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April 04, 2003 - Image 103

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-04-04

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International Jew, a compendium of
essays published on what he deemed to
be the "world's foremost problem."
In an exhibition excerpt from the
Dearborn Independent, titled "The
Jewish Aspect of the Movie Problem,"
Jews are described as immoral and
propagating filth that goes against the
grain of the American people.
The post-World War I Red Scare
linked Jewish immigrants with
Bolshevism, fostered by the first
English translation of The Protocols of
the Elders of Zion, a forged document
initially printed in Russia that pur-
ported an international conspiracy of
Jews to control the world. Ford used
the Protocols in much of his own anti-
Semitic writing.
The virulent anti-Semitism in
Hitler's Germany coupled with the rise
of anti-Semitism in • this country and
the re-emergence of the anti-
Communist rhetoric continued to
make their impact upon the film
industry and "Hollywood's Jewish

From Molly To Barbra

One of radio's biggest phenomena,
writ large in the exhibit, was Gertrude
Berg, producer of The Goldbergs, a sit-
com about Jewish family life in the
The Goldberg phenomenon
spanned 35 years and embraced every
medium in its wake, including radio,
television, stage and the movies.
Philip Loeb played Jake Goldberg,
Molly's disgruntled husband, and
was considered an
actor of high
In 1950,
Loeb's name
appeared in
a publica-
tion of
actors and
writers pur-
ported to be
members of
Among the sub-
versive activities Loeb
was accused of was sup-
porting a group calling for integra-
tion of baseball.
General Foods, the show's
sponsor, forced Loeb off the
series, ruining his career. He
committed suicide in 1955.
Loeb's name was one of 151

names, one-third of them Jewish,
included in "Red Channels," a non-
government publication put together
by two former FBI men as a freelance
anti-Communist diatribe.
In the early `50s, to be listed in
"Red Channels" meant the end of
your career, says Hoberman.
Other Jewish names on the infa-
mous list, which is featured in the
exhibit, include Edward G. Robinson,
John Garfield, Judy Holliday and
Leonard Bernstein.
As visitors pass through the exhibit,
they encounter a series of "star
shrines," including Fannie Brice, Betty
Boop, the Marx Brothers, Marilyn
Monroe, Sammy Davis Jr. and Barbra
Streisand; each evokes a sense of the
public's fascination with the
Jewishness of their icons.

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One of the most durable cartoons
of the 1930s, Betty Boop
(created by Max Fleischer in
1930) was the star of
the Fleischer Brothers
animation studio, whose
cartoons were replete
with ethnic humor and
references to Jewish culture.
The plot of the 1931
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Impact Of Holocaust

Two post-World War II experiences
helped shape the course of American
popular culture, the creation of the
State of Israel and the Holocaust.
Exodus, the 1960 movie based on
Leon Uris' titular best-selling novel,
transformed the birth of the new
nation of Israel into an American epic.
Many American Jews had their first
glimpse of Israel in the movie, whose
story appealed to them because it
depicted a new kind of Jew, not one
who ran or hid, but one who came out
.fighting and triumphed.
In the second half of the 20th cen-
tury, the Holocaust became a promi-
nent fixture of American public cul-
-Films, radio and television
have not only presented the
Holocaust to the largest number
of Americans, they have played
an important role in shaping
the nation's relationship to this
forbidding subject.
Many Americans first learned
of conditions inside Nazi con-
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