directly against the regime, even if the members of the Jazz section did not plan any revolution or revolt against the political power, this is the reason why in 1984 the Jazzová sekce was dissolved and its members got arrested. Finally, the political power had put the danger to an end.

Arrest and dissolution of organisations – that was only one side of the measures the regime used in order to fight against the dangerous power of jazz music. In 1984 musicians created a new organisation, the so-called Česká Jazzová Společnost (Czech Jazz Society). This new organisation installed a network of festivals for amateurs giving them a chance to confront the system. By offering this to the public, the regime tried to make the Jazzová sekce more and more unattractive.

Jazz revolution came to an end in Czechoslovakia, was strictly controlled in GDR and less suppressed in Poland and Hungary: Jazz musicians had formed an alliance that searched for alternative orientation. All this took place under the umbrella of music, making it harmless. But even if Jazzová sekce would be destroyed, the ideas of freedom would not disappear. It is enough to point out that one of the most outstanding organisations for civil rights in the Eastern Block, the Charta 77, originated from this very milieu. Jazz had fulfilled an important function as a catalyst for the preservation of alternative orientations, manifesting themselves later on in direct opposition –no longer with music, but with other methods.


VIII. Conclusion: connexion between jazz development and society development?

Many recent studies of transformation processes or development of democracy in post socialist countries combine observations of these four countries. Often, there is given a model of the development of oppositional and cultural scenes in a form of a typology. Christoph Boyer observes a principal difference between Poland and Hungary on the one hand, where socialism had come to an end in an evolutive process and GDR and CSSR on the other hand, where the conservatism of the regime led to a breakdown of the states. Additionally, Boyer sees differences between the spectacular, rebellious form of Poles and the peu-a-peu-development in Hungary and also between the regimes of GDR and CSSR.50

At this point without further research we can do nothing more than have a glimpse on possible parallel development in social evolution and jazz structure in the four countries. During Stalinism, Polish jazz, jazz katakombowy51, became an important fact of alternative culture, playing a major role because of the jazz festivals (Jazz Jamboree, the Zopot festivals). The Hungarian jazz showed the existence of the “long rope” of the TTT-system, GDR jazz realized an old German tradition of culture remote from politics, whereas in CSSR the jazz-milieu really was a gathering point for intellectuals. Furthermore, the situation in CSSR is the best example for the fact that jazz itself was not protest music, but its protagonists got a perception of music with dangerous elements. Generally, the case studies confirm the hypothesis of a specific indirect protest function of jazz.

The glimpse into jazz in Eastern and Central Europe in this article makes it obvious that jazz in socialism had a two-folded purpose: the political meaning as a form of expression of opposition which is clearly detectable and the articulation of this dissident position was in a specific way indirect. This is more than simply a way of alternative culture, but less than open resistance. Jazz scene offered a possibility to live according to other model than that of the regime’s, but without open rebellion. Looking for a term for this specific way of indirect protest, we can use the words resistance position, understanding it in the sense of Bourdieu. In order to clarify this conceptualization, it is important to look for the borders of resistance position and open resistance on the one hand and resistance position and cultural alternative on the other hand.

Beginning with Hannah Arendt, a scholar who first described the Socialist regimes in the times of Stalinism as well as the Nazi regime of Hitler as totalitarian systems, i.e. regimes suppressing any form of uncontrolled social processes.52 A sharp contrast between „them at the top“ and “us at the bottom“ was postulated, suggesting the lack of any kind of space between these two extremes in the states of the Eastern block.53

But with this rigid model scholars could neither understand the processes of the slow erosion of Stalinist structures after the 1950s nor describe the role of culture as field of social opposition from the 1970s onwards. As a consequence, this theory of totalitarism was modified or even totally abandoned.54 In recent research we find the notion of “post-totalitarism” for the socialist systems after 1953/1956.55 But this concept is not sufficient also if we want to understand the interactions between oppositional and official acts.

