|Music and Dance of the German
Swing Youth :
The Swing Kids loved English and American Swing music and jitterbugging
as much as they loved Swing-style fashions. This was all part of
their yearning for liberated American ideals and riches, which appeared
doubly attractive compared to the suffocating repression of personal freedom
and austerity within Nazi Germany.
The most fundamental prerequisite for being a real Swing Kid was
owning or having access to the latest shellac Swing records. Unlike
America, there were no jukeboxes that could blare out Swing music sweet
and clear. But a few lucky individuals had gramophones, although
the speakers of such portable record-players produced comparatively dismal
sound. Entire clubs formed around a single gramophone owner.
Once the turntable and records were available, the Swing Kids were free
to swarm for their favorite jazz musicians like Teddy
Stauffer, Nat Gonella
and Louis Armstrong. In the capital of Berlin, possession of Armstrong’s
records Tiger Rag and Saint Louis Blues was a must.
Listen to Armstrong:
Super Tiger Rag
The Swing Kids also listened to Swing music over foreign-broadcast
channels like BBC on their home radios. This alternative became more
important as the war dragged on, and sources for actual jazz and Swing
records dried up. Although it was prohibited by the Nazi Government,
the resourceful Swing Kids recorded music from the radio and then cleverly
pressed the recordings on audio-sound devices (tonfolien), which could
be sold undercover at school. However, the Swing Kids were never
content to merely listen to the radio and a few records. They formed
their own bands by rustling together the necessary instruments, such as
a clarinet, a sax, a trumpet, trombone, drums and a piano.
Dance was the ultimate experience. The best thing about being
a Swing Kid was the opportunity to Swing and jitterbug to a fast tempo.
The youngsters were free to “break down”, and blow off excess teenage energy,
being limited only by their own individuality and pace of spontaneity.
The highly charged atmosphere of Swing-dance events became almost hypnotic
as young boys and girls swirled about to dizzy, physically exhausting dance
numbers. Their compatriots in the Hitler Youth, used to the grace
and dignity of authorized dance routines, were left dumbstruck by the scene:
- Hitlerjugend Patrol Report on a Hamburg Swing
Dance, August 2, 1940.
“The sight of some three hundred dancing people thrashing about
was absolutely horrid. No one can describe the dancing because no
one danced normally. Indeed, this was the naughtiest of Swing dancing
can be imagined. Sometimes two boys danced with one juvenile girl,
and at other times several couples locked themselves into a mass embrace
and just hopped around. Many couples hopped together while holding
hands and bent over wildly, so that their long hair flew across their faces
and whipped their thighs as they spun. You had to worry about the
sanity of some of them. The scenes that happened on the dance floor
were fit for a lunatic asylum. Even the most hysterical and primitive
Black jungle warrior war-dance would have paled in comparison to what happened
here. Everyone jumped about like crazy while they mumbled English
musical gibberish. The Band increased the tempo faster by the minute.
No member of the band was sitting, because they were all getting hotter
and wilder as they also succumbed to the jungle beat on the stage. You
often saw boys dancing together with other boys, always with two cigarettes
dangling from each corner of the mouth.”
As this Hitler Youth report reveals, the German officials could not
comprehend this type of dancing. In their minds, dancing was supposed
to be a refined series of dance steps obediently executed with precision
and charm. Swing, with its unrestrained zeal and lust for physical
exertion, seemed to be either a manifestation of serious mental illness
or downright primitive Negroid hysteria. In any case, Swing was decidedly
anti-German. The Swing Kids tore down all conventions of approved dance,
and behaved with undisciplined sexual indecency, which even included same-partner
coupling. The latent or open homosexuality, the promiscuous sexual
conduct between boys and girls, and the total lack of restraint was simply
impermissible to Nazi doctrine. The National Socialist authorities
felt compelled to crack down hard against all discoverable Swing dance
In the meantime the Swing Kids increased their anti-conventional
dancing style, by adding unique gestures to their defiant version of Swing.
One dance gesture involved swinging an arm up in a sluggish fashion while
lifting a forefinger to the rhythm, in a motion meant to imitate Black
more serious was the open disrespect of the German National Greeting (Hitler
Salute) that Swing Kids ridiculed with another dance gesture. While
dancing, they would outstretch their arm in a typical Sieg Heil, but separated
their fingers in a V after Churchill’s famous Victory sign. Mockery
of the German National Greeting was a serious breach of German law, but
the Swing Kids openly flaunted it. A 1941 edition of the Hamburger
Gaunachrichten has a picture of a Swing Kid in the very act.
