A new book, “The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler,” by scholar Ben Urwand accuses Socialist Hollywood of once being in the tank for Nazi Germany.
The book includes numerous documents to support the conclusion that Hollywood, to protect its German market, enthusiastically cooperated with their global propaganda effort.
Urwand alleges that Hollywood collaborated directly with Adolf Hitler. Greed, political correctness, and perhaps more sinister motives were more important to them than opposing the Nazi regime.
Hollywood’s “collaboration began in 1930, when Carl Laemmle Jr. of Universal Studios agreed to significant cuts in ‘All quiet on the Western Front’ after the Nazi Party organized riots in Germany, and it lasted until well past Kristallnacht in November, 1938.
Historians have long known that Hollywood allowed Nazi meddling in the industry, but Mr. Urwand has gone into German and American archives to discover what he says is a deep and long relationship between Hollywood and the brutal Third Reich.
Urwand presents endless reams of evidence that studio bosses, some Jewish, cut films to suit Nazi officials who wanted to propagandize them. Not only that, the money went to actually help finance the German army.
Jack Warner, for example, personally ordered the word “Jew” be removed from the 1937 film, ‘The Life of Emile Zola,” and then invited Nazi officials to LA to screen the film and suggest cuts. Mr. Urwand said Warner Brothers was appeasing Hitler as early as 1933.
One of Urwand’s many discoveries was a 1938 letter from the German 20th-Century Fox asking whether Hitler would share his opinions on American movies. It was signed ‘Heil Hitler!’
Urwand found detailed records of ongoing studio visits by German officials in which they watched films and dictated scene-by-scene cuts, insisting the cuts be made in all countries, including the US.
One film, ‘The Mad Dog of Europe,’ was completely quashed. “We have terrific income in Germany and, as far as I am concerned,” Louis B. Mayer was quoted in a legal case as saying, “this picture will never be made.” Urwand found more than 20 films that were intended for US audiences but were altered or put on the shelf.
One movie ‘The House of Rothschild,’ depicting the Jewish patriarch of the Rothschild family as mean-spirited, was loved by the Nazis so much that they used parts of it in a vile documentary titled, ‘The Eternal Jew.’
Photo of a poster for the documentary, ‘The Eternal Jew’
That isn’t what the makers of the film had in mind however and, after this, Jewish characters were removed from Hollywood movies to keep the Germans from distorting the characters to make them look worse. Unfortunately, it gave the Germans free reign. As the Germans were barring Jews from any kind of normal life, no mention of even their existence was made in Hollywood.
Nazi newspapers loved films like ‘The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, Mutiny on the Bounty’ and ‘Our Daily Bread’ because they liked seeing the fascist political lessons being taught with humor. They particularly liked ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ because it showed the democratic form of government as corrupt and inefficient.
Urwand states that the studios were as bad as any industry, including the State Department which refused to give visas to Jews. “Collaboration,” he said, “is what the studios were doing, and how they describe it.”
Full story at Tablet Magazine