In order to describe the power lines of GDR society, Jürgen Kocka developed the concept of “Durchherrschung“. This concept can be used as a measure instrument for other socialist societies.56 The result was that the existence of free spaces went hand in hand with the degree of the “Durchherrschung” of a given society: the more Durchherrschung, the less free spaces. In recent studies the GDR society is described as society in transition with a constant change of diversification of social structures and subsystems57 – depending on the nature of the various subsystems: each subsystem has its own specific potential for the creation of free space or protest actions. So we have to do special research for every subsystem and to adapt the general concept onto the specific conditions of the subsystems under examination.58 One of the results of this research is the diversification of denominations for protest59 – especially in the countries under examination.60 In the Polish discussion a great focus is on Andrzej Friszke distinction between opór (resistance) und opozycja (opposition),61 what is further developed by Andrzej Paczkowski and others.62

In contrast to all these concepts, the idea of “alternative culture” is characterized by a lack of clear distinction between protests, intending to show only the existence of uncontrolled social structures as a consequence of missing Durchherrschung.63 The advantage of this conception is its open character subsuming all sorts of structures independent from the ruling regime, which is especially important for culture and music. But – that is the disadvantage – the motivations of artists and musicians themselves are not obtainable with this concept. This is why we should consider speaking of jazz in socialist countries after 1945 as music with a “resistance habitus”. In socialism jazz became one of the means people could use to express their opposition to grey every-day-life and paternalism.

The paper demonstrates that in this indirect, rebellious function of jazz we can see a reason why jazz and its milieu could survive especially in times of intensive social control by the state in the 1950s and early 1960s, i.e. under times of Stalinism. Only with the understanding of the specific indirect protest we can see the role of jazz and its milieu as one of the first nucleuses for the development of alternative structures, preparing civil society structures for the end. Since the 1970s, the function of jazz and the nature of protest have changed: Protest began to be more and more orientated directly against political system, and the music used to express this protest is now rock or political song rather than jazz.


1 Cf. the collection Polskie ścieżki do jazzu. Wybór i opracowanie tekstów Krystian Brodacki, Warszawa 1980.

2 An exception is Ekkehard Jost: Zum Problem des politischen Engagements im Jazz, in: Jazzforschung / Jazz research 5, 1973, p. 33 – 44.

3 For the actual discussion see Hanns-Werner Heister: Politische Musik, in: Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 2. Aufl., Sachteil [MGG], 1661 – 1682. Danuta Gwizdalanka: Muzyka i Polityka, Kraków 1999; Maciej Jabłoński / Janina Tatarska: Muzyka i totalitaryzm, Poznań 1996. For the political function of jazz see the chapter „Jazz und Politik“in: Ekkehard Jost: Sozialgeschichte des Jazz, Frankfurt / Main 2003, p. 221 – 234 (especially on Jazz in America).

4 Even on the field of private home-music there are social implications. See Musica privata. Die Rolle der Musik im privaten Leben. Festschrift zum 65. Geburtstag von Walter Salmen, ed. Monika Fink, Rainer Gstrein und Günter Mössmer, Innsbruck 1991.

5 See C. Ballantine: Music and Emancipation: The Social Role of Black Jazz and Vaudeville in South Africa between the 1920s and the Early 1940s, in: Journal of Southern African Studies 17, 1991, H. 1, p. 129 – 152.

6 For the jazz festival of 1956 in Sopot Krzysztof Komeda and other jazz musicians prepared a piece based on Invention for two voices inB flat major BWV 783 by Johann Sebastian Bach called “Memory of Bach”. See Dionizy Piątkowski: Era jazzu. 70 lat jazzu w Poznaniu, Poznań 1999, p. 69.

7Heister [as ref. 3], 1663.

8 Piątkowski [as ref. 6], p. 37.

9 This stresses Ekkehard Jost. See Jost [as ref. 3], p. 233.

10 Rainer Dollase puts it as follows: „Jede politische Musik wird sich zunächst fragen lassen müssen, warum sie den Weg zur politischen Wirkung qua Musik und nicht etwa naheliegenderweise über politisches Engagement, verbale statements, Nutzung der Popularität der Musiker bei der Unterstützung von Bewegungen etc. einschlägt.“, in: Rainer Dollase: Rock gegen Rechts – Rock von Rechts. Oder: Wie Musik eine politische Bedeutung und Funktion erhält oder auch nicht, in: Musik und Politik. Dimensionen einer undefinierten Beziehung, ed. Bernhard Frevel, Regensburg 1997, p. 108 – 126, here S. 122.

