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Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America

January 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America is the chilling, little-known story of a Jewish spy ring in Los Angeles that operated from August 1933 to the end of World War II, fighting the rise of Nazism in the United States.

The Friends are pleased to welcome author Steven J. Ross to present his work. His visit is part of the ReflectSpace exhibit “i am: Narratives of the Holocaust” an exhibition that brings together contemporary photography and rare artifacts/archives to examine various narratives of survival and identity created during the Holocaust and later. The January 17, 2018 Wednesday evening program is as follows:

Author Reception in ReflectSpace, 6 pm
Lecture in the Auditorium, 7 pm

No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. The Nazis plotted to kill the city’s Jews and to sabotage the nation’s military installations: plans existed for hanging prominent Hollywood figures; for driving through Boyle Heights and machine-gunning as many Jews as possible; and for blowing up defense installations and seizing munitions from National Guard armories along the Pacific Coast.

As Hitler in Los Angeles reveals, American Jews were far more active in fighting Hitler in the United States than Communist-obsessed government authorities. They were led by attorney Leon Lewis, the man Nazis would come to call “the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles,” and his daring ring of spies comprised of military veterans and their wives who infiltrated every Nazi and fascist group in Los Angeles.

Hitler in Los Angeles tells the unknown story of American Jewish resistance in a time when hate groups moved from the margins to the mainstream of American society. Steven J. Ross is the son of Holocaust survivors. He writes about the world of his parents and the millions of Jews who found themselves terrorized by Nazis and fascists not just in Europe, but also in the United States.

This Steven J. Ross lecture is part of iam: Narratives of the Holocaust at ReflectSpace at Downtown Central Library, an exhibition focusing on the Holocaust and narratives of identity, in partnership with the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.

Steven J. Ross is Professor of History at the University of Southern California and director of the Casden Institute for the Study of American Jewish Life. His book, Working-Class Hollywood: Silent Film and the Shaping of Class in America, received the prestigious Theater Library Association Book Award for 1999. It was also named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the “Best Books of 1998” and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in History. For Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics, Ross received a Pulitzer Prize nomination and a Film Scholars Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, International Herald-Tribune, Newark Star Ledger, Washington Independent, HuffingtonPost, and Politico.

Copies of Hitler in Los Angeles will be on sale (cash, check, credit). Please use Eventbrite.com to RSVP for  the event and help the Friends of the Library determine the number of books to bring for sales and autographs. Search Steven Ross Friends of the Library.

Visitors to the Downtown Central Library in Glendale receive 3 hours FREE parking across Harvard Street at the Marketplace parking structure with validation at the service desk. Handicapped parking is available on the east side of the building. Short term parking spaces are available on the east and south sides of the building. Metered parking is available on Harvard Street and on the west side of the building in Lot #10.

Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America


January 17
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Downtown Central Library
222 East Harvard Street
Glendale, CA 91205 United States
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Friends of the Glendale Public Library