National Archives at Kansas City

Press Release: July 8, 2014

National Archives at Kansas City

State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda Exhibition Speaker Series

Dr. William Meinecke to Discuss Building the Racial State: Nazi Propaganda and the National Community in Germany

For More Information Contact:
Kimberlee Ried, 816-268-8072

Kansas City, (MO)…On Wednesday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m., the National Archives and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education will host Dr. William Meinecke for a lecture titled Building the Racial State: Nazi Propaganda and the National Community in Germany. Meinecke’s lecture will be held at the National World War I Museum, 100 West 26th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

A free reception and exhibit viewing will precede this lecture from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the National Archives, 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, Missouri.

Between 1933 and 1945, a politically extreme, antisemitic ideology determined the course of state policy in Nazi Germany. The Nazis justified their program of territorial expansion with claims of biological superiority an Aryan master race¯ and virulent antisemitism. To this end, Nazi propaganda aimed to mold Germany into a cohesive national folk¯ community or Volksgemeinschaft that excluded anyone deemed hereditarily less valuable¯ or racially foreign.¯ One crucial factor in the creation of this community therefore was the definition of who was excluded from membership. Nazi propagandists contributed to the regime's policies by publicly identifying groups for exclusion, inciting hatred or cultivating indifference, and justifying their pariah status to the populace. Later, Nazi propagandists disguised military aggression aimed at territorial conquest as acts of ethnic self-defense necessary for the survival of Aryan civilization.¯ This program will explore the dangers of propaganda and asks the questions: What is the role of the government in determining public discourse? How did Nazi propaganda aid in the formation of the national community and the identification, exclusion and later murder of so-called racial enemies¯ such as Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and Slavs?

Reservations are requested for this free program by calling 816-268-8010 or emailing kansascity.educate@nara.gov.

About the Speaker

William Frederick Meinecke Jr., a Baltimore native, received his undergraduate degree in German and History from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 1983. He attended the University of Bonn and Berlin in Germany and received his masters and doctorate in History from the University of Maryland at College Park. The title of his dissertation was Conflicting Loyalties: The Supreme Court in Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1945. In 1992, Dr. Meinecke joined the staff of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. For the last twelve years he has worked with law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, attorneys, military officers, and medical professionals as part of the National Institute for Holocaust Education’s outreach to adult professionals. He is the author of the Historical Atlas of the Holocaust (1996), Nazi Ideology and the Holocaust(2007), and Law, Justice, and the Holocaust (2010).

About the State of Deception Exhibit

Featuring rarely seen artifacts, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda draws visitors into a rich multimedia environment vividly illustrating the insidious allure of much of Nazi propaganda. This program is a part of the Wednesday Evening Program Series presented in conjunction with the exhibit State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, a traveling exhibition produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The free exhibition, presented by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and hosted by the National Archives at Kansas City is available for viewing, Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m. “ 4:00 p.m. through October 25, 2014. Group tours are available, for more information call 816-268-8013 or email mickey.ebert@nara.gov.

State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda is produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, presented by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, and hosted by the National Archives at Kansas City. State of Deception was underwritten in part by grants from Katharine M. and Leo S. Ullman and the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, with additional support from the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund established in 1990 and by Dr. and Mrs. Sol Center. Kansas City Presentation Sponsors include: Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany; Sosland Foundation; Donna Gould Cohen; Hall Family Foundation; Sprint Foundation; Annette & Sam & Jack Swirnberg Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, Trustee; H&R Block Foundation; Community Legacy Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City; Oppenstein Brothers Foundation; Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust; Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation, United Missouri Bank, N.A., Trustee; Kansas Humanities Council; Hunt Midwest (in kind). Bus subsidies for schools are provided by the following funds of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City: J-LEAD; Earl J. and Leona K. Tranin Special Fund; and Flo Harris Foundation.

The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE) was founded in 1993 by Holocaust survivors. Its mission is to teach the history and lessons of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide. Located at the Jewish Community Campus in Overland Park, KS, MCHE serves people of all faiths and cultures in Kansas, western Missouri and elsewhere in the Midwest. It serves teachers, students (primarily grades 7 through college) as well as civic and community groups through exhibits, speakers, films, an annual essay contest, teacher education, and a resource library. MCHE honors local survivors and their experiences by recording and communicating their stories to every generation. To learn more, visit www.mchekc.org.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 15 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

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LPM/LE-KC 14-032

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