11 Nevertheless it has to be regarded that music under certain circumstances can work like a language, but according to its nature music is not a medium for the transport of concrete contents, but rather an instrument for the expression and the organisation of emotions.

12 Jost [as ref. 3], p. 225 f.

13 Ibid., p. 224.

14 Jerzy Milan, here quoted after Piątkowski [as ref. 6], p. 65. ZMP: Związek Młodzieży Polskiej (Union of Polish youth).

15 In the interwar period in many countries of Eastern and Central Europe there had been an anti-Americanism of the cultural elites. After World War II, this hadchanged. See Richard Pells: Not Like Us: How Europeans Have Loved, Hated, and Transformed American Culture since World War II, New York: Basic Books, 1997

16 In addition to the orientation to the USA the orientation to Western Europe was alsoimportant. For the jazz see Hans Kumpf:Polnisch-deutsche Jazz-Beziehungen. Ein Musikalisches Werk besonderer Art, in: Polen und wir, Heft 50 (Juli 1999).

17 See Bernd Stöver: Die Befreiung vom Kommunismus. Amerikanische Liberation Policy im Kalten Krieg 1947 – 1991, Köln u. a. 2002, esp.: „Amerikanische Rundfunkstationen: VOA – RIAS – RFE/RL“, p. 413 – 444 and „Wahrnehmung der Befreiungspolitik in Ostmitteleuropa“, p. 553 – 619; Walter L. Hixson: Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945 – 1961, New York 1997.

18 On the concerts of Dave Brubeck in 1958 in Poznan and in other Polish towns see Piątkowski [as ref. 6], p. 74 ff. On the concerts of Louis Armstrong in Budapest in 1965 see András Pernye: Armstrong, in: Muzsika 1965, Heft 8. American jazz musicians were used as cultural ambassadors during the Cold War. This demonstrates Penny M. Von Eschen: Satchmo blows up the World. Jazz ambassadors play the Cold War. Cambridge, Mass. /London 2004. On the concerts of Louis Armstrong in Prague see YvettaKajanová: Slovak and Czech Jazz Emigrants after 1948, in: Jazzforschung / Jazz research 41, Graz: ADEVA, 2009. pp. 49 – 64.

19 See Arch Puddington: Broadcasting Freedom: The Cold War Triumph of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2000; Sig Mickelson: America’s Other Voice: The Story of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, New York, 1983; Patrick Morley: „This is the American Forces Network“. The Anglo-American Battle of the Air Waves in World War II, Westport / Conn., London 2001.

20 Karl Wilhelm Fricke: Der Deutschlandfunk als Medium politischer Gegnerschaft und Gunter Holzweißig: Der Deutschlandfunk: Informations- oder Interventionssender?, both in: Macht – Ohnmacht – Gegenmacht. Grundfragen zur politischen Gegnerschaft in der DDR, hrsg. v. Ehrhart Neubert / Bernd Eisenfeld, Bremen 2001, p. 189 – 204 and p. 205 – 212.

21 See the chapter „Jazz as a Cold War Weapon“ in: Uta G. Poiger: Jazz, Rock and Rebels. Cold War Politics and American Culture in a divided Germany, Berkeley u.a. 2000, p. 162 – 167.

22 See Ron Scollon / Suzanne Wong Scollon: Intercultural communication. A discourse approach, 2. Ed. Oxford 2005. In the situation of a globalized economy the metamorphosis of cultural elements has not only a theoretical meaning and is widely regarded. See Cross-cultural communication, ed. John Matlock, 2. Ed. London 2003.

