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Jews, Nazis and the Cinema of Hungary

The Tragedy of Success, 1929-1944

David Frey

256 pages
I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd

Between 1929 and 1942, Hungary's motion picture industry experienced meteoric growth. It leapt into Europe's top echelon, trailing only Nazi Germany and Italy in feature output. Yet by 1944, Hungary's cinema was in shambles, internal and external forces having destroyed its unification experiments and productive capacity.

This original cultural and political history examines the birth, unexpected ascendance, and wartime collapse of Hungary's early sound cinema by placing it within a complex international nexus. Detailing the interplay of Hungarian cultural and political elites, Jewish film professionals and financiers, Nazi officials, and global film moguls, David Frey demonstrates how the transnational process of forging an industry designed to define a national culture proved particularly contentious and surprisingly contradictory in the heyday of racial nationalism and antisemitism.

Author Bio

David Frey is Assistant Professor of History and Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, United States Military Academy at West Point, USA.