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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hitler and Hollywood: The Collaboration of American Movie Studios with Nazi Germany

  • Author(s): Urwand, Benjamin Alexander
  • Advisor(s): Litwack, Leon
  • et al.

From 1933 to 1940, the Hollywood studios came to an arrangement with the Nazis that both parties understood at the time as "collaboration [Zusammenarbeit]." The studios sold around 250 movies to Germany in this period, in return for which they had to agree not to attack the Nazis in any of their productions. When the United States entered the Second World War in 1941, the studios finally put out a barrage of anti-Nazi pictures, but refused to use the medium to bring the genocide of the Jews to the world's attention.

The collaboration of the American studios with Nazi Germany has never been addressed in any of the scholarly or popular literature on the Third Reich or in the history of film. This project draws on primary materials from dozens of archives and hundreds of movies to tell a story that is completely unknown.

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