23 Examples and explications for this phenomenon in Kultur als Übersetzung. Festschrift für Klaus Städtke zum 65. Geburtstag, hrsg. v. Wolfgang Stephan Kissel, Franziska Thun and Dirk Uffelmann, Würzburg 1999, here the preface by Wolfgang Stephan Kissel and Dirk Uffelmann (p. 13 – 40) and the paper of Zdzisław Krasnodębski: Übersetzungen zwischen Kulturen, Nationalkulturen und „Politik der Anerkennung“, p. 221 – 238.

24 N.N.: Novi Singers. New Color of Sound, in: Jazz Forum 11/1971, p. 60-61.

25 So in titles as „Kuyaviak Goes Funky“, „Chrząszcz Brzmi w Krakowie” or „Dudas Dance”. On the „Polish Jazz“of Namysłowski see Paweł Brodacki: Jazz in Polen, in: That’s Jazz. Der Sound des 20. Jahrhunderts, Ausstellungskatalog Darmstadt 29.5. – 25.8.1988, Darmstadt 1988, p. 452.

26Antonín Matzner: Třetí proud, in: Hudební rozhledy,1964, Jahrg. 17, (Nr. 31), p. 937–939; Ivan Poledňák: Pavel Blatný. Skladby třetího proudu, in: Hudební rozhledy, 1970, Jahrg. 24, (Nr. 6), p. 285; see in general Ivan Poledňák: Jazz v kontextu české hudební kultury, in: Opus musicum, 1984, Jahrg. 16, (Nr. 8), p. 250.

27János Gonda: Free jazz – Magyar folklórból, in: Mozgó Világ, 1975 /1, S. 84 – 86, also in: Jazz Studium 1983 Nr. 5, p. 38 – 41; Zoltán Szerdahelyi:„Only from Pure Mountain Springs”. Folk Tradition in Hungarian Jazz. An essay, in:, visited 20. May 2005

28 Bert Noglik: Identitätsanspruch und Popularitätsstreben. Zum Jazz der DDR in den achtziger Jahren, in: Die Musik der achtziger Jahre, ed. Ekkehard Jost (=Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Neue Musik und Musikerziehung, Darmstadt, Band 31).

29 In jazz in Germany before 1939 see Michael Danzi:American Musicians in Germany, 1924-1939: Memoirs of the Jazz Entertainment and Music World of Berlin During the Weimar Republic and the Nazi Era, (Rücker) Frankfurt / Main 1985.

30Lubomir Dorůžka / Miloslav Duchač: Karel Vlach. 50 let života s hudbou, Praha 2003.

31Magda Lebecka: Eddie Rosner. Jazzman z Gułagu (reż Pierre—Henry Salfati), in: Kino 2001, Nr. 5, p. 13; Rosner is also highly appreciated in Belarus today. See ???? ?????: ?????????? – ??????? ??????????? ?????, in: ???? – Kraj. Polonica – Albaruthenica – Lithuanica 3-4 (6-7) 2002, S. 184 – 215. Gertrud Pickhan/ Maximilia Preisler, Von Hitler vertrieben, von Stalin verfolgt. Der Jazzmusiker Eddie Rosner, Berlin 2010.

32 On the early history of Jazz in Hungary from the times of ragtime see Géza Gábor Simon: Magyar Jazztörténet, Budapest 1999, esp. the chapters „A jazz magyarországi előtörténete” and “A Magyar ‘jazzkorszak’”, p. 19 – 41 and 47 – 123.

33 All these musicians had influence also beyond their countries. Especially for jazz in Soviet Union their role was important. Their style, the swing, was an integrative part of an urban, cosmopolite coffeehouse-culture, not yet filled with resistance paradigm of after war and Cold war times.

34 Yvetta Kajanová: American, European and Latino-American Jazz at the Cross-roads of Jazz Culture, or Is Jazz the Universal Music? in: Musicologica Istropolitana 1. Bratislava : Stimul, 2002, pgs. 183 – 188.

35 So Leopold Tyrmand: U brzegów jazzu, 2. ed. Kraków 1957, repr. Poznań 1992, p. 223. Statements like this show, why a concept like „national style” which is combined with classical music in the 19th century should be used for jazz very carefully.

