Films on Jews before & after WWII

4 April 2015
Explores themes, intentions, responses to rise & fall of Hitler & Holocaust in “House of Rothschild” (1934), “Great Dictator” (1940), “Crossfire” (1947) & others.

The Holocaust was not a known quantity in the years when America was intent on fighting World War II. After the war, knowledge of the Holocaust would increase, beginning with the terrible pictures sent around the world as the Allies liberated the prison camps and discovered what had been taking place in them. References to these events then made their way into a number of post-war films, among them Crossfire, Gentleman’s Agreement, and The Stranger. During the years of the war itself, though, anti-Semitism was barely a subject at all in Hollywood films in spite of the fact that Hollywood was known as a Jewish industry because of the number of studio heads and producers who were Jewish.

Judith E. Doneson wants to call the films reflecting anti-Semitism around this time Holocaust films and offers a definition..

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