Otis Students Attend “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda”

When students look for courses with relevance to their lives, Perri Chasin’s “Movies That Matter” is always a front runner.  Perri introduces students to films that engage with social, political, gender, race and ethnic issues. This year the “Movies That Matter” students moved out of their LAS classroom and into the Los Angeles Public Library  to attend the “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda” exhibition. Presented in collaboration with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the exhibition features a varied array of memorabilia that documents the transformation of the Nazi Party from an extremist fringe group into a political powerhouse that used propaganda to help control and justify the need for war while promoting anti-Semitic messages. Initially installed in 2012 at “USHMM in Washington, D.C. where it drew 1.7 million visitors, the Los Angeles version is a smaller traveling version, but the exhibition’s message is no less powerful.

Perri arranged for her students from the “Movies That Matter”  to have a private tour of the exhibition led by Dr. Steven Luckert who is Curator of the Permanent Exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  While a compelling exhibition is successful on its own, being able to attend that exhibition with an expert is an even more meaningful educational experience.

As Perri  noted. “I want them to question the media that they see,” Chasin said. “Right now, we’re going into an election period, and I think it’s really important that they listen carefully, that they understand what the message is and who the messenger is. As global citizens, it’s important for them for to understand that as artists, they have a responsibility and this is part of their responsibility.”

For a more expanded discussion of “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda,” and the Otis students’ experience, please link to: “Nazi Propaganda and the Forging of Hate, ” Evan Henerson, Jewish Journal.