At the end of my senior year in May of 2014, my class of 38 went on a month and a half long field trip around Europe. We had spent almost two weeks in Poland touring the many Nazi camps that housed millions of Jews, then went exploring the land of Israel for the remaining month. It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. Yet, before we flew out of the U.S, our class had spent the day exploring one of the many hidden secrets that LA has to offer: The Murphy Ranch or otherwise known as the Nazi Compound.
Los Angeles is very well known for all of it’s abandoned structures that have somehow been brought back to light through things such as graffiti. This Nazi camp is one of those sites that not many people know about, but it is open to the public. Around WWII, Winona and Norman Stephens, a couple living in the Rustic Canyon of Santa Monica Mountain, were American Nazi sympathizers who took over the canyon and started to build a compound. Them along with their followers lived there. Their goal was to build a self-sustaining Nazi camp in which would make it the perfect place for Hitler to plan his take over of the US. The camp would house self powered electric generators as well as massive water tanks with a massive mansion. Obviously, the war didn’t end quite as what they had expected because America is so great! Anyways, once the war ended, the LA police department found out about the camp and arrested the couple and shut down the camp. Decades later, many of the structures are still in tact, and the camp is open for the public to explore. The hike there involves almost a mile of dirt road, through a small opening in a fence, and down a bunch of steep stairs. Like many of the abandoned placed in LA, the campground is covered in graffiti and trash. According to the Los Angeles Magazine, the LA’s department of recreation and parks plan on demolishing the remaining structures of the camp by February of 2016.