Originally Posted by Wibbs
Before the "glamour" of Hollywood came along it was considered a bit grubby a field so tended to attract more folks who were outside the social pale looking to make their way, Jews in particular(when we consider that private clubs were almost exclusively for European Americans, better if Protestant and Jews were barred from membership). This slant was much more in play in the US, if we look at European cinema as a comparison the numbers of Jewish people involved is far less. If European cinema had taken over the world the "Jews run the movie business" would not be the meme it is.
'An Empire of Their Own' is a decent book on the subject.
Originally Posted by Wibbs
Some Germans, even hardcore nazis and antisemites did at times question this. Mainly those soldiers on the Russian front. One guy I read noted it specifically that to him these people were dirt poor with nothing and reminded him of poorer versions of his own country relatives and hardly a threat and why were they going for these people and not after the "bankers" like was promised. More than a few noted that the rich had already fled years previously. As ever it's nearly always the poor who get it most in the neck when crap goes down. You saw that in many places in Eastern Europe and long before the nazis came long, where murderous pogroms were a annual sport and again it was nearly always the poor who were attacked, usually by their fellows in poverty.
Nazi anti Semitic propaganda never focused on the poor, though, with regard to Jews. Nor did it focus on Mr and Mrs Cohen down the street, who everybody got along with. It was always the "them" factor, the "other" and largely contained to targeting the "big" Jew, like the bogeyman Bolshevik or the international banker.
The thing is, though, is that Nazi propaganda regarding Jews was pretty thin on the ground before 1935 and the vast majority of Germans wouldn't have come into contact with it. Their main propaganda targets were Socialists, Communists and Bolsheviks. Hitler was told to rein in the anti Jewish rhetoric, because it was losing the crowd, especially in urban areas. Areas where Germans actually knew some Jews and it didn't tally with the image that Hitler was trying to portray.
Before Hitler was made Chancellor by Hindenburg, the German Jewish population was around half a million and contained to cities, largely, and Goebbels noted that the urbanites were going to be harder to sway and he was correct. The Nazis never really had the same grip over the likes of Berlin as they did in the more rural areas of the country.
The anti Bolshevik rhetoric always gained far more traction with Germans than the anti Jewish angle, especially with the middle classes. The two were occasionally mixed, of course, and he Nazis weren't short of pointing out that leading Communists were Jewish and that Karl Marx was a Jew.
Once in power, and once Hitler abolished any dissenting voices in the Reichstag, the anti Jewish propaganda went up in the mid to late 30's, culminating in the likes of Kristallnacht. But by then the population of Jews in Germany was less than 200,000. The vast majority of Germans had never even seen a Jew and their negative perception was far easier to mould.
The ultimate irony, I suppose, is that up until the mid 30's, Germany was a good place for Jews to live, especially in comparison to other European countries and German Jews had assimilated very well into society.