|Evidence shows that Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party|
exercised considerable influence over Hollywood,
including what films went unmade and what scenes were cut.
WHEN HOLLYWOOD HELD HANDS WITH HITLER. Really. That's the title of an article by Alex Kafka at the Chronicle of Higher Education. It's worthy of your perusal. According to Alex,
A debate is raging over Hollywood's alleged collusion with the Nazis. At stake: the moral culpability of Jewish studio heads during cinema's golden age.
The catalyst is a forthcoming book from Harvard University Press, The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact With Hitler, by the 35-year-old historian Ben Urwand. The book is still several months from publication, but emotions are running high after an early review in the online magazine Tablet, followed by an exchange of rhetorical fire in The New York Times between Urwand and Thomas Doherty, a professor of American studies at Brandeis University who this spring published his own account of the era, Hollywood and Hitler: 1933-1939 (Columbia University Press). The clash comes during a period of heightened scholarly attention to Nazi infiltration and counterinfiltration in Depression-era Los Angeles, complicating the story of Hollywood's stance toward fascism.
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Largely through the Third Reich's vice consul in Los Angeles, Georg Gyssling, the Nazi-Hollywood relationship gave Hitler and his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, effectual power over what films got made, what scenes got cut, which stars and filmmakers were blacklisted, and which Jewish studio employees in Germany were fired. The Germans demanded say not just over American films shown in Germany but over those shown anywhere. Nazi emissaries visited theaters worldwide to report back on whether promised scene cuts had in fact been carried out. If not, the officials scolded the studios and threatened to close German production and distribution markets to them. The studios, year after year, would promptly grovel and comply.
Today's TV world has the NCIS institutionalized paranoia, of terrorists behind every bush. Might there be a similar lickspittle relationship with the powers that be in the American Reich?