Terrifying Propaganda

Terrifying Propaganda, Texas History Museum - Austin, Texas

Yesterday was Museum Day in Austin. I was at the University of Texas testing cameras and dropping in on the Elliott Erwitt exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center. On a lark, I did the short walk to the Texas History Museum and stumbled on the unexpectedly powerful, “State of Deception The Power of Nazi Propaganda”.

The well done multi-room display talks about how Hitler and the Nazis used propaganda, imagery, stories and the newest technologies of the day to influence the German people. Remarkably advanced psychological techniques that are recognizable today. I’m not just talking about politics, they’re also used by many organizations to influence and create brand identity.

The striking Nazi flag, which still elicits visceral reactions, was used as a trademark to market the Nazi program. The new media of the day, radio and movies were used to influence, not unlike our new social media technologies. Simple graphic imagery, both art and design, were employed for frightening consequences. It’s scary, sobering and a warning for all of us and for future generations.

This highly recommended exhibit is on display until January 8, 2017 and is on loan from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


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