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Hollywood’s War with Poland 1939–1945$
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M.B.B. Biskupski

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125596

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125596.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

Radical Hollywood and Poland

Radical Hollywood and Poland

(p.57) 3 Radical Hollywood and Poland
Hollywood’s War with Poland 1939–1945

M. B. B. Biskupski

University Press of Kentucky

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) traced the Communist International's (Comintern) determination to establish a presence in American films to articles by Willi Münzenberg in the Daily Worker in 1925 that extolled the significance of motion pictures as a means of political propaganda and hence the need for the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) to control their production. In 1934 the total party membership in the Los Angeles area was estimated by the FBI to be a paltry three dozen, but in that year a special “Hollywood studio section” was organized, and it grew rapidly thereafter. Party headquarters in New York sent the Polish-born party intellectual Isaac Romaine or Victor Jerome as “cultural commissar” to the fledgling operation in California. It was Jerome who decided that “Hollywood luminaries” would constitute a unique section, separate from the local party rank and file, linked directly to headquarters in New York, bypassing the normal hierarchy.

Keywords:   FBI, Communist International, films, Willi Münzenberg, motion pictures, political propaganda, Communist Party, Isaac Romaine, Victor Jerome, Hollywood

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