A Dutch museum’s attempt to showcase what it claims is “evil” Nazi design art and architecture has backfired after the exhibition was sold out in the first few days—and the panicked organizers have now banned all visitors from using cell phones in the museum to stop people taking “selfies” with the display.
The exhibition, titled “Design in the Third Reich” officially opened on September 8 in the Design Museum of the town of Den Bosch. It contains 277 articles ranging from a 1940s Volkswagen Beetle to statues made by Hitler’s favouite sculptor Arno Breker, the Olympic Games of 1936, propaganda posters, the swastika and the films of Leni Riefenstahl and other key pieces from the Netherlands and Germany.
According to the exhibition’s official website description, the “Museum Den Bosch in the Netherlands presents the first major retrospective of design of the Third Reich . . . which shows the contribution of design to the development of the evil Nazi ideology.”
Other pieces on display, says the website, are “architectural elements and furniture from the Haus der Deutschen Kunst and the Reich Chancellery. The designs show how the Nazis drew on classical design as a show of power and a symbol of a new German culture.
“The many magazines which are included in the exhibition portray the Nazi’s deep-rooted target group policy. From mothers to soldiers, and young girls to international visitors, everyone was individually targeted. Instruction books show how precisely each element of the image relating to the Nazis was designed. Nothing was left to chance during the mass rallies.”
However, after more than 10,000 tickets were sold during the first few days, the organizers have had to move ticket purchases to an online only basis, and will only allow 50 attendees in at a time until the exhibition ends on January 19, 2020.
Furthermore, the organizers have announced, visitors have now been banned from taking photos of the items to stop them being “interpreted the wrong way.”
Museum spokeswoman Maan Leo said “extraordinary measures had been taken, including banning photography inside, posting extra staff and only allowing 50 visitors entry at a time.”
Objects range from the very small, such as stamps and cutlery imprinted with swastikas, “to a massive piece of furniture that’s about five metres long that would sit in Hitler’s work room,” said museum spokeswoman Leo.
There are numerous propaganda posters including of Hitler himself and posters propagating the famous German autobahn.