Honors a Nazi
favorite propagandist has finally been rehabilitated.
Academy Awards ceremony, Hollywood gave Leni Riefenstahl its
kosher seal of approval.
does every year, the Oscars ceremony paid homage and tribute
to all of the great actors, directors, composers, and other
showbiz types who passed on in the previous year.
with recently deceased legends like Bob Hope, Gregory Peck,
Donald OConnor, Robert Stack, Buddy Hackett -- and even
John Ritter, Ms. Riefenstahl was so honored.
the Hollywood audience in attendance gave loud applause in
response to the televised photo and name of the German filmmaker
who used concentration camp prisoners as extras.
Hollywoods most important institution accord any recognition
to this woman?
claimed she was never a Nazi and didnt sympathize with
Hitler, but her actions and statements indicate otherwise.
During the Nazi era, Riefenstahl:
personally hand-picked by Hitler to make films glorifying
Hitler, the Nazi party, and the infamous Nazi-run Berlin
Olympics, at which Jews were excluded. (In 1932, Hitler
told her, "Once we come to power, you must make my
financing for several of her films from Nazi propaganda
officer Goebbels and his Ministry.
Gypsy prisoners of concentration camps as extras in her
films, their last stop before deportation to Nazi death
camps where half of them were exterminated.
the names of Jewish co-writers from her first film, "The
Blue Light" when it was re-issued in 1938.
"played a leading role in making propaganda for the most
evil regime in human history," said Dr. Rafael Medoff,
director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies,
in protesting the Academy recognition.
someone worthy of Academy Award tribute utter these famous
Reifenstahlisms about Hitler?:
deeds exceed the power of human imagination. They are without
equal in the history of mankind. How can we ever thank you?"
(1940 telegram from Riefenstahl congratulating Hitler on
must confess that I was so impressed by you and by the enthusiasm
of the spectators that I would like to meet you personally."
evening I felt that Hitler desired me as a woman" (regarding
one of her many meetings with Hitler, though she denied
they were lovers).
ignorance, or just "the Academys" insistence
on judging the art and not the artist?
standard is the latter, then Hollywood has a more lax standard
for Nazis than for anti-Communists.
Elia Kazan? He also died in 2003 and was part of the televised
memorial honor roll that included Riefenstahl, Sunday.
2002, actors like Nick Nolte, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, and
Ed Begley, Jr. protested the Lifetime Achievement Oscar that
masterful director Kazan received. They sat on their hands,
faces angry with rage, as Kazan took the stage to accept his
award. They couldnt forgive Kazans anti-Communist
patriotism and his testimony before the House Committee on
Un-American Activities at the height of the Cold War.
Hollywoods eyes, Kazans magnificent films, "A
Streetcar Named Desire," "East
of Eden," and, ironically, "Gentlemans
Agreement" (an ahead of its time film decrying anti-Semitism)
were irrelevant. His talent wasnt as important as his
naming names of members of the Communist Party even
though the Venona Papers revealed that those he named were
in fact Communists working to overthrow the U.S.
outrage from the entertainment industrys liberal elite
for the Nazi filmmaker who glorified the genocide of six million
Jews and the murder of five million others.
sitting on their hands. Just lots of applause.
of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a strange version
Street Journal, Friday, detailed comedian Rob Schneiders
failed repeat bids for membership in the Academy. While its
membership includes that "fine actor", Martin Lawrence,
and now honors a Nazi propagandist, the Oscar purveyor is
too highbrow to accept the likes of Schneider, whose movies
make whopping multi-millions.
"will find it easier to endorse you for membership once
youve turned in a strong performance . . . that showcases
the hell was I thinking, wanting to join an organization like
that, anyway?" Schneider asked. "My thanks to the
remarkably distinguished committee of actors for considering
me (Ed Begley, Jr.?)."
hed taken some money from Goebbels and added a "Heil
Hitler" to the "Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo"
sequel hes now filming.