National Socialist literature warned of the dire consequences for
the Reich if the world witnessed such gestures:
“A foreign Jewish newspaper once admitted, while cynically reviewing
the 1937 Reich Party Convention (Reichsparteitag), that the Nuremberg parades
gave convincing evidence that democracy has been eliminated in Germany.
However, the newspaper noted the fact that German youth was still dancing
to jazz, and so jazz might provide a round-about way to pry Germany open
again to democratic incursion by anti-German forces. We decline a philosophy
of life based on how a population dances. But this shows that there is
still a lot for us to do, in the revolution of private life, in order to
completely Germanize our people.”
— National Socialist magazine SA-Mann, 1938
In the end, however, the task of completely Germanizing the population,
by ridding it of foreign influences, failed. The task was beyond
the ability of the entire National Socialist Party acting with the full
weight of the militant State Apparatus. The Germans remained part of the
world community, because of a simple phenomenon. Some brave German
youngsters wanted to enjoy the individual liberty to Swing. The Swing
Kids desired to dance in the open. But they continued to swing, even
if it had to be conducted in the secrecy of their private rooms or
in underground bunkers. They were active until the very end of the
war. Now Swing, once confined to a rebellious handful, has experienced
a great boom in popularity once again.
German Swing Youth Slang :
The German Swing Kids were heartily disliked by the Nazi Authorities,
whose official term for them was simply Swing Jugend (Swing Youth).
However, as usual in Nazi society, there were plenty of derogatory labels
to hurl at them, such as Swing-Heinis (Swing Blokes), Hotter (from Hot),
Swing-Papen (Swing Popes), Stenze (Dandies or Fops), Tango-Bubis (Tango
Laddies) or Tango-Juenglinge (Tango Juveniles). The Swing Kids distanced
themselves further from their persecutors by adopting their own slang.
The slang of the German Swing Kids incorporated as many Americanisms
or English phrases as possible. This was the reason that they
deliberately named their groups as “Clubs”. Many times, the names
were chosen to provoke the Nazi officials. The Hamburg Churchill Club and
the Anthony Swingers (after British Secretary of State Anthony Eden) are
good examples. Even the Kiel Club of the Plutocrats was a slap in
the face of Nazi officialdom, because German propaganda characterized the
United States as a plutocratic nation (plutokratisches Amerika).
However, it must be noted that there was probably scant political motivation
behind such names, but merely a desire to express anger and get back at
policemen and teachers who disliked Swing.
German Swing Kids also gave themselves English nicknames. Walter
was changed to Bobby, Bill or Teddy, and Frank became Frankie. Other
male names of this sort included Eton-Jackie, Tommy, Lord, Fiddlin’ Joe,
Hot-Geyer or Old Kluge (because Geyer and Kluge were interchangeable surnames),
Hot King, Roy, and Fats. The formal Fraeulein used in girls’ names
was dropped, so they became Anglicized as Blackie, Teddy, Micky or Coca.
Swing-style nicknames and greetings were also popular because the
ever-present Hitler Youth could not figure out who was who! On the
streets the boys greeted each other with Hello Big or Old-Hot Boy or Hot
Old Boy. The girls were known as Swing Girl, Jazzkatze (Jazz Cat),
Swing-Puppe (Swing Doll) or Swing Baby. They addressed each other
as Swing Hi – Swing Lo, Badideldum, Swing Heil (instead of Sieg Heil) and
Heil Hottler (instead of Heil Hitler). Sometimes they whistled the first
notes of a well-known Swing melody, as the Harlem in Frankfurt or Goody-Goody
Listen to Teddy Stauffer and his
German Swing Youth expressions were, to some extent, a carry-over
from the free days of the cosmopolitan German Weimar Republic. Whether
or not this was a conscious attempt by the Swing Kids to defy the precise
anti-Weimar hatred of the National Socialist Party is debatable. Again,
the Swing Kids may not have been making any political statement whatsoever,
but simply expressing their rebellious attitude. What made the elders
mad, made them happy. In any case, the language of the Swing Kids
was intentionally salted with as much English as possible, especially in
public where it might provoke people, as on the street and in cafes and
restaurants. Personal letters were even signed with Swing Heil or
the V-for-Victory sign.
