Cover Osteuropa 11-12/2006

In Osteuropa 11-12/2006

A Window on Freedom
Jazz in the People’s Republic of Poland

Gertrud Pickhan

Deutsche Fassung


Jazz enjoys great popularity in Poland. In the People’s Republic, jazz was considered by fans an expression of a different way of life. But the cultural, social and political history of jazz in Poland has hardly been studied. The findings of western jazz studies can be transferred to key periods of development. These are the inter-war period, the post-war period, late Stalinism and the Thaw. By including the United States, the transatlantic dimension of this transfer of a musical culture is traced in the process. It appears that jazz as a “weapon of the Cold War” was highly effective in Poland. Under conditions of Soviet-style state socialism, it became a new means of expressing deep-rooted Polish aspirations for freedom.

(Osteuropa 11-12/2006, pp. 283–296)