WCH E4: Anti-Nazi youth movements in World War II

A group of Edelweiss Pirates

An interview with historian Nick Heath about anti-Nazi youth cultural movements in fascist Europe before and during World War II. In particular we look at the German Edelweiss Pirates and Swing Kids, the French Zazous and the Austrian Schlurfs.

This is a playlist of tracks curated by Nick which these groups listened to at the time:
Support this podcast on patreon here:


This is a history of the Edelweiss Pirates:
This is a history of the Zazous:
This is a history of the Schlurfs:


1. The Ehrenfeld resistance group – more info about them here:
2. The Edelweiss Pirates film from 2004 you can watch online here:
3. The mods – this is an interesting study of "moral panics" by the media, looking in particular at the mods and rockers youth culture in the 1960s UK:
4. The White Rose Group – this is an archive of documents about the group:
5. Zoot suits: this is a history of the US zoot suit phenomenon:
6. Anarchist Communist Group – this is the website of the ACG:
7. Also on a musical note we recommend checking out the Pet Shop Boys song, In the Night, which is about the Zazous:


Thanks to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ( for permission to use excerpts of their interview with Walter Meyer, which is in four parts and begins here:
Edited by Tyler Hill of the Gods & Ghosts podcast:
Our theme tune is Bella Ciao, an Italian partisan folksong, thanks for permission to use it from Dischi del Sole. You can purchase it here: Or stream it here:
The first song we play is Johnny Hess – Ils Sont Zazous. Buy it here:
The second is Erhard Bauschke und sein Orchester – Nachtexpress Nach Warschau. Buy it here:
The final track is Tanzorchester Oscar Joost – Am Montag Fangt Die Woche An. Buy it here:


Serge Forward
Apr 17 2018 12:11

Enjoyed that. Good stuff.

Jun 2 2018 21:05

There's a Russian film called Stilyagi which is about the youth movement. It translates the term to Hipster (as in its 1950's meaning) I downloaded it online so don't know if its on sale anywhere but it was pretty good. It's about the conflict between the Stilyagi and the Komsomol, it was also explicitly anti racist and didn't glorify the US despite the kids obsession with Jazz music.
Here's a famous scene from it