In addition to the English trappings of their slang, the German Swing
Kids resorted to their own imagination, coupled with foreign borrowings,
to conjure up new expressions for their lifestyle. The most popular
expressions alluded directly to Swing music. They favored Hotten,
Hoffest (Hot Party), Hotter and Hotte after the “Hot Music” of Jazz.
To reflect the casual, lay-back lifestyle associated with Swing (which
contravened the militant stridency of Nazi Germany), they used Laessigkiet
(casualness) or Lottern (living in a dissolute manner, i.e. with unrestrained
abandon, derived from its meaning to knock-around, as to knock around a
city a night). The Reich Ministry of Justice reported:
“The Swing Youth employ a widespread key word, Lottern, which has become
a gang favorite. Its prevalence has spawned a host of derivatives like
the Lotter Club, Lotter Boys (Lotterboys) and Lotter Girls (Lottermaedchen).
It is found in sentences like “I wasted the whole afternoon just knocking
about” (Nachmittags habe ich gelottert)…and the dairy entry “I really cut
loose and lazed about the bar as they played Bar-Swing (a form of Swing
favored at bars) until way early this morning” (So lotterten wir beim laessigen
Bar-Swing bis in den fruehen Morgen hinein)
- excerpt from Reichsjustizministerium Report,1944
Much of the slang of the Swing Kids is now lost. We can only
surmise that, apart from a lot of English phrases, it must have been a
rich underground jargon that varied regionally and reflected the different
layers of society.
One former member of the a Hamburg Swing Club, Uwe Storjohann, recalled
that it was considered elegant and courageous in his circle of friends
to use Jewish words and phrases. Words like Begannern, meschugge
and nebbisch were spoken as loudly as possible to annoy others. They
would startle bystanders by proclaiming, “No one played jazz as kosher
as Benny Goodman!” (Keiner jazzt so koscher wie Benny Goodman!).
Of course, we must recognize that the Swing Youth cared nothing for the
Jews or their terrible fate under the Reich, and certainly never had contacts
with “real” Jews. They simply used Jewish vocabulary because it alarmed
Germans who disliked Swing, and broke National Socialist taboos.
Lifestyle of the German Swing
The German Swing Kids wanted to be as close to the entire Swing scene
as possible. They not only wanted the correct dress, music, dance
and slang, but they also wanted to act modern like the hep-cats, alligators
and rug-cutters of America. They wanted the fast and free life as
well as the lay-back Black attitude that typified Swing. Of course,
all of this was in direct contravention to the intolerant and militarized
state of Nazi Germany.
The German Swing Kids deliberately adopted a swagger that included
a slight forward bend with light steps, in direct defiance of the straight
marching stride approved for healthy Germans. One Reich Youth Leadership
(Reichsjugendfuehrung) report of September 1942 blamed their attitude favoring
a carefree life on Jewish Hollywood movies. The Swing Kids adopted
casual conduct that was as public and painfully obvious as possible.
A swingateer from Kiel wrote his friend, “When you leave Kiel,
be as nonchalant as you can; whistling and singing English songs as much
as possible; and above all, be sure to keep yourself inebriated, and have
plenty of hot-looking chickaroos hanging all over you.”
The German Swing Kids hated the Hitler Youth. The National
Socialist Party may have been an exciting diversion for youngsters at first,
but the monotony of drill and straightjacket military discipline soon wore
thin. To Swing Kids, the Hitler Youth crowd was not only a bunch of icky
tin-ears (people who disliked Swing), but they appeared ludicrous
in the silly short pants that were mandatory up to the age of 18.
Many Hitler Youth believers also used their newly-gained authority to act
like Little Dictators, and quickly gained enemies as they denounced friends.
Perhaps the most contemptuous habit of the Hitler Youth Patrols (HJ-Steifenkontrolle)
was to spy on girls “in order to protect them”. One girl later recounted
that horny HJ kids followed her around and tried to catch her making out
with her soldier-boyfriends. She was just 14 at the time, so they
filed reports on her. One of her boyfriends, home from the front,
finally went to the local officials and told them about these peeping-toms.
