Hollywood helped Adolf Hitler with Nazi propaganda drive, academic historian claims
Independent - Jonathan Paige June 28, 2013
Hollywood helped Adolf Hitler with Nazi propaganda drive, academic claims historian Ben Urwand says he has cache of documents that prove Tinseltown enthusiastically cooperated with Nazis' global propaganda effort.
Hollywood is not widely thought of as providing much support to Hitler's regime, instead producing a wealth of anti-Nazi films during the Second World War, ranging from Casablanca to The Great Dictator.
But now a young historian says that in the years before the war, Tinseltown was marching to a very different tune. Ben Urwand, 35 has written a book, The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact With Hitler, in which he cites documents that prove, he says, US studios acquiesced to Nazi censorship of their films actively cooperated with the regime's world propaganda effort.
“Hollywood is not just collaborating with Nazi Germany,” Urwand told the New York Times. “It’s also collaborating with Adolf Hitler, the person and human being.
Urwand, reportedly a folk musician from Australia who has become a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard, said his interest was first aroused as a student in California when he read an interview with the screenwriter Budd Schulberg referring to meetings between the MGM boss Louis Mayer and a representative of the Nazi regime to discuss cuts to his studio's films.
The book describes many Jewish studio bosses not only censoring films to suit the regime, but also producing material that could be inserted into German propaganda films and even financing German weapons manufacturing. The collaboration of Hollywood with the regime began in 1930, says Urwand, when Carl Laemmle Jr of Universal Studios agreed major cuts to the First World War film All Quiet On The Western Front after riots in Germany instigated by the Nazi party.
“I would say there were a few shocking moments, probably starting with the document I discovered in the National Archives in Washington which explained how MGM was insulating its profits,” Urwand told the Times of London.
“There was a law in Germany that foreign businesses couldn't export currency. They made an exception for MGM because they were financing the production of German armaments.”
After Hitler came to power, the book details regular studio visits by representatives of the regime, including Georg Gyssling, the special consul assigned to monitor Hollywood, who watched films and dictated scene-by-scene requests for cuts. In June 1939 MGM gave 10 Nazi newspaper editors a tour of its studio in Los Angeles, and during the 1930s hardly any Jewish characters appeared in Hollywood films.
Despite some raised eyebrows from other academics over the book's title, Urwand is unequivocal about it:
“Collaboration is what the studios were doing, and how they describe it.”
(PAR) Bill Vinecki
Hmmmmm... as a Polish American it seems like the pieces are starting to come together as to why there has been this strange anti-Polish bias/prejudice in a certain element of Hollywood since WWII. Many Polish Americans who don't know about the dynamics of Hollywood have always wondered why Polish people have been negatively portrayed in movies for decades since WWII. Whether its 1950's movies like "Street Car named Desire" or later movies/TV shows like "The End", "SWAT", "Bruce Almighty" etc.
Of course the TV networks like NBC-TV and CBS-TV (1970's show "All in the Family") as we all know have portrayed Polish people negatively with their STUDIO PRODUCED stereotype of Polish people being "inferior" with "inferior intelligence" and how Polish people are only worthy of being mocked and ridiculed in motion picture imagery. Much like how the Nazi Germans saw the Polish people as having subhuman intelligence and to a lessor extent the 1940's Soviets, who wanted the American public to have a low opinion of Poles so that the American people would not care about the suffering of Poland under Soviet occupation.
So according to this historian Ben Urwand, Hollywood was ACTIVELY pushing Nazi German propaganda to the public. This could be where Hollywood got its anti-Polish propaganda and anti-Polish stereotype that Polish people have "subhuman intelligence" and Polish people are "only worthy of Nazi German subhuman intelligence jokes".
There are some Polish Americans who have joked that NBC-TV is the "Nazi Broadcasting Company-TV" for its DECADES of pushing Nazi German subhuman intelligence jokes about Polish people. Well if early pre-founders/ founders of NBC-TV were exposed to these Nazi Germans and their subhuman intelligence joke propaganda about Polish people.....MAYBE there is some truth to the stereotype that the NBC-TV network and its Hollywood colleagues had a Nazi connection.