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From the Archives: Nazi demonstrators beaten and chased in Westwood

A group of seven Nazis carrying racist signs outside a Westwood theater in 1967 were protesting the movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," which portrays an interracial romance.

An article in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times reported:

Seven Nazi demonstrators were beaten and chased from the neighborhood Friday night as they attempted to picket a motion picture theater in West Los Angeles.

The uniformed members of the American Nazi Party began picketing the Village Theater at 961 Broxton Ave., West Los Angeles, shortly after the main feature began at 8 p.m. …

A crowd of more than 50 people gathered within a few minutes and began jeering and taunting the khaki-clad self-proclaimed Nazis. A youth, about 20, made first physical contact with the demonstrators when he bumped into Nazi Lt. Lee Vincent.

Violence erupted moments later as the jeering crowd closed on the Nazis, forcing them into the street. The seven replied to taunts with anti-Semitic slogans and were attacked.

The mob appeared to have no specific organization, but was composed mostly of young men in their late teens or early 20s. They ganged up on the individual Nazis, knocking some to the street.

No clubs or weapons were in evidence, but several Nazis were bloodied by the large crowd as they attempted to take refuge at a gas station at the corner of Gayley and Weyburn avenues. At least one appeared to be seriously injured.

The running battle continued onto Gayley Avenue, where a red and white Volkswagen bus picked up six and roared away. A lone bedraggled Nazi sought sanctuary in a nearby supermarket, and slipped away.

Police did not arrive on the scene until the battle was over. No arrests were made.

The above photo, taken by staff photographer Harry Chase, appeared on the front page of the Dec. 23, 1967, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

This post was originally published Feb. 5, 2015.

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