A TRIBUTE TO THE DUTCH RESISTANCE

This morning I was in the process of pulling some materials in preparation for a visit tomorrow by Lisa Jeffery, an adjunct professor at Barry University, who will be bringing her class with her for a library presentation. Her class is studying propaganda, and where better to see some primary source materials on the subject than our museum galleries and rare books library.

GIFT OF STEVE HELLER

The Wolfsonian has established a reputation for excellence in the area of the propaganda arts, and over the years we have entertained many scholars from around the globe, as well as provided access to numerous students and faculty from the universities in our own backyard. Professor Jeffery, who has recently joined the museum’s “Visionaries” support and advisory group, has brought her students here for a number of years now, but I always try to pull some materials she has not yet seen to make sure that no one gets bored with the same routine.

 

GIFT OF CHARLES L. McCARTNEY, JR. FROM THE ESTATE OF KATHERINE ORFANEDES McCARTNEY

Half-way through the process of laying out materials on the front tables in our main reading room, I received a call from Wolfsonian’s founder Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. who will be bringing some guests tomorrow as well with an interest in some of the Dutch materials in our collection. In order to “kill two birds with one stone,” I set about looking for propaganda materials from the Netherlands before, during, and immediately following the Second World War. The library holds this single issue of De Notenkraker [The Nutcracker]–a Socialist periodical highly critical of Hitler and the Nazis, as this issue from October 1933 makes clear.

 

PURCHASED WITH COLLECTORS’ COUNCIL FUND, THROUGH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ELLEN AND LOUIS WOLFSON III AND MITCHELL WOLFSON, JR.

The library also holds this scarce pre-war pamphlet published by the Anti-Terreur-Fonds der Onafhankelijke Socialistische Partij with illustrations criticizing Nazi-terror tactics by Wilhelm Augustus.

Some of the materials that I found include a cartoon-book lampooning Japanese aggression in the South Pacific and a photo-book lauding the Allied defense of the Dutch East Indies.

GIFT OF PAMELA K. HARER 

The library also holds First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s Christmas story, an English language children’s book that talked about the German invasion and occupation of the country. 

GIFT OF FRANCIS XAVIER LUCA

 There is also a reproduction of the poet Joseph Auslander’s “Open Letter to the unconquerable Dutch,” originally published in The Saturday Evening Post illustrated with a painting by John Atherton.

 

Elsewhere in the museum’s works on paper collection I located an anti-Bolshevik propaganda poster produced by the Nazis during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

I also hunted down some daring counter-propaganda produced by members of the Dutch underground during and immediately following that dark period in Dutch history.

 GIFT OF STEVE HELLER

PURCHASED WITH COLLECTORS’ COUNCIL FUND, THROUGH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ELLEN AND LOUIS WOLFSON III AND MITCHELL WOLFSON, JR.

And finally, there was a children’s book celebrating the Allied liberation of the Netherlands for the students, Dutch visitors, and my blog post followers to see.

GIFT OF PAMELA K. HARER

~ by "The Chief" on February 25, 2011.

4 Responses to “A TRIBUTE TO THE DUTCH RESISTANCE”

  1. wow- great blog! 🙂 I saw some of this stuff- but other I didn’t even know the library had! You’re holding out on me!

  2. Dear Dr. Luca,
    Thank you so much for an amazing, energetic, thought-provoking tour of the Wolfsonian collection for my class my Persuasion Class at Barry University. We had been studying and analyzing the uses and techniques of propaganda in class, yet your presentation and tour made the topic come alive. I think my students were amazed at the magnitude of the use of propaganda by all countries, and were alarmed at its power. I was most impressed by your observations of the repetitive use of Hitler’s photographs, re-engineered many times to project an image that women admired Hitler. So astute! Some of the propaganda was frightening (the Bolsheviks) and some was funny (the innocuous Donald Duck throwing a tomato at Hitler). Both were equally effective. Thanks so much for investing so much thought, care, detail and expertise into helping educate the students and the community. I look forward to this tour with you every year, and every year it gets better and better! Many thanks to you, the Wolfsonian, and the donors who made it possible for every-day people like us to see the world’s greatest collection of propaganda!

    All the best,
    Lisa Jeffery,
    Professor, Barry University ‘Persuasion’ Class

  3. Doctor,

    As a current student with Barry University, I would like to take few moments to articulate my great appreciation for your time. Saturday was a really educational experience.

    Your insight in to the different methods of propaganda and visual manipulation created over the past 70 to 80 years was incredibly thought provoking.

    I hope to hear more about the Wolfsonian and future exhibits.

    Respectfully,
    Semper Fi,

    John W Crandall

  4. Thanks for this very interessting blog!

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