By IJC member Jessica Barist Cohen
Early May, members of the IJC Teen Group met at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s temporary exhibition on Nazi Propaganda at the Parlamentarium. The kids and their parents were given a special tour of the exhibit by IJC Member Bill Echikson, who had been instrumental in bringing the exhibit to Belgium.
The exhibit, entitled “State of Deception: the Power of Nazi Propaganda,” examines how the Nazis used the weapon of propaganda to sway millions in their rise to power in Germany after World War I. Materials on display ranged from posters, photos and newspapers, to games given to children encouraging anti-Semitism and radios given to the people of Germany in order to more easily spread Nazi party ideology.
As one of the parents who participated in the tour, I was moved not only by the horror of the messages being encouraged by the propaganda, but also the very obvious parallels in our current political environment – both in messages of anti-Semitism and fear of The Other and the crime/disease/lack of morality these groups are purported to be bringing to our communities. I was very glad that the teens in our group could see for themselves the dangers of such language, and perhaps be more aware of propaganda being used in our daily lives today.
The temporary exhibit has been extended and is scheduled to remain at the Parlamentarium until November 18th2018. It is worth a visit if you have not gone already