Hollywood's Spies:

The Undercover Surveillance of Nazis in Los Angeles

 Laura B. Rosenzweig, PhD

Hollywood, Motion Pictures, Los Angeles, Spy, Spies, Espionage, Moguls, Hitler, Nazi, Nazis, Great War, World War II, American Legion, Antisemitism, Anti-Semitism, anti-Semite, antiSemite,1930s, California, West Coast, Laura Rosenzweig, LAJCC, Los Angeles Jewish Community Committee, Confessions of a Nazi Spy, Leon Lewis, Joe Roos, Joseph Roos, Hermann Schwinn, Charles Slocombe, John Schmidt, America First, American Jewish Congress, American Jewish Committee, Ingram Hughes, ADL, Anti-Defamation League, Aryan, Deutsches Haus, Aryan Bookstore, Father Coughlin, McCormack, Dickstein, Dies, Silver Legion, Silver Shirts, Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, Mankiewicz, Carey McWilliams, Neil Ness, Disabled American Veterans, DAV, Georg Gyssling, Gauleiter, Gold Shirts, Irving Thalberg, David O. Selznick, Mendel Silberberg, Walter Wanger, Gerald Winrod, Daryl Zanuck, Louis B. Mayer, LAPD, Red Squad, Los Angeles Times, Proclamation, Der Tag, Leonard Pitt, Christian Free Press, California Weckruf, Bund, Friends of the New Germany, German-American Bund


Based on award-winning research* and published by NYU Press, Hollywood's Spies recovers the true and untold story of how the Jewish executives of the motion picture industry in the 1930s paid private investigators to infiltrate Nazi groups operating in Los Angeles. Why? Because during the 1930s Germany conducted a clandestine propaganda campaign in this country to transplant Nazism to the United States. As a result, the 1930s was the most antisemitic period in American history. In response, Jewish leaders across the country organized anti-Nazi resistance operations to expose the domestic Nazi threat to Americans. In Los Angeles, that self-defense effort was spearheaded by the Jewish leaders of Hollywood.

Hollywood’s Spies corrects the decades-long belief that American Jews, and the Jews of Hollywood in particular, lacked the political agency and influence to effectively assert themselves politically during the 1930s.  The information collected by Hollywood's spies provided local, federal and congressional officials with critical evidence of nativist sedition and German meddling in American political culture. Drawing on more than 15,000 pages of archival documents, Laura B. Rosenzweig offers a compelling narrative illuminating the role that Jewish Americans played in combating insurgent Nazism in the United States during  the 1930s.




*Award-winning Research

Hollywood Spies is based on award-winning research with grants from the Annenberg Foundation, the University of California Center for Humanities Research, the Historical Society of Southern California, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and the American Jewish Archives.


Hollywood’s Spies exposes a buried story about underground plots waged by Nazis against major Hollywood figures as part of a plan to win over the United States.  






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 contact publicist betsy.steve@nyu.edu