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So, This Was Going to Be Hitler’s Swank Los Angeles Bunker After He Won World War II (Oh, Well)

Way, way back in the 1930s, a group of plucky American Nazi sympathizers (and huge Hitler fanboys) imagined a world in which their beloved dictator took over the world and came across the pond to live in California. So they did what any other fan club did: They built Adolf Hitler his very own bunker in Hollywood. Wasn’t that awesome of them? Alas, as we know, Hitler did not win World War II, he was defeated and killed himself, and now this dilapidated Nazi bunker is just taking up space. Come on guys, haven’t you ever heard the term “fixer-upper”?

No, really — American Nazi sympathizers, who called themselves Silver Shirts (inspired by Germany’s Brown Shirts), had so much confidence in Hitler back in the ’30s that they built a bunch of buildings on a sprawling piece of land in Hollywood just for the dictator. Which would have gone over incredibly well in Hollywood, right? But despite the assumed victory of the Third Reich over the world, the Silver Shirts didn’t seem to think that even after winning the entire World War, Hitler and his biggest fans would be safe from, um, detractors:

Equipped with a diesel power plant, 375,000 gallon concrete water tank , giant meat locker, 22 bedrooms and even a bomb shelter, the heavily guarded estate was home to a community of Hollywood fascists who hoped to ride out the war there.

But it wasn’t only about keeping Herr Hitler and his American ilk safe from attack — there was also talk of some other amenities, like “five libraries, a swimming pool, several dining rooms and a gymnasium.” Awww, that sounds like such a nice place to spend a weekend, if you don’t mind spending it with Nazi sympathizers who believe Hitler is destined to rule the world! That’s not all, though: take a look at what was to be the vegetable garden:

So, how did the Silver Shirts get all this property anyway? According to the Daily Mail, the land was previously owned by “mining heiress” “Jessie Murphy“, who was originally sold the land by cowboy Will Rogers. In 1933, Murphy started a correspondence with a German man, about whom she knew very little. Among the things she didn’t know about: the Nazi thing. Well, at least the “official” Nazi thing. It seems like Murphy just thought this nice German man was just your typical crackpot weirdo who wanted the land for the inevitable Nazi takeover. And once the Great Depression kicked in, who was Murphy to argue with someone who was feeling less than secure? (“Hahaha! Sure! You can totally build your bunker here! I have some scrap metal for your tinfoil hats too, if you want it!”) So Murphy sold the land to this Herr Scmhidt, and soon enough, World War II started and everyone in the area realized that holy crap, there were Nazis building a bunker in Hollywood.

The bunker was raided the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, and the 50 Silver Shirts living there were taken into custody.

The good news is that as much as some would like to hold on to this bizarre piece of history, it’s still a former Nazi bunker, and it’s also falling apart and covered in graffiti. So the plan is to tear the whole thing down and create a picnic area which will feature this view of Hollywood:

The Hitler Hollywood Bunker is dead! Long live the Hitler Hollywood Bunker.

ETA: A tipster familiar with this story has provided a clarification on Jessie Murphy, who was not actually a real person, but an alias used by another couple to purchase the land:

“Jessie Murphy was a fictitious name used to purchase the land by Winona and Norman Stephens. Not sure how the mail got the mining widow idea. There was a mining tycoon named Frank Morrill Murphy who died in 1917, but his wife was named Ethel. If you google Winona and Norman Stephens, a number of older posts come up about the property. It’s relatively well known in L.A.”

Thanks for the information!

(all pics and story via The Daily Mail)

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  • Anonymous

    How is conscious destruction of a piece of history to make room for picnic baskets good news? 

  • John Byrne Says…

    Some YouTubers shot a music video, The Legend of Zelda Rap at that bunker.

    Here is the complete video. The bunker is at about the 3 minute mark.

  • JoAnna Luffman

    That would be an awesome place, except it’s in Cali, and I can’t afford the tax rate.

  • Emily B.

    Mary Sue, please don’t post anything ever from Daily Mail…They aren’t the most reliable source of news for anything and have sensationalist headlines. Not to mention they’re famous for their conservative, misogynist themes.

  • Ms Avery

    HITLER, that’s how.

    Okay, I’m Jewish and I think the legacy of WW2 and the Holocaust an incredibly important thing to remember and preserve, but I am 100% cool with this thing being razed to the ground.  It’s creepy as fuck, and I like the idea of the place being reclaimed for positive purposes.

  • Anonymous

    FYI, I am not inclined to give an ounce of respect to people who start off their comments with “I belong to group X and I say [...]“, as if that makes one’s comment automatically more meaningful than if one weren’t and as if one is the elected representative of group X. There’s more than enough assholes coincidentally of Jewish descent who figure that anything they don’t like that much can be compared to the Holocaust and therefore win them the argument. 

