Dutch Museum Faces Protest Over Exhibition on Nazi Design

A picture taken on September 8, 2019 shows a Swastika formed with red carpets by artist Ralph Posset during the opening of an exhibition entitled "Design of the Third Reich" at the Design Museum Den Bosch, in 's-Hertogenbosch, central Netherlands. - The exhibition will show the contribution of design to the development of the Nazi ideology. (ROB ENGELAAR/AFP/ Getty Images for Smithsonian.com )

A picture taken on September 8, 2019 shows a Swastika formed with red carpets by artist Ralph Posset during the opening of an exhibition entitled "Design of the Third Reich" at the Design Museum Den Bosch, in 's-Hertogenbosch, central Netherlands. - The exhibition will show the contribution of design to the development of the Nazi ideology. (ROB ENGELAAR/AFP/Getty Images for Smithsonian.com)

The show focuses on how design furthered the ‘development of the evil Nazi ideology,’ but critics worry the show glorifies Nazi aesthetics.

By Brigit Katz. First published on Smithsonian.com.

Swastikas hang from the walls. Nazi propaganda films play across the gallery. Photos display the imposing choreography of Hitler’s rallies. They’re all part of a new show in the Netherlands seeking to place Nazi design under scrutiny. The exhibition at the Design Museum in Den Bosch explores how aesthetics fueled “the development of the evil Nazi ideology,” as the museum puts it. But the show, which was met with protests on its opening day, also shows the challenges of presenting Nazi iconography within a museum setting.

As Daniel Boffey of the Guardian reports, “Design of the Third Reich” includes a 1943 Volkswagen Beetle, images from the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, films by the Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl and a piece by Arno Breker, reported to be Hitler’s favorite sculptor. The exhibition uses the artifacts to explore the contradictions of Nazism’s grandiose, romantic aesthetics, which sought to convey an image of prosperity and “purity” while its adherents were carrying out the most heinous of crimes.

Museum officials have taken steps to ensure that the exhibition’s artifacts are not taken out of context and glorified. Photography is prohibited in the gallery, so visitors are unable to post pictures of themselves with sensitive materials, and the museum has hired extra security to patrol the exhibition spaces, as Dutch News reports. The museum has also recruited people to monitor what is being said about the show on social media. Additionally, a spokesperson tells Catherine Hickley of the Art Newspaper that museum staff held a “very fruitful conversation” with members of the local Communist Youth Movement, which had requested demonstration permits before the show’s opening, to explain the purpose of the exhibition.

But that did not stop communist activists from protesting near the entrance of the museum on Sunday. The Association of Dutch Anti-Fascists has condemned the show as “provocative” and called on authorities to shut it down.

Timo de Rijk, director of the Museum of Design, is sensitive to criticisms of the new exhibition. “They are concerned that maybe we are glorifying it all,” he said of the protestors. “I would not be doing this if I thought we were, but I can understand that they are aware of that kind of evil in history.”

The museum insists that it is important to take a critical look not only at the “good side of culture,” but also its more sordid chapters. “The Nazis were masters in using design to achieve their goal, to both convince and destroy huge numbers of people,” the museum states. “If you wholeheartedly want to be able to say ... ‘[N]ever again,’ you must take time to analyse how the influencing processes worked at the time.”

Hanna Luden, director of the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel in The Hague, seems to agree. She tells Stefan Dege of Deutsche Welle that the Museum of Design is walking a “tightrope act” with its displays of Nazi paraphernalia—but that ultimately, exposing the terrible, manipulating power of Third Reich propaganda is "fundamentally good."

'Schindler's List' Rereleased On 25th Anniversary As Anti-Semitism Roars In America

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'Schindler's List' Rereleased On 25th Anniversary As Anti-Semitism Roars In America

The epic movie ‘Schindler’s List’ is being released into theaters to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Oscar-winning film that debuted Dec. 15, 1993. ‘Schindler’s List’ — which won seven Oscars, including for best picture, director, adapted screenplay and original score — will be rereleased in a limited engagement on Friday.

Director Steven Spielberg sat down for an interview with ‘NBC Nightly News’ anchor Lester Holt that will air Wednesday, Dec. 12th.

"I think this is maybe the most important time to rerelease this film," said Spielberg, according to a transcript of the interview released ahead of its broadcast. The motion picture about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust may be more important now due to the global rise in hate crimes, hate speech and propaganda — including in America.

"When collective hate organizes and gets industrialized, then genocide follows," the Oscar-winning filmmaker tells 'NBC Nightly News' host Lester Holt in the Dec. 12 interview.

Holt and Spielberg discuss the August 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia murder of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, as she protested a white supremacist rally. President Donald Trump — who has been accused of racism in the past, writes The Hollywood Reporter — inflamed outrage by saying there were "very fine people on both sides" of the tragic Charlottesville event. 

