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What Kimmelman Left Out

By: Steven Heller | January 18, 2010

In Sunday’s New York Times Arts & Leisure article, “When Fear Turns Graphic,” Michael Kimmelman’s excellent report on how the European right wing is using posters to kindle anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant fires, he introduces Alexander Segert, the creative director for the PR firm GOAL, flak of the “populist” Swiss People’s Party. Mr. Segert, who is referred to as the minister of propaganda for the European right, is quoted as saying about his poster campaigns: “We’re successful because we know how to reduce information to the lowest level, so people respond without thinking.”

However, Kimmelman neglected to make one of the most obvious comparisons — the employ of “lowest level” posters by the Nazis used to propagate their racial policies. Perhaps the link to anti-Islam and anti-Semitic posters is implicit, but just in case it is not, here is (below) a poster for the scandalous propaganda film “The Eternal Jew.” The image became the accepted demonic stereotype accepted by the nation. For more on how graphics are used to demonize watch this.

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