Wikipedia:List of hoaxes on Wikipedia/Reich Corps of the Trombone

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An image taken of brass musicians at the Nuremberg Rally in 1936. Trombonist identified as Ündrew Vekhars. (Original image was a sepia black-and-white photo of four men in military uniforms playing instruments. Most prominent on the left is a young man with a trombone and looking at the camera. The fourth man is mostly hidden behind the first three.)

The Reich Corps of the Trombone (German: Reichkorps der Posaunen) was an organization of trombonists sponsored by the Nazi Party during its rise to power through the end of World War II.


Notable for their uncanny dedication to the party considering their status as musicians, most members of the corps were used primarily for Nazi Party propaganda and rallies. Joseph Goebbels proposed the idea of the corps after attending a performance of Der Ring des Nibelungen. Inspired by the powerful and profound trombone repertoire in Wagner's operas, Goebbels told Hitler of his idea for an official, professional group of trombonists dedicated to serving the party and glorifying German culture. Hitler, an avid fan of Wagner, Bruckner, and Strauss (all of whom wrote powerful and impressive repertoire for the trombone in their music) immediately approved the idea.


Originally, the corps was intended to serve as an instrument of musical propaganda at party rallies, but as the National Socialists gained power and influence and the war progressed, their role was expanded to boosting morale on the battlefield and even replacing established professional trombonists in the major musical venues of the day by decree of the Führer himself. Most notable among these party-favored replacements were Wilhelm VanDuzor, who became the principal trombonist of the Berlin Philharmonic, Ündrew Vekhars, who became bass trombonist at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, and Stephen Kräve, who became the principal trombonist in the pit orchestra at the Schaubühne theater in Berlin. All three, coincidentally, were instrumental students of Stephen Orländ, and greatly admired their teacher.

Most members of the corps are thought to have died in the final desperate battles to defend Germany. As a result of the widespread devastation from the war, all known records of the corps were lost, including detailed lists of its members. The group is assumed to have disbanded from the ensuing chaos immediately after the war and the partitioning of Germany by the Allied Powers.

See also

Selective Bibliography

  • Guion, D. M. (1988). Trombone; Its History and Music Baltimore: Routledge. ISBN 2-88124-211-1.
  • Irving, David. (1997). Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich New York: Focal Point Publications; 2nd edition. ISBN 1-872197-13-2.
  • Hamann, Brigitte (2005). Winifred Wagner : A Life at the Heart of Hitler's Bayreuth Boston: Granta Books. ISBN 1-86207-671-5.
[[Category:Nazi propagandists]]
[[Category:German trombonists]]
[[Category:Cultural history of World War II]]
[[Category:Nazi culture]]