The Hitler Youth kids were scolded and told to desist, but they kept it
up anyway. They couldn’t get girls of their own, and found snooping
on others sexually arousing.
As the above example demonstrates, the Swing Kids were fully justified
in their low opinion of some Hitler Youth boys. Meanwhile, the Nazi
Party, clueless as usual to the real needs and sentiments of young people
to be individually independent, tried to figure out exactly why the
“wild cliques” of teenage Swing Youth were gaining new “recruits” to their
The National Socialist regime was horrified that the ideal savoir-faire
lifestyle of a Swing Kid, who spent his entire life in and out of bars,
music and dance-halls, was completely irresponsible. The youthful impulse
to fritter away one’s life is entirely normal, usually runs its course,
and is effectively countered by educated freedom of choice. But Nazi
logic was so twisted that it only saw one problem, a bloated Jewish America
forcing its decadence on an otherwise responsible and obedient German youth.
The Nazi solution, therefore, was to ruthlessly block all American music
and culture from reaching Germany. Of course, the more the Authorities
tried to quash American Swing, the more attractive it became to rebel-prone
The Swing Kids were brought up in a highly structured society that
did not give them the mental tools to grapple with systems of government
and freedom to choose. They only knew that America was somehow a
“swinging democracy”. The movies depicted the United States as progressive
and abundant in resources, where people had plenty of good clothes and
food, and could really enjoy the fun life unfettered by governmental decrees.
Many German youth reasoned that the entire package must be due to Swing.
Since the National Socialists were against Swing, their policies and not
Swing were to blame.
The German Swing Youth rebellion against the regime was started in
this way. The Swing Kids began to think “outside the box” of National
Socialism and adopted liberated individual ways. The situation, from
a Nazi perspective, got worse quickly Swing Kids started contacting
Jews and half-breed Jews. These contacts led to some intimate affairs.
According to the Nazis, lustful Jews had been freed to grope and prostitute
German girls, who in turn threatened the entire country with more Jewish
blood. Hitler’s main task was to exterminate the Jewish population,
and here the Swing Kids might add to it. The Nazi crackdown was swift
and hard – the Swing Kids were declared political opponents of the German
The Swing Kids themselves never intended to have any political effects.
They did not understand politics. They admired the Western Democracies
not from a political standpoint, but because they viewed American and England
as “paradises”, where swing-loving people were free to do whatever they
wanted. Many Swing Kids planned to emigrate to the United States
after the war, and they tried to ignore the conflict in the meantime.
Both girls and boys tried to “wish away” the violence and the bombing with
more Swing, more idle conversation between friends and more relationships.
They turned their backs on the reality around them: the Jewish roundups,
the death camps and the steady stream of manpower reserves disappearing
into the cauldrons of Russia and France. Horrified by the prospects
of a good life cut short, the Swing Kids sought to avoid service, even
the mandatory Labor Front (Arbeitsfront)..
The main form of escapism for Swing Kids was sex, whether it was
thinking about it, talking about it, or doing it. The Reich Youth
Leadership emphasized their “moral decay”:
“With Swing Youth, personal affection means nothing. They only select
a partner for one purpose, sexual intercourse. Even the girls constantly
change partners within their circle. Whether it is that boy or that
girl doesn’t matter to them, as long as they can copulate somewhere, preferably
in an unoccupied home. Although they engage in sexual activity mostly
at house-dance parties, they will use any spot or opportunity, whether
in a public building, on an excursion or even while on nighttime civil
air-defense guard duty”.
The National Socialist officials, possibly turned on by the prospect
of liberated sex, became obsessed with the topic. Nazi documents
rapidly filled with quotations, letters and diary entries mentioning sex.
Any boasts of group sex were officially recorded, cases of underage sex
(under 21) duly noted, promiscuous behavior described in detail and, of
course, those rare cases of Jewish-German “race disgrace” (Rassenschande)
sent forward to the Highest Authorities.
The Swing Kids did engage in a level of sexual activity beyond that
accepted in normal German society of the 1930/40-era They tore down
contemporary social conventions governing politically-correct and courteously
arranged courtship. However, we really don’t know exactly how widespread
or complex their sexual practices were, because the Nazi records tilted
toward propagandistic exaggeration. However, it is fair to say that
the Swing Kids were probably a precursor to the middle-class Sexual Revolution
of the 1960s.
