”Yhteinen henkinen tila”
kansallissosialistinen kulttuuripropaganda säveltäjä Yrjö Kilpistä koskevissa lehtiartikkeleissa 1934–1944
The fame of the Finnish composer Yrjö Kilpinen (1892–1959) in Nazi Germany was evident in newspapers and classical music magazines. In this article, I examine how Nazi propaganda was constructed in German newspaper articles related to Yrjö Kilpinen from 1934 to 1944.
Since the end of World War II, questions have lingered regarding Kilpinen’s associations with the Third Reich. As a member of Nazi cultural organisations such as Ständiger Rat für internationale Zusammenarbeit der Komponisten and as a friend of baritone Gerhard Hüsch, Reich Chamber of Music’s vice president Paul Graener and Ständiger Rat delegate Emil von Reznicek, Kilpinen made a career in Germany that was at its peak from 1934 until 1944. This article examines how Kilpinen’s fame was viewed in the press.
I suggest that the Nazi newspaper articles did not highlight Kilpinen’s status as an independent artist but instead focused on building a common national identity between Finland and Germany, based on National Socialist journalists’ and Kilpinen’s perceptions of Finnishness and national socialist ideology. This study is based on the discourse-historical approach, which maintains that national identity is formed in discourses of identification, solidarity and differentiation. The central aim of the study is to identify the discursive strategies whereby the connection between Finland and Germany was built.
The research material consists of eleven Nazi Germany newspaper and magazine articles about Yrjö Kilpinen. In the analysis, two discourses emerge that emphasize similarity between Finland and Germany: 1) Nordisch and 2) Volk and völkisch. With these discourses, the press aimed to build a common national identity by linking National Socialist ideology to Finland and Yrjö Kilpinen.