Loïc, Webdragon2013, and fhafha, many thanks for enlightening me about this "silent protest" conducted by non-Jews of which I was totally unaware. I did a little digging and came across an article on the non-conformist subcultures you mentioned on an excellent website called Music and the Holocaust http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/resistanc ... ench-jazz/
. The following excerpt bears directly on your posts:
In reality, jazz led something of a double life. Despite the fact that the Germans were led to see jazz as an unthreatening form, many French people saw it in quite the opposite way. A 1946 article in the American jazz magazine Down Beat claimed that jazz, 'became the symbol of, or the last tie with, the outside free world'. Because of its unrestrained style and foreign influences, jazz was the antithesis of fascist values. On one level, musicians saw themselves as restoring pride in France and asserting themselves against German rule. On another level, jazz came to be seen as a covert reference to America, especially after the US joined the war. This became epitomised by the word 'zazou'. The origins of this word are vague, but it appeared in a 1938 song by Johnny Hess titled 'Je Suis Swing' (I Am Swing), and it came to represent youths who refused to conform with Nazi occupation. Male zazous frequently dressed in thigh-length jackets, dark narrow trousers, heavy, unpolished shoes, a thick tie and lumber jacket. Women wore turtle-neck jumpers, short pleated skirts, striped stockings, heavy shoes, and carried large, folded umbrellas, whatever the weather. The term 'swing', which was generally avoided because of its American connotations, became, for the zazou, slang for anything cool. From 1942, when the Nazis made it obligatory for Jews to wear a yellow star, zazou protesters sported one with the word 'swing' or 'zazou' in the middle. In Saint-Germain in 1943, one group staged a silent protest wearing cut-up cardboard stars before being arrested by the Gestapo. There was even a violent newspaper campaign amongst collaborationists in 1942 entitled the 'chasse au zazou' (hunt for zazous). In this way, both swing and zazou became symbols of resistance.
Jazz also embodied a form of protest through its Gypsy influences. Django Reinhardt became a figurehead because he dared to combine traditional Gypsy style with American jazz rhythms. However, this also made his position especially precarious, and it is something of a miracle that he survived the war. On one occasion, he fled Paris after being tipped off that the Nazis were gassing Gypsies. But he was captured crossing the Swiss border, and only released because the commander happened to be a fan of his. A few days later he was turned away again, attempting to flee.