36 Dietrich Schulz-Köhn: I got Rhythm. 40 Jazz-Evergreens und ihre Geschichte, München 1994.

37 So calls it Heinz Steinert: Die Entdeckung der Kulturindustrie oder: Warum Professor Adorno Jazz-Musik nicht ausstehen konnte, Wien 1992, p. 88 – 93.

38 But this was not the first beginning of subculture movements of the youth, as shows the example of the so called „Tangojünglinge“in the nazi period. For the youth subculture scene in GDR see Michael Rauhut / Thomas Kochan: Bye, bye Lübben City. Bluesfreaks, Tramps und Hippies in der DDR, Berlin 2004.

Marina Dmitrieva: Jazz and Dress. Stiliagi in Soviet Russia and Beyond, in: Gertrud Pickhan / Rüdiger Ritter (editors), Jazz behind the Iron Curtain (Jazz under State Socialism, vol. 1), Peter Lang, Berlin, 2009, p.145 152.

39 See the chapter „Der Sieg des Big Beat“, in Starr, S. Frederick: Red and Hot. Jazz in Rußland von 1917-1990. Aus dem Amerikanischen übersetzt von Wolfram Knauer. Höfen, Robert Azderball Hannibal-Verlag, 1990, p. 238 – 242.

40 This problem was discussed controversially. For the English research see Mark C. Gridley:Clarifying Labels: Jazz, Rock, Funk and Jazz-Rock, in: Popular Music and Society, 1983, 9(2), p. 27-34; J. L. Kamin: Parallels in the Social Reaction to Jazz and Rock, in: The Black Perspective in Music, 1975, 3, p. 278-298; Walter Rimler:Not Fade Away: A Comparison of the Jazz Age with the Rock Era, Ann Arbor 1984. In East Central Europe this problem was regarded also. See Andy Summers: Jazz i rock to dwa różne światy, in: Rzecz pospolita 2000, Nr. 263, p. D7

41 See Tomasz M. Głogowski: Od bikiniarza do konserwatysty: Tyrmand i muzyka rozrywkowa, in: Opcje 2001, Nr. 1, p. 9 – 14.

42 Especially in Hungary the formation of a jazz scene intensified with the first jazz clubs. An important starting point was the jazz youth club in the café Dália in Budapest in 1962. See Erzsébet Szeverényi: A magyarországi jazz történetének kultúrpolitikai vonatkozásai 2. Az első magyar jazzklub története, avagy a Dália I., in: Jazz 1982/2, p. 10 – 12; Erzsébet Szeverényi: A magyarországi jazz történetének kultúrpolitikai vonatkozásai 3. Az első magyar jazzklub története, avagy a Dália II., in: Jazz 1982/3, p. 9 – 12. A sociological study of the jazz clubs in Hungary is Attila Malecz: A Jazz Magyarországon, Budapest 1981.

43 See Piątkowski [as ref. 6], p. 65

44 See Erzsébet Szeverényi: A magyarországi jazz történetének kultúrpolitikai vonatkozásai 2. Az első magyar jazzklub története, avagy a Dália I., in: Jazz 1982/2, p. 10 – 12; Erzsébet Szeverényi: A magyarországi jazz történetének kultúrpolitikai vonatkozásai 3. Az első magyar jazzklub története, avagy a Dália II., in: Jazz 1982/3, p. 9 – 12.

45For a sociological study of Hungarian Jazz clubs see Attila Malecz: A Jazz Magyarországon, Budapest 1981

46 Vgl. Attila Retkes: Bartók Béla és a jazz, Budapest 1996; J. Hunkemöller: Bartóks Urteil über den Jazz, in: Die Musikforschung 38, 1985, p. 27 – 36.

