How Hollywood Caved to the Nazis
Book excerpt gives details of Hollywood execs cutting films to meet Nazi demands
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2013 12:00 PM CDT
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(Newser) – The 1930s may have been a golden age in Hollywood but it was a period tarnished by an alliance with the Nazis. In new book The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler, Ben Urwand discusses the hoops some studios—including MGM, Paramount, and 20th Century Fox—jumped through to please the Nazis in Germany, once the second-largest movie market. An excerpt in the Hollywood Reporter explains that beginning with All Quiet on the Western Front in 1930 until after the Nazis' invasion of Poland, Hollywood execs not only edited films to suit Nazi tastes, they worked "in close collaboration" with Germany to cut Jewish contributions, names from credits, and even whole projects.

The German consul in LA even threatened studios, claiming a company that distributed an anti-German film—anywhere in the world—would be banned. When a script was written to showcase the treatment of Jews, he warned it might mean the end of American movies in Germany altogether. The boss at MGM even went as far as to say, "We have terrific income in Germany and, as far as I am concerned, this picture will never be made." Urwand writes, "At this critical historical moment, when a major Hollywood production could have alerted the world to what was going on in Germany, the director did not have the final cut; the Nazis did." Some other chilling details: A Nazi was named manager of Paramount's German branch in 1937, while MGM's German head divorced his Jewish wife, who was sent to a concentration camp, to please the Propaganda Ministry. Click for the full excerpt.

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Aug 16, 2013 9:27 PM CDT
How many people supported Hitler in the late 30's? Most US lawmakers, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Lord Chamberlain to name a few. Henry Ford was so antisemitic he produced a newspaper about it. He accepted the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Hitler because of his hatred of Jews. As mentioned below, some Jewish Bolshevik refugees were running studios. I had a professor back in college who's grandfather was Harry Rapf. He was an officer at MGM who was blacklisted in the HUAC trials. She talked a lot about having to go into hiding in the USA as a young girl until all the HUAC crap subsided. Having Joanna as a professor was the best thing I experienced at college. She bought in Sidney Lumet and Buck Henry. Their take on the communism issue was interesting at best. It was eye opening for me because I had misconceptions. They didn't flip me to communism but I understand their views.
Witzelsucht
Aug 2, 2013 10:04 PM CDT
Here is an example of yellow journalism. The dates given in this Newser summary precede year 1941, when the Jewish Holocaust began. One may hold valid complaints against Jews, but, please, if you bear some criticism, put it in a context of reality. It is a rare Jew who would harm another Jew. Mr. Mayer, Mr. Goldwyn, Mr. Mayer, and Mr. Fox produced many of the world’s best movies and do not deserve the disparagement proffered by this book. Anyone with a product tailors it to potential buyers (just as the author of this book, which I will not be reading), so it would be surprising if the movie-makers refused to comply with the Deutsche government’s request to conform to its demands, especially given that the German market then held second place. As an aside here, I am awaiting the English publication of “200 Years Together," by the 20th Century’s greatest writer, Solzhenitsyn. Where is it?
BenDunn
Aug 2, 2013 10:13 AM CDT
money over morals.. the liberal way!!