Anti-Semitism 1919–1939 traces the slow indoctrination of citizens, both non-Jewish and Jewish, through words and images that were seen daily in Germany. Included is Hitler’s original outline of a 1939 speech that he gave to the Reichstag about the “Jewish Question,” announcements of mass meetings dictating the exclusion of Jews, anti-Semitic books and signs, as well as an original printing of the Nuremberg Laws, which laid the legal foundation for Hitler’s Holocaust.
In the wake of recent propaganda and terrorist attacks targeting Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere, Anti-Semitism 1919–1939 is relevant today. The materials on display, drawn from the collection of the Museum of World War II, Boston, will convey to visitors, particularly the 200,000 New York City public school students who learn history with New-York Historical each year, the dangers of ignoring or discounting anti-Semitic discourse, as well as of underestimating the role of propaganda in denying racial and religious groups their right to live without fear or threat of violence. The exhibition also speaks to how New York and America’s demographic changed substantially in the wake of European anti-Semitism, underscoring the old adage about the importance of history: how it is impossible to understand who we are today without knowing from where we came.
Support for this exhibition provided by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, the Barbara K. and Ira A. Lipman Family, Ed and Sandy Meyer, Ann and Andrew Tisch, Lori and Mark Fife, Cheryl and Glen Lewy, Pam and Scott Schafler, the David Berg Foundation, Norman S. Benzaquen, Carol and Roger Einiger, Martin and Ahuva Gross, Patti Askwith Kenner, Ruth and Sid Lapidus, Martin Lewis and Diane Brandt, Sue Ann Weinberg and Tamar J. Weiss