What Really Happened Behind The Scenes In Hollywood’s Golden Age

Walt Disney Played Host To A Nazi Filmmaker

(ullstein bild via Getty Images
(ullstein bild via Getty Images

Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl visited Hollywood in 1938. One of Riefenstahl’s most famous films was 1935’s Triumph of The Will, a Nazi propaganda film that was popular among the Third Reich. She came to the United States following Kristallnacht, which allowed the German military to ransack and demolish Jewish homes, hospitals and schools.

Walt Disney was hospitable towards Riefenstahl during her trip and took her on a three-hour tour of the Disney lot. He gave her a sneak peek of some sketches for the upcoming film Fantasia and showed her a screening of Olympia, a documentary about the 1936 Olympics.