Friday, August 2, 2013

Hollywood and Hitler: A Love Affair?

Here’s a fun fact for this beautiful Friday morning: Back in the 1930s, Hollywood was in cahoots with the Nazis.

 So says Harvard post-doctoral fellow Ben Urwand, who did some serious research on the subject for his book, “The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler.”

As The Hollywood Reporter writes:

“… [Urwand] reveals the shocking extent to which Hollywood cooperated with the Nazis during the decade leading up to World War II to protect its business.

“Indeed, ‘collaboration’ (and its German translation, Zusammenarbeit) is a word that appears regularly in the correspondence between studio officials and the Nazis. Although the word is fraught with meaning to modern ears, its everyday use at the time underscored the eagerness of both sides to smooth away their differences to preserve commerce.

“The Nazis threatened to exclude American movies – more than 250 played in Germany after Hitler took power in 1933 – unless the studios cooperated. Before World War I, the German market had been the world’s second largest, and even though it had shrunk during the Great Depression, the studios believed it would bounce back and worried that if they left, they would never be able to return.

“Beginning with wholesale changes made to Universal’s 1930 release All Quiet on the Western Front, Hollywood regularly ran scripts and finished movies by German officials for approval. When they objected to scenes or dialogue they thought made Germany look bad, criticized the Nazis or dwelled on the mistreatment of Jews, the studios would accommodate them – and make cuts in the American versions as well as those shown elsewhere in the world.”

Wanna read more about it? Click here.

But even if you don’t have the time or inclination, next time you turn on your TV or watch a movie, keep in mind how Hollywood has a history of selling out to the highest bidder at any cost.

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