The lifestyle of the Swing Kids centered around the portable gramophone
and its accompanying “must-have” set of American and English Swing records.
Because the turntable and accessories could be carried, this meant that
the club members could gather in many places, including public swimming
pools, movie theaters, ice-cream parlors or municipal parks. Swing
Kids could even trundle the necessary stuff along while going on an outing
Evening gatherings became a little trickier after a 1940 police ordnance
was put into effect “for the protection of youth” (Polizeiverordung zum
Schutz der Jugend), which prohibited anyone under 18 “to knock around”
after sundown . But the ordnance did little to stop the determined
Swing Kids. They got into many bars, cafes and concert halls by using
counterfeit identity cards with falsified ages, while dressed in attire
that made them look older (which Swing-approved clothing had a tendency
to do, anyway). Even young girls and subteens learned to apply makeup
and dress like their older sisters, in order to get into favorite haunts.
The boys took advantage of the fact that they lacked short pants, the universal
sign in Germany of a male who was of Hitler Youth.age, to quickly pass
through entrances before one could get a good look at them..
The Reich Ministry of Justice Report noted that the police crackdowns
following the big Hamburg Swing Gathering (attended by 500-600 teens) discouraged
large assemblies.of Swing Youth. Out of necessity, German Swing Kids
resorted to much smaller Swing dances, where groups of about twenty or
thirty boys and girls would meet at someone‘s house or apartment.
All German youngsters had to pull air-raid guard duty in various buildings,
such as churches, and the Swing Kids also took advantage of this fact to
hold swing parties at those locations. The doubly irreverent practice of
hosting a Swing event in a church, during wartime guard duty, provided
extra pleasure in disrespecting the Authorities.
In summary, the lifestyle of the Swing Kids was in complete opposition
to the perceived National Socialist concept of youth “quick and sharp as
greyhounds, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel (Krupp Steel Works
produced German heavy weapons in both world wars).” To the extent that
the Swing Kids assumed American ideals of personal freedom, relaxed living,
and appreciation of the “lower races” (Swing drew on both Black and Jewish
talents), they were a grave threat to the upside-down philosophy of Nazism
that sought to insulate Germany from the rest of the world. The evasion
of mandatory Labor Front work by the Swing Kids heightened their danger
to established Nazi Order. Finally, the arrival of war, and its resulting
siding of both United States and Britain against the German Reich, elevated
the Swing Youth danger into treasonous political opponents. The increased
repression of the Swing Kids by Nazi officials drove them to express more
and more anti-Nazi types of behavior that sometimes went well beyond simply
provoking the Authorities.
German Swing Youth Lyrics :
Verse mocking the Hitler Youth
(sung to the melody of ''Organ Grinder's Swing'') :
''Kurze Haare, große Ohren,
So war die HJ geboren!
Lange Haare, Tangoschritt -
Da kommt die HJ nicht mit! Oho,oho!
Und man hoert's an jeder Eck' -
Die HJ muß wieder weg!''
"Crew-cut and big ears,
This way the HJ (Hitler Youth) was born!
Long hair, tango step-
The HJ can't keep pace. O-ho, o-ho!
You can hear it everywhere -
The HJ has got to go!"
Song distributed on a handbill within schools in Winterhude:
''Der Boy, das Girl, sie lieben Hot
Und meiden die Meute stupider HJ.
Geh'n sie spazieren auf leisestem Krepp,
Erglaenzt sie am Bein, er am Jackett.
Marschiert voran, Hot, Jazz und Swing.
Come on boy and girl, wir gehen zum Ding.
Zum Fest der Gerechtigkeit komm und spring.
Und tritt General HJ einst gegen uns an
Dann werden wir hotten Mann fuer Mann.
Der eine am Baß, der andre am Kamm.
Noch sind wir nicht viele genug.
Doch einst wird es wahr, was bisher nur Spuk.
Wir werden siegen, da gibt's keinen Muck!''
''The boy, the girl, both loving the 'Hot' (hot-jazz)
And avoiding the mob of the mindless HJ (Hitler
If they stroll on most quiet crepe,
Her legs are shiny as well as his jacket.
March forward, Hot, Jazz and Swing.
Come on, boy and girl, we go to the thing.
Come to the feast of fairness and jump.
And if general-HJ opposed us once,
Then we will 'hotten' man for man.
