USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘hitler’
Legends

Storm Drain called “Hitler’s Tunnel” in Palos Verdes

The informant is from Palos Verdes, apeninsula area on the coast of Southern California.

The informant claims there is a large storm drain that leads into the ocean which has gained popularity among the youth of the area. The storm drain, nicknamed “Hitler’s Tunnel”, has been responsible for inspiring many myths in the area.


AB: A bunch of kids would go into–literally go into the tunnel, and… allegedly, there was a group of middle schoolers from Dana High–from Dana middle school, whatever– that went into the tunnel and was never seen again. It was a group of like three kids. There’s like a bunch of creepy graffiti outside of that tunnel because, like, everyone goes there to get scared…or whatever. 

Why is it called “Hitler’s Tunnel”?

AB: The Hitler part actually had no significance at all. I was wondering, like, “Is it a tunnel that was used during World War II or something like that?” and turns out there’s actually nothing with that tunnel that has to do with World War II or anything like that. Just has to do with three kids that disappeared there once.

Do people still go there?

AB: Yeah, people go there to tag it and write obscenities on it. And that’s pretty much what it’s known for.


 

A Google search of “Hitler’s Tunnel, Palos Verdes” yields thousands of results, including many videos taken by youths exploring the tunnel and maps indicating the locations of the tunnel.

 

Folk Beliefs
Myths

Nazi Trees at Moreton Fig

*Note: To provide some context, there are large trees outside the on-campus restaurant Moreton Fig. The informant is passing along a rumor popular within the USC community that the Moreton Fig trees were donated by Hitler.

INFORMANT: “I first heard this when I was a freshman in Parkside. It’s one of those things where if you go here, you’ve probably heard the rumor. So you know the big trees outside Moreton Fig? I guess I’d assume they’re fig trees, but I don’t know… there’s this rumor that they were donated to Von Kleidsmid by Hitler and the Nazis, because Von Kleidsmid was a eugenist or something like that.”

I tried to do a little research after the informant told me this, and I came across a couple LA Times articles that explain the rumor.

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/aug/20/sports/sp-crowe20

It would seem that Hitler didn’t donate the trees, and the tree(s) may not even be at Moreton Fig, but rather between Bovard and PED. However, the type of tree is known as a “Hitler tree.” In reality, the tree was donated in honor of an Olympic athlete, not because Von Kleidsmid was a eugenist.

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