    Maybe you could point out some specific connection to WWII that makes your opinion more meaningful than a random “I’m Jewish”?

    Seeing as how many information about WWII has already been lost due to the ‘forgive and forget’ mentality of the ’50s-’80s, you won’t find me cheering for any more losses, If that place is to be reclaimed, it could be as an interactive museum or another establishment that acknowledges the past that fortunately was not to be. As is, this idea smells of white-washing of USAian history to me.

  • Steven Ray Morris

    there are plenty of more relevant WWII related museums, sites, etc.  a small house made by Nazi wannabes in Hollywood deserves a book at most if not a model in a museum somewhere. Let’s take the space and do something positive with it.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a lot more picnic areas in the world and they are all replaceable. This building isn’t. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Do leisure entertainment somewhere else and use this site to contribute something to collective awareness.

  • bignutsbill

     I would save the history,did you cheer when the taliban blewup the budda stache two story`s tall in afghanistan?Save it and never forget.

  • Ms Avery

    Well, some of my family did die in the Holocaust, but the reason I mentioned being Jewish was that I didn’t want you to think I was just some randomer who thought that Jews should just get over it. I have met quite a few of those people and they annoy me a lot.

    Yes, I do feel I have more invested in this piece of history than someone from one of the groups that wasn’t targeted by the Nazis. The Holocaust feels personal to me. I in no way think I’m an official representative, I’m just explaining some of the background that informs my thinking here.

    People worried that the Berlin bunker could become a shrine for neo-Nazis and I would have the same concern about this place, which is why I am very comfortable with the idea of it being knocked down. I’m not opposed to the idea of a museum per se but I don’t feel it’s essential — as @twitter-33442941:disqus points out, this site isn’t actually a huge deal.

  • Ms Avery

    That analogy doesn’t make a huge amount of sense.

  • Anonymous

    Strange that if the US nazis though Adolf H could get that far, he would still need a concrete bunker… or is it a rule, tyrant = live in bunker?

  • Corbin C

    Based on the view in the third photo, I question whether this property is even located in Hollywood. The city in the distance appears to be Santa Monica, placing the location of the bunker somewhere in the Brentwood hills.

  • Shaun Russell

    I’ve been here, it is not in Hollywood. It is in Santa Monica –

  • Anonymous

    And the memorial to the Jews who died in the holocaust is positive.

  • Mark

    I’m not sure why a falling down building should be saved. Who cares?

  • Mark

    You are not alone bupshki

  • Mark

    Who would have a greater right than a Jew. PUTZ

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think that sentence works. A person is a who, things like ethnicity, skin color, gender, sometimes sexuality, are a what that gives context to the who. Your question would be better formulated “Who would have a greater right than the Jews with a direct connection to WWII?”, as that creates a who relevant to the situation

    And still that works from the fallacay that greatest right equals all the right. What happened to the Jews of Europe before, during, and even after WWII is, euphemistically speaking, terrible, and I think I can concur that they are the biggest victims of WWII in that they weren’t just affected as people, but as a culture too.

    But they are not the only victims, and I cannot accept the erasure of those who ‘suffered less’. The Romani were also victims of genocide. Homosexuals were also incarcerated and killed. Those who stood up against these injustices voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way to give other’s a chance – do they deserve less consideration since they chose the risk? The Rape of Berlin and preceding actions by the Russian army would not have happened if not for the war Hitler started. And what about the post-war social exclusion of children of ‘wrong’ parents, including children of parents who faked being ‘wrong’ in order to help the civil resistance, and children accused of being part German, even when they were the children of USAian soldiers who didn’t look back after a night with pretty local? 

    We can also take it further in that WWII wasn’t just about Hitler, but also about what the conflict in Europe caused elsewhere. I am of Indonesian-Dutch descent – Had it not been for the war in Europe, the Netherlands would have had the resources to try and fight the Japanese and their special brand of atrocities would have at least not gotten the chance to flourish as it did. And then I could also mention the fun the Japanese internment camps of North America must have been, or the gulags of Russia, or how many clueless boys were sent into the warzone as power-by-numbers cannonfodder.

    So where I’m going to – Just being a Jew doesn’t mean automatic and total right to control over the way WWII-history is treated. WWII wasn’t just about them, and not all of them had/have involvement with the way European Jews were treated from the 30s to the 50s (aside from a historical prejudice against Jews, but that’s not specific enough). The right, as I see it, belongs to those who understand and acknowledge the significance and complexities of WWII and can properly find and judge all the pros vs. the cons of keeping/destroing this location..