Another Saturday asking ourselves, what to do. Lets go into the mountains, my friend Jerome and I chose a road on google maps that seemed to cross over the Santa Monica mountains east of Will Rogers State Park. As we try to drive across, we realize its pedestrian only. We park the car and start walking asking some passer-bys if there is anything to do on the road…
“There’s an abandoned Nazi camp from before the second world war”
Not what you’re expecting but I’ll take it. Apparently a rich heiress in the late 1920′s and 30′s influenced by a Nazi party member from Germany built a sprawling compound far enough from then Los Angeles to have privacy for whatever Nazis do when nobody is looking. Four million dollars (1930′s value) and a few Frank Lloyd Wright sketches later, a Nazi compound was built complete with roads, guard walks, bunkers, stables, fortifications, diesel tanks, and housing to accommodate 40 aryan families, who after the fall of the US government would ally themselves with the Fuhrer.
The day after Pearl Harbor the FBI came and arrested the German in question, he wasn’t heard from since.
The paradox of the location is that is is quite visually stunning, peaceful, and fully immersed in nature. Though there is certainly an uneasy sinister vibe about the place. The road infrastructure and the stair-cases are in pretty good shape but all the building structures are mostly demolished.
It seems that this nation has all too easily forgotten its sometimes cozy past with the fascist extreme right. (Nazi Rally Feb 20, 1939 at Madison Square Garden [link], Corporate American business dealings with Nazi Germany [link/link], The American Nazi Party still in existence [link]).
Besides that Rustic Canyon trail is pretty beautiful.