19 2014

Distinguished Speaker Series

7:00PM - 9:00PM  

Temple Solel 3575 Manchester Avenue

Contact Ilene Tatro

Between 1933 and 1939, representations of the Nazis and the full meaning of Nazism came slowly to Hollywood, growing more ominous and distinct only as the decade wore on. As Europe hurtled toward war, a proxy battle waged in Hollywood over how to conduct business with the Nazis, how to cover Hitler and his victims in the newsreels, and whether to address or ignore Nazism in Hollywood feature films. Should Hollywood lie low, or stand tall and sound the alarm? In a recent book, a scholar argues that Hollywood studios, in an effort to protect the German market for their movies, not only acquiesced to Nazi censorship but also actively and enthusiastically cooperated with that regime's global propaganda effort. Thomas Doherty, however, considers these charges slanderous and ahistorical -- slanderous because they smear an industry that struggled to alert America to the menace in Germany and ahistorical because they read the past through the eyes of the present.