Hollywood Worked with Hitler

Watch closely the films Hollywood generated in the 1930s and you may see a subtext of Nazi propaganda. In his new book, The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler, scholar Ben Urwand draws on scores of previously uncited documents to show how Hollywood’s studios cooperated with the Third Reich to keep American movies in German cinemas. Beginning with the 1930 release of All Quiet on the Western Front, Hollywood regularly ran scripts and screeners by German officials for approval, many of which were rejected by Hitler and his cohorts if they drew attention to Germany’s growing anti-Semitism. Urwand’s book documents the collaboration in detail, but the American press was onto Hollywood at the time. In 1937, Newsweek ran a story with the headline “Long Arm of Hitler Extends to Hollywood Studio.”