The Hollywood Mogul Who Founded Universal Studios and Rescued Jews from Hitler’s Germany

Wednesday marked the 80th anniversary of the death of Carl Laemmle, who produced such films as All Quiet on the Western Front, Frankenstein, and Dracula. Born in Laupheim, Germany in 1867, Laemmle came to the U.S. in 1884 and would go on to open one of Chicago’s first move theaters and to found what later became Universal Pictures. He also spent his final years trying to save Jews from the Nazis, as Rafael Medoff and Sandy Einstein write:

Laemmle experienced the Nazi menace [from afar] even before Adolf Hitler rose to power. The Berlin premiere of All Quiet on the Western Front in December 1930 was violently disrupted by a Nazi mob led by Joseph Goebbels. . . . In January 1932—more than a year before Hitler became chancellor of Germany—Laemmle outlined his fears in a letter to the newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, who had published occasional columns by Hitler.

Soon after the Nazis came to power, a street which had been named after Laemmle in his hometown of Laupheim was renamed Hitler Street. Soon after that, Universal closed its offices in Germany.

[At the time], one of the devices the Roosevelt administration used to obstruct immigration [was a legal requirement that] a would-be immigrant find an American citizen who would pledge to support him financially in the event he could not support himself. . . . Laemmle served as the financial guarantor for more than 300 Jews, many from Laupheim, to come to the United States. Some of them were his relatives; most were not. By the spring of 1938, U.S. officials stepped in to block Laemmle’s rescue initiative.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: American Jewish History, Hollywood, Holocaust

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security