Joseph Goebbels, the Nazis’ minister of propaganda, once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Like Hitler, Goebbels was an anti-Semitic zealot. He was also a master of branding, and during his rule, Germany’s Nazi Party promoted the notions of racial purity that led to the outbreak of World War II and the atrocities of the Holocaust. In the end, the falsehoods caught up to Hitler and his nefarious henchman, who both committed suicide.
“Race and Visual Culture Under National Socialism,” a new exhibit at the Wolfsonian Teaching Gallery at the Frost Art Museum (10975 SW 17th St., Miami), features examples of the Nazi “brand” in a variety of mediums, including graphic design, paintings, ceramics, and other items produced during the Third Reich, reminding us of the fascist regime’s woeful hubris.
The insightful show includes objects depicting the Nazis’ use of images of young soldiers, athletes, and healthy families, along with pastoral landscapes and scenes of Germany’s rising tide of modernity — minus the Jews, who were classified as degenerates, undesirables, and threats to society.
The exhibit was curated by Oren Stier, director of Florida International University’s Judaic Studies Program.
“National Socialist ideology was so ubiquitous it is hard sometimes to notice its profound impact,” Stier observes. “Nothing can compare with the opportunity to show students actual everyday objects that dramatize the insidious extent of Nazi propaganda.”
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 29. Continues through April 14, 2013