The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler

9 08 2013

A forthcoming book, Ben Urwand‘s “The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler,” charges that Hollywood studio executives, including Jewish executives, collaborated with the Nazis. The collaboration took the form of self-censorship and the decision not to produce anti-Nazi or anti-German films. Germany was the world’s second-largest movie market and studio executives were unwilling to risk losing revenue by alienating the Nazi regime. A German law stated that if a foreign studio released an anti-German film anywhere in the world, all of that company’s films would be banned in Germany. In effect, the Germans were able to influence the scripts of films shown in the United States and the other Western democracies. Self-censorship of this sort began as early as 1931.


As the New York Times reports, Urwand’s use of the term collaboration has been controversial. Indeed, the term is “slander” in the eyes of  Professor Thomas P. Doherty of  Brandeis University and the author of the recent book  on the same subject.


All of this raises the question of what influence China may have over the content of Hollywood scripts today.