Ben Urwand

discusses

The Collaboration:
Hollywood's Pact with Hitler

introduced by JOSHUA RUBENSTEIN

Co-sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves

This event includes a book signing

Date

Oct
25
Friday
October 25, 2013
3:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store and Facing History and Ourselves are pleased to welcome historian BEN URWAND for a discussion of his book, The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler.

To continue doing business in Germany after Hitler's ascent to power, Hollywood studios agreed not to make films that attacked the Nazis or condemned Germany's persecution of Jews. Ben Urwand reveals this bargain for the first time—a "collaboration" (Zusammenarbeit) that drew in a cast of characters ranging from notorious German political leaders such as Goebbels to Hollywood icons such as Louis B. Mayer.

At the center of Urwand's story is Hitler himself, who was obsessed with movies and recognized their power to shape public opinion. In December 1930, his Party rioted against the Berlin screening of All Quiet on the Western Front, which led to a chain of unfortunate events and decisions. Fearful of losing access to the German market, all of the Hollywood studios started making concessions to the German government, and when Hitler came to power in January 1933, the studios—many of which were headed by Jews—began dealing with his representatives directly.

Urwand shows that the arrangement remained in place through the 1930s, as Hollywood studios met regularly with the German consul in Los Angeles and changed or canceled movies according to his wishes. Paramount and Fox invested profits made from the German market in German newsreels, while MGM financed the production of German armaments. Painstakingly marshaling previously unexamined archival evidence, The Collaboration raises the curtain on a hidden episode in Hollywood—and American—history.

Ben Urwand
Ben Urwand

Ben Urwand

Ben Urwand was born in Sydney, Australia in 1977. He is the son of Jewish immigrants: his father was forced to leave Cairo, Egypt in 1956, and his mother fled Budapest, Hungary the same year. Ben attended Sydney Grammar, a prestigious boys’ school, where he first discovered his passion for history: he travelled to Canberra and interviewed Aboriginal protestors outside the Old Parliament House, and he wrote a major essay on Aboriginal land rights and reparations.

Ben was elected a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2011, and he will hold this position until 2014. While at Harvard, he was awarded a prestigious Milton Grant, which enabled him to complete his research for The Collaboration

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

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