One at the bass, the other at the comb.
Still we aren't many enough.
But sometime it's true, what only was apparition.
We will win, without any question!''
An Additional Little Verse:
'Swingend wollen wir marschieren in die Zwangs-HJ
Teddy Stauffer soll uns fuehren mit dem neuesten Hot !''
''Swinging we want to march into the coercive
Stauffer (Band leader) shall lead us with the latest 'Hot'!''
Song of Hamburg Transit Concentration camp Fuhlsbuettel — known as
''Florida'' (sung to the melody of ''Oh Joseph, Joseph''):
"Und Sonntag war'n wir in der Bauernschaenke
bei einem froehlichen Zusammensein.
Der Ober brachte verschiedene Getraenke,
doch keines war vom guten alten Wein.
Er hat vielleicht mal neben Wein gelegen
und etwas Faerbung abgekriegt.
Doch alle sind sie da, bis auf die in Florida.
Oh Joseph, Joseph, Steine klopfen, das ist wunderbar."
''And on Sunday we were in the farmer Bar
at a happy get-together.
The waiter brought different drinks
but none was of the good old wine.
Perhaps he has lain beside a wine
and got some coloring.
All of us are here, except of those who are in
Oh Joseph, Joseph, crushing stones is wonderful
Song about Bergedorf, one of 4 Hamburg youth detention centers (sung
to the melody "Panama"):
"Bergedorf ist kein Zuchthaus, kein Sing-Sing,
Bergedorf ist die Festung fuer den Swing.
Bergedorf ist der Nazi stiller Ort,
wo sie hinbringen die Kulturtraeger fuer den altenglischen Hot."
''Bergedorf is no prison, no Sing Sing,
Bergedorf is the fortress for the Swing.
Bergedorf is a silent Nazi place,
where they send the cultural scene of the old
Rhyming Satire about Nazi SS-Thug ''Tall Paul'' (despised by Hamburg
Swing Youth) and His Gestapo Interrogation Partner ''Fox' at work
"Erst bricht der Lange Paul dir alle Knochen,
dann kommst du beim Fuchs auf allen Vieren angekrochen
der macht aus dir Frikassee
aus deinem Schwanz Haschee
da pfeift dir aus dem Hinterteil
der allerletzte Furz: Swing Heil!"
''First the 'Tall Paul' breaks all your bones
then you creep onto all fours to the 'Fox'
which makes fricassee from you
and hash from your willie
then slips out of your bottom
the very last fart: Swing Heil!''
Verse about Goebbels (who was a leading Repressor of Swing music):
"Der kleine Josef hat gesagt, ich darf nicht singen,
denn meine Band, die spielt ihm viel zu hot.
Ich darf jetzt nur noch Bauernwalzer bringen,
nach dem bekannten Wiener Walzertrott."
''The little Josef has said I mustn't sing
because my Band plays much too Hotly.
I may only bring farmer waltzes now
like the Viennese waltz trot.''
"Wir tanzen Swing bei Meier Barmbeck.
Es ist verboten. Wir hotten nach Noten.
Und kommt die Polizei, dann tanzen wir Tango.
Und ist sie wieder weg, dann swingen wir den Tiger Rag."
''We dance swing at Meier Barmbeck.
It is forbidden. We're 'hotting' after notes.
And if the police come, then we dance tango.
And when they're gone, then we swing the 'Tiger
Song based on ''Lambeth walk'' (as Churchills favorite song it was
at the top of the Forbidden Song List):
"Kennen Sie Lamberts Nachtlokal?
Nackte Weiber kolossal
Eine Mark und zehn, liegen oder stehn!"
''Do you know Lambert's Night Bar?
Naked women tremendous
One Mark and ten, lie or stand up straight!''
Same Song again, but sung to ''Joseph, Joseph'':
"Wir sind nicht Juden, sind nicht Plutokraten,
doch die Nazis muessen trotzdem weg.
Aus uns da macht man keine Soldaten,
denn unsere Hymne ist der Tiger Rag."
''We aren't Jews, aren't plutocrats
but nevertheless the Nazis have to be removed.
They don't make any soldiers out of us
because our hymn is the 'Tiger Rag'.''
Listen to a German version
Lambeth Walk (Lamberts Nachtlokal)
Listen to Bert Ambrose a.h.