Friday, March 06, 2009

In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda in Southern California,1933-1945

The Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge has a site about an exhibit first shown in 1989 titled In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda in Southern California,1933-1945. It looked at the Nazi inspired activities of groups like the Ku Klux Klan and German American Bund in the 1930s and '40s, the Dies Commission, and the Sedition Trial of 1944. This is a very interesting exhibit.

From the site:

The Nazi Propaganda period, 1933 to 1945, chronicles a crucial twelve years in American history. This exhibit's story about the local threat to American ideals demonstrates how European events reached across the ocean and affected people in Southern California -- in our own backyard. It is the story of the exploitative behavior that resulted from distorted beliefs.

The approximately 200 items in this exhibit focus on the clashing ideologies of this era and the activities of the various groups that embraced them. The original books, pamphlets, flyers, newspapers, letters and photographs reflect the profusion of media barraging the public as it searched for answers in a period of turmoil.

The first section of the exhibits sets the scene. Hitler used the scapegoat tactic to inspire the German masses to assume their rightful place in world affairs. Designating a scapegoat gave him someone to blame and enabled him to divide and conquer. His aim was to divide Americans into two nations, Christian and Jew, and then to make a psychological connection between the words "Jew," "Bolshevik" and "Communist" in the American mind. Symbolic pictures and words set the Jews apart as a race to fear and hate.

1 comment:

Jennie W said...

Come visit the Military History Carnival - you've been included!