Open VISIONS Forum–Espresso Series Features Author and Nazi Expert Ben Urwand
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 9, 2013) – Fairfield University’s Open VISIONS Forum–Espresso series continues with Ben Urwand, author of “The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler,” at 7:30 p.m., Monday, October 28, 2013, presenting a lecture entitled “Hitler and Hollywood” at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. After his lecture, Mr. Urwand will be joined in a discussion on-stage with Gavriel Rosenfeld, Ph.D., professor of history, and Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D., professor of art history and founder/director of Open VISIONS Forum. Moffly Media is the exclusive magazine sponsor for the 2013-14 Open VISIONS Forum-Espresso series. Tickets are $12.
"Ben Urwand's provocative book has generated heated discussion in the media about Hollywood's ‘collaboration’ with the Third Reich and reveals the great difficulty of balancing analysis and judgment in assessing the Nazi past," said Gavriel Rosenfeld, Ph.D.
Raised in Sydney, Australia, the son of Jewish immigrants, Ben Urwand discovered his love of history as a teen, traveling to Canberra to interview Aboriginal protestors outside the Old Parliament House. He attended the University of Sydney and ventured into the Australian film industry before ultimately entering the history program at the University of California, Berkeley, where he wrote his dissertation on Hollywood’s dealings with Nazi Germany. He is currently a junior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, a post he will hold until 2014. While at Harvard, he won the prestigious Milton Grant, which allowed him to complete his research on “The Collaboration,” which will be published by Harvard University Press in October 2013.
“The Collaboration” reveals the shocking bargain some Hollywood producers made during the pre-World War II years: To continue doing business in Germany after Hitler’s ascent to power, studios agreed not to make films that attacked the Nazis or condemned Germany’s persecution of Jews. Urwand’s book includes a cast of characters ranging from notorious political leaders such as Joseph Goebbels and Hollywood icon Louis B. Mayer. At the center of the story is Hitler himself, who was obsessed with movies and recognized their power to shape public opinion.
Many critics have praised the book for revealing this little-known collaboration. Publishers Weekly called “The Collaboration” “a damning indictment” filled with “jaw-dropping revelations,” while Kirkus Reviews acknowledged its “keen, unsettling look at the unholy alliance.” Jennifer Schuessler in The New York Times wrote: “Urwand draws on a wealth of previously uncited documents to argue that Hollywood studios, in an effort to protect the German market for their movies, not only acquiesced to Nazi censorship but also actively and enthusiastically cooperated with that regime’s global propaganda effort.”
Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396. (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.fairfield.edu/ovf
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com
(photo credit Melissa Fall)