47 Vgl. Zoltán Szerdahelyi: Only from Pure Mountain Springs”. Folk Tradition in Hungarian Jazz, in:, accessed 20.5.2005.

48 Sándor Olasz: A jazz hatása a magyar irodalomban, in: Jazzkutatás 3 (1999). On jaz and the other arts see Tibor Valuch: A Cultural and Social History of Hungary 1948 – 1990, in: A Cultural History of Hungary Bd. 2: In the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, hrsg. v. László Kósa, Budapest 1998, p. 249 – 348, esp. p. 290 – 324.

49 Ernst-Hermann Meyer: Musik im Zeitgeschehen, Berlin 1953, p. 422.

50 Christoph Boyer: Totalitäre Elemente in staatssozialistischen Gesellschaften, in: Totalitarismus. Sechs Vorträge über Gehalt und Reichweite eines klassischen Konzepts der Diktaturforschung, ed. Klaus-Dietmar Henke, Dresden 1999, p. 79 – 91, p. 90.

51 This meant jazz in private flats or in conspirative milieus during the Stalin period. For the Polish jazz see Toborek [wie Anm. 70], for the Hungarian jazz see Simon [as ref. 32], esp. p. 137.

52 As an introduction in the theory of totalitarism see Wolfgang Wippermann: Totalitarismustheorien. Die Entwicklung der Diskussion von den Anfängen bis heute, Darmstadt 1997; Juan J. Linz: Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes, Boulder 2000.

53 This paradigm got famous by a book of Teresa Torańska: Oni, London 1985.

54 Jacques Rupnik: Der Totalitarismus aus der Sicht des Ostens, in: Totalitarismus im 20. Jahrhundert. Eine Bilanz der internationalen Forschung, ed.. Eckhard Jesse, Bonn 1996, p. 389 – 415.

55 See Totalitarismustheorien nach dem Ende des Kommunismus, ed. Achim Siegel, Köln u. a. 1998, here esp. the contribution of Mark R. Thompson: Weder totalitär noch autoritär: Post-Totalitarismus in Osteuropa, p. 309 – 340.

56 See Jürgen Kocka: Eine durchherrschte Gesellschaft, in: Sozialgeschichte der DDR, ed. Hartmut Kaelble / Jürgen Kocka / Hartmut Zwahr, Stuttgart 1994, p. 547-553.

57 Sigrid Meuschel: Legitimation und Parteiherrschaft. Zum Paradox von Stabilität und Revolution in der DDR 1945-1989, Frankfurt am Main 1992, p. 10-12. For a short location of these concepts in the ongoing research discussion sees Arnd Bauerkämper: Recension of: Großbölting, Thomas; Thamer, Hans-Ulrich (Hrsg.): Die Errichtung der Diktatur. Transformationsprozesse in der Sowjetischen Besatzungszone und in der frühen DDR. Münster 2003. In: H-Soz-u-Kult, 07.07.2004,

58 So in Árpád v. Klimó / Jürgen Danyel: Popkultur und Zeitgeschichte, in: Zeitgeschichte online. Thema..Pop in Ost und West. Populäre Kultur zwischen Ästhetik und Politik, ed. Árpád v. Klimó und Jürgen Danyel, April 2006, URL:

59 This term appears often (but not only) in descriptions of opposition of Soviet intellectuals and writers.

60 See Rainer Eckert: Widerstand und Opposition: Umstrittene Begriffe der deutschen Diktaturgeschichte, in: Macht – Ohnmacht – Gegenmacht. Grundfragen zur politischen Gegnerschaft in der DDR, ed. Ehrhart Neubert / Bernd Eisenfeld, Bremen 2001, p. 27 – 36.

61 Andrzej Friszke, Opozycja polityczna w PRL 1945 – 1980, London 1994, p. 5.

62 Andrzej Paczkowski: Strajki, bunty, manifestacje jako „polska droga“ przez socjalizm, Poznań 2003, here esp. „Wprowadzenie”, p. 5 – 16.

63 For the Czechoslovak case see Josef Alan / Tomáš Bitrich u.a.: Alternativní kultura. Příběh české společnosti 1945 – 1989, Prag 2001. In comparative perspective: Samizdat. Alternative Kultur in Zentral- und Osteuropa: Die 60er bis 80er Jahre, ed.. Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, Bremen 2000.