Tallahassee Shooter Of Six Women, Killing Two, Had History of Incel Ideology & Misogyny

DR. NANCY VAN VESSEM (L) AND MAURA BINKLEY (R). PHOTO: TBH/FACEBOOK

DR. NANCY VAN VESSEM (L) AND MAURA BINKLEY (R). PHOTO: TBH/FACEBOOK

Tallahassee Shooter Of Six Women, Killing Two, Had History of Incel Ideology & Misogyny

While Trump tries to scare the hell out of women over immigrants, he doesn't mention the white dude firing on six women -- killing Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, who worked at Florida State University’s College of Medicine, and FSU student Maura Binkley, 21. -- in a yoga studio in Tallahassee on Friday.

NY Mag writes that the assassin -- who killed himself -- left a digital footprint of right-wing extremism and references to the anti-women 'incel ideology'. There is a strong probability that this unreported attack due to Tues. elections is the fourth attack by a right-wing extremist in the US in less than 2 weeks.

Facts-driven people know that right-wing extremism is a far greater threat to women than refugees. The Friday shooter Scott Paul Beierle, 40, shot one of the women six times. The Florida graduate and military veteran has a history of harassing young women, including two arrests for groping in 2012 and 2016.

Buzzfeed  News characterized the shooter as “a far-right extremist and self-proclaimed misogynist who railed against women, black people, and immigrants in a series of online videos and songs”:

In 2014, Beierle filmed several videos of himself in a You Tube channel, offering extremely racist and misogynistic opinions, in which he called women “sluts” and “whores,” and lamented “the collective treachery” of girls he had went to high school with.”

Bannon Promises That Feminism, Not Toxic Masculinity, Is Responsible For America's Demise

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Bannon Promises That Feminism, Not Toxic Masculinity, Is Responsible For America's Demise

The mere fact that Harper's Bazaar would feature an article on the topic of toxic masculinity tells you the degree to which the female mindset in America is changing. Even the fashion industry is concerned about toxic masculinity. Oh yes. The Trump male posse can descend on us -- throwing stink bombs and calling us libtards -- but the facts are the facts in their non-factual universe. The jigs up, gentlemen.

When Trump was elected, Mr. Brexit Nigel Farage proclaimed: "The alpha males are back." That may be so, but large numbers of alpha males -- are the very definition of toxic masculinity -- and it's a masculinity that kills, no matter how the alt-right dresses it up.

More than other countries in the developed world, the American culture worships men with guns. They are conquerors of 'weaker men' and women are eager to have sex with them. In reality, men who commit mass shootings do not have the respect of the larger culture, but their "catastrophic sense of male entitlement" gives them admiration in their own equally toxic communities. 

Charlottesville Car Killer James Alex Fields Jr. Charged With First Degree Murder

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Self-professed neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr., 20, has been charged with first-degree murder Thursday, after being jailed on lesser charges since the Aug. 12 for the death of Charlottesville protester Heather D. Heyer

Fields had been charged with second-degree murder, punishable by five to 40 years in prison. WaPo writes:

Authorities had initially said that 19 people were injured, in addition to Heyer, when Fields allegedly rammed his 2010 Dodge Challenger into another vehicle on purpose on a crowded street. But testimony at the preliminary hearing revealed that there were many more victims. Besides first-degree murder, Fields, who lived in Ohio before his arrest, is charged with eight counts of “aggravated malicious wounding,” meaning that at least eight of the 35 people who were hurt suffered what Virginia law describes as “permanent and significant physical impairment," writes the New York Times

Billionaire Robert Mercer Denounces Milo Yiannopoulos, Calling His Prior Support 'A Mistake'

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Billionaire Robert Mercer Denounces Milo Yiannopoulos, Calling His Prior Support 'A Mistake'

Hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, a major Republican donor to the Trump campaign announced Thursday that he is selling his stake in Breitbart News to his daughters; pulling all of his funding from Milo Inc., the new controversial entertainment venture run by Milo Yiannopoulos, and is also relinquishing his co-CEO title at Renaissance Technologies for a non-management role. Vanity Fair writes:

In an open letter to investors, the 71-year-old strongly denounced the white nationalist movement that has come to be associated with several of his far-right political causes, tainting his reputation and putting Renaissance Technologies in the crosshairs of a divestment campaign. “Of the many mischaracterizations made of me by the press, the most repugnant to me, have been the intimations that I am a white supremacist or a member of some other noxious group,” he wrote. On the contrary, he said, “a society founded on the basis of the individual freedom that flourishes under a limited federal government has no place for discrimination . . . Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, creed, or anything of that sort is abhorrent to me. But more than that, it is ignorant.”

Mercer acknowledged his relationship with Steve Bannon, saying that he respected Bannon but also disagreed with him on political alliances. But it was Yiannopoulos, writes VF, that received condemnation for his neo-Nazis views.