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Moguls and Dictators - Khan Manka, Jr. - The Chairman's Blog

Moguls and Dictators

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moguls_and_dictators.jpgGood morning.  I was recently sent a manuscript of an upcoming book called "The Moguls and the Dictators:  Hollywood and the Coming of World War II"

I was asked by the publisher (Johns Hopkins University Press) to read it and provide a pull quote - something along the lines of "Amazing" or "Epic storytelling" - stuff like that.  After reading the coverage of this "book" by one of my story people, the only quote I can give the publisher is this:  "I'm shocked and disappointed."  How can there be a book on any aspect of the History of Hollywood and not include Manka Bros.?

There is not one mention of Manka Bros. or the heroic efforts of my uncle, Harry Manka, during this critical time in America's history.  Not only should this book have MENTIONED Manka Bros., it should have been ABOUT Manka Bros.  Harry Manka was the driving force of the anti-Nazi movement in Hollywood before, during and after the war.  FOR SHAME!

As a needless reminder, here's a brief list of my Uncle Harry's (and to a lesser extent - Uncle Simeon, who was weak and mentally disturbed) accomplishments during the war:jaman.jpg

  • Founding member of the Jewish-American Moguls Against Nazism (or JAMAN).  Other members included Samuel Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer and Harry & Jack Warner (whom we had to trick into joining.  We told them they had been accepted into the Los Angeles Country Club - which would never have happened.  They were so disappointment when they found out it was "just another Jewish do-gooder group").  JAMAN's key initiative was to produce no more films with Nazis shown as heroic or "good" - only as villains or "bad".

  • Manka Bros. produced the film "How To Kill Hitler" - which was released in 1938(!) and provided step-by-step instructions on how to kill Hitler.  The proceeds from the film were to help fund the new space rocket-like technology that was necessary to kill Hitler (but the U.S. State Department banned the film before its release.  Why?  No one knows.  I guess you'll have to build a time machine and go back and talk to those Fascists in person).

  • Uncle Harry wore an Army General uniform every day to the studio to remind his employees that there was a war on (he even once, jokingly no doubt, attempted to invade Walt Disney's studio and take a group of his key animators prisoners of war). 

  • Uncle Harry converted the writer's room for B-level writers and below (Building 43B today)  to a hand grenade manufacturing plant.  He once told the writers working there as a joke:  "You're no longer creating bombs to destroy this studio - you're creating bombs to destroy Hitler!"
And that's just a sampling.  It goes on and on...

What's next?  A book about Vietnam and ignoring Manka Bros.' pivotal role in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident

One day the publishers and writers of this country will recognize the importance of Manka Bros. to the American story and THAT DAY CANNOT COME SOON ENOUGH!

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios - THE WORLD'S LARGEST MEDIA COMPANY

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Hollywood Producer said:

I can't believe Harry & Jack would have wanted to join the L.A. country club.

molly glover said:

There is so much about Hollywood history that I just don't know about. Fascinating.

fred thomas fred said:

Oh, how we love to spin history into your favor, Mr. Manka. It's unbelievable how you attempt to turn Harry Manka into a saint.

harry Manka made my father's life a living hell when he worked in the Paint department back in the 1950s.

Sean Newton said:

Hello Khan,

Love your blog. I read it whenever you write. I think you've got it wrong as far as the Warner Brothers are concerned. They were the only studio, as far as I know, that stood up and refused to kowtow to the Nazis. Maybe Manka did but it certainly wasn't well documented.

Sean Newton
CNN Washington Bureau

Alison Fogle said:

I don't believe it was intentional. I think some people just have a different view of history than Manka Bros. executives.

Kevin T. said:

JAMAN? Are they still around today? If so... what do they do?

Amy d said:

the L.A. country club still doesn't allow Jewish people to join. Of course, they don't say it or put it in print - but it's an unspoken rule. There may be Jewish members and Jewish people play golf there all the time - but it's all for show.

John Perry said:

For shame, indeed. We're all real people. We all work at Manka Bros. Sometimes I think people don't even realize that Manka Bros. exists.

John Perry - MBS Comedy Development

a time for peac said:

Did this blog change? It's shorter and nicer.

About Khan Manka, Jr.

Khan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. StudiosKhan Manka, Jr. assumed the title of Chairman of the Board of Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company - following his father Harry Manka's death in 1976. Before that he was the member of several Southern California rock bands.

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