USC’s Tree from Hitler

“There was a tree on or nearby campus that had been donated by Hitler”

The informant was a history major at USC. The topic of the tree being donated by Hitler was brought up after someone had done an end-of-term paper on memorials in Germany around the World War II period for their German history class. Their professor at the time explained that it was true and continued to explain the history of it to the class.

Von KleinSmid, who was president of USC around the 30’s and the 40’s, was believed to be either a Nazi himself or someone who at least had highly fascist sympathies. With Los Angeles hosting the 1932 Olympics and then Hitler’s Germany hosting the one in 1936, Hitler supposedly donated the tree in honor of the friendship between the two in light of the Olympics. It is believed to be the tree directly outside of Morton Fig on campus.

The informant admits that she cannot confirm it to be true or not, but she has heard this legend from multiple people in both class and just around USC.

The informant relayed this story to me while driving us back to Los Angeles. This informant is a relative.

While I have heard this legend to be true from multiple people, I have also heard that the legend can’t be true. Those that deny it say that the tree was not in the campus plans until the 60’s, but I cannot say if it is true or not.