Current Exhibitions

Age of Influence: Youth & Nazi Propaganda

Exhibition Now on View

A hallmark of the Nazi regime was its skillful and pervasive use of propaganda. Within weeks of seizing power in 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party created the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. The goals of the Ministry of Propaganda were to indoctrinate the German public in Nazi ideology, impose conformity and cultivate consensus. These goals supported the Nazi ideal of a “racially pure” national community. The ministry disseminated its propaganda through every available forum including the press, films, literature, radio, art, exhibitions and rallies.

Age of Influence highlights one category of Nazi propaganda represented in the VHEC’s collection: propaganda directed toward youth. The Nazis portrayed their party as a movement of youth—dynamic, bold and revolutionary. They aimed to shape the future of Germany by indoctrinating children and adolescents in Nazi ideology. Drawing upon diverse primary sources, Age of Influence explores the Nazis’ efforts to manipulate the attitudes of young Germans. The exhibition challenges viewers to look critically at both the messages and the techniques used by Nazi propagandists to influence youth.

Produced by the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre © 2023

Curation: Tessa Coutu and Franziska Schurr
Exhibition development: Lise Kirchner
Design: Illene Yu

Collection research: Caitlin Donaldson
Exhibition research: Jasmin Ghorbani
Content editing: Shyla Seller
Photo editing: Amanda Alster and Chase Nelson
Video editing: Pascale Higham-Leisen
Copy editing: Jesmine Cham

Mounting and conservation: Carl Schlichting and Sabina Sutherland

With thanks to Dr. Sebastian Huebel for historical guidance and Dr. Andrea Webb for pedagogical consultation.

The VHEC is grateful to the collection donors for their contribution to advancing Holocaust education.

Exhibition supported by the Al Roadburg Foundation.

In Focus: The Holocaust through the VHEC Collection  

Exhibition Now on View

The Holocaust stands apart as an unprecedented event in human history. Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators carried out the systematic and state-sponsored persecution and annihilation of six million European Jews and five million non-Jewish victims.

Words and statistics cannot convey the full dimensions of the Shoah. This exhibition instead focuses on original artefacts that illuminate the experiences of both individuals and societies during the Holocaust and its aftermath.

In Focus: The Holocaust through the VHEC Collection brings to the forefront more than ninety artefacts and archival records from the VHEC collection. Most of these artefacts were donated by local Holocaust survivors, eyewitnesses and their families. Others were donated by collectors dedicated to preserving the historical record. Each artefact tells a unique story—whether of loss, persecution, resistance, survival or hope—and humanizes themes of Holocaust study.

Originally created by the VHEC and mounted in 2018, the In Focus exhibition has been reimagined with a new selection of artefacts. Many of the artefacts provide broad historical context while others speak to personal experiences during tumultuous events. Arranged thematically, the artefacts invite viewers to engage with the history of the Holocaust in an intimate and meaningful way.

Original exhibition produced by the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre © 2018

Curator: Dr. Ilona Shulman Spaar
Researchers: Meredith Shaw, Katie Powell, Thalia Cohen Bacry, Ellyn Hill
Collection reference: Caitlin Donaldson
Historical advisor: Dr. Lauren Faulkner Rossi
Editor: Lise Kirchner
Design: Public
With special thanks to Katie Renaud and Karina Vertlib

Exhibition redevelopment team:
Tessa Coutu
Caitlin Donaldson
Jasmin Ghorbani
Lise Kirchner
Chase Nelson
Franziska Schurr
Shyla Seller

Design: Illene Yu
Copy editing: Jesmine Cham

And with profound gratitude to the Holocaust survivors, their families, and the community of individuals who have entrusted the VHEC with their materials and memories for the purpose of advancing Holocaust education and remembrance.

2018 exhibition supported by the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia | Canada 150: Celebrating B.C. Communities and their Contributions to Canada grant program, the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Leon Judah Blackmore Foundation, London Drugs, Coast Hotels, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Vancouver, Dr. Robert & Marilyn Krell, Leon z”l & Evelyn Kahn and Family, Isaac & Judy Thau, Jody & Harvey Dales, Birgit Westergaard & Norman Gladstone, the Ben & Esther Dayson Charitable Foundation, Rabbi Yosef Wosk, Bob Markin & Ralph Markin z”l, and the Lohn Foundation.

2022 exhibition redevelopment supported by the Marsid Family Foundation and the Al Roadburg Foundation.