Research Outline

Anti-Defamation League Publications


To build a list of 7-10 articles, books, and movies about the ADL and/or similar organizations, with a specific focus on their work during the 1930s.

Early Findings


1. The Nazis’ Plan to Infiltrate Los Angeles And the Man Who Kept Them at Bay

  • Published on October 27, 2017, this article was written by Anna Diamond for the Smithsonian.
  • The article opens by referencing Steven J. Ross' book, "Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America".
  • However, the remainder of the article proceeds to discuss the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and, in particular, Leon Lewis' work to build a spy ring and combat pro-Nazi and German sympathy groups in the United States.

2. The Nazi Sites of Los Angeles

  • Written by Dana Goodyear, this article was published online by the New Yorker on September 18, 2017, and in their print issue on September 25, 2017.
  • This article provides a "walking tour of where the Fascists and Hitlerites gathered in California" during the 1930s.
  • In addition to identifying specific and important historical locations, the article also provides an overview of what took place at those locations.

Books and Biographies

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

  • Published in 2017, this book was written by Steven J. Ross.
  • The book focuses on the rise of Naziism in Los Angeles during the 1930s, indicating that "no American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world".
  • In his book, Ross further addresses the fact that American government and military forces were unconcerned about the rise of fascism and Nazi-support in Los Angeles and that, as a result, "only Leon Lewis and his daring ring of spies stood in the way".
  • An excerpt from "Hitler in Los Angeles" can be read here, on the University of Chicago website.

4. Hollywood and Hitler, 1933–1939

  • Written by Thomas Doherty, this film and culture series was published on March 12, 2013.
  • Hollywood and Hitler provides a look at the rise of Nazi-ism and pro-Hitler organizations in Los Angeles in the 1930s, with a particular focus on "how the disproportionately Jewish backgrounds of the executives of the studios and the workers on the payroll shaded reactions to what was never simply a business decision" and the "proxy battle [that] waged in Hollywood over how to conduct business with the Nazis, how to cover Hitler and his victims in the newsreels, and whether to address or ignore Nazism in Hollywood feature films".
  • As well, the book identifies and provides information on a number of specific people and organizations who worked against Nazi groups in the United States and, more specifically, in Los Angeles.