Cover Osteuropa 12/2008

In Osteuropa 12/2008

Between State and Rebellion
Organ Music in Poland and the GDR

Michael F. Runowski

Deutsche Fassung


As an instrument with churchly connotations, the organ was in a difficult position under Socialist cultural policy. In the German Democratic Republic and in the People’s Republic of Poland, the state actively tried to secularise this field of music. Starting in 1970, officials in the GDR discovered the organ as an export hit for earning hard currency; numerous concert instruments came into being. Polish and East German composers were well able to get around state instructions not to set spiritual content to music. Among the youth, the organ became a symbol of protest against state ideology.

(Osteuropa 12/2008, pp. 103–116)