Monday, March 19, 2012

Hitler ruling his oppressive empire from Hollywood? You don't say.

Via LAhistory on Twitter comes this link to a fascinating story on the UK's Daily Mail Online: Heil Hollywood: The Los Angeles bunker from which Hitler planned to run Nazi empire after the war.

Despite my life-long interest in historic Hollywood and historic L.A., this is honestly the first time I've ever heard anything about this.  I have no idea where exactly in the hills it is or why it's taken so long for the story to be widely publicized.

In addition, while there have been no shortage of takes on what life might have been like when writers ask the magic "what if" question, "What if Germany had won World War II?" I am not aware that anyone ever thought to place the new German Socialist seat of power in La La Land.  In reality all that matters is that Hitler and the Nazis were defeated, but from a fictional standpoint, it really is a fascinating idea.

From the Daily Mail article linked above:
It sounds like the bizzare script of a Hollywood B-movie.
In a parallel universe the Nazis have won the war, Adolf Hitler moves to LA where he mingles with the stars of the silver screen while running his evil empire from a luxurious ranch deep in the LA hills.
But during the 1930s, American sympathisers were so confident this exact scenario was actually going happen they spent millions building a deluxe compound ready for their fuhrer's imminent arrival.
The graffit-plagued structures that are still standing will be bulldozed and the place turned into a picnic area.  Big improvement over the original plans, if you ask me.
Historian Randy Young told the Sunday Express: 'This was supposed to be the seat of American fascism from where Hitler would one day run the United States.
Amateur.  Everyone knows if you want to take over America and change it from a republic to an unrecognizable oppressive nanny state you run for president and bankrupt it.  Duh.

Still, amazing fodder for story ideas, no?

To me, the funny part is the idea that Hitler planned on hobnobbing with the Tinseltown elite.  Probably wouldn't have ended well for the numerous Jewish studio heads of the day, but I can totally see many of our modern day stars kowtowing to this sort of thing if it would keep them safe and at the top of the Hollywood heap.  Assuming this whole story is true at all.

Besides, I'd bet good money Marlene Dietrich would have kicked his ass if he'd tried to set up shop in her adopted country.  I'd totally take her over Hitler in a death match.

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