In the 1920s, Berlin became the center of European film, but Hollywood was recognized as the industry’s true capital. Even in the early days of silent films, German-speaking artists from Germany and Austria, like Ernst Lubitsch, F. W. Murnau and Erich von Stroheim settled in California. With their help, the American film industry sought to secure economic success in Europe.
Starting in 1928, sound films captured the American market. In Hollywood, German actors and directors worked on German-language versions of the original films. Many of them did not stay long in the United States, and only a few managed to put down permanent roots. When the National Socialists took power in Germany in 1933, they formed the core of a German community of exiles in Hollywood.