Glenn Beck's unusual collection of Nazi memorabilia was put on display in an exhibit in Salt Lake City earlier this month. Called the "Independence Through History" exhibition, Beck's unusual displays have lead to mixed reactions and outrage.
The exhibits were also part of a recent gathering lead by Glenn Beck in Salt Lake City dubbed the "Man on the Moon" rally.
The controversial displays filled two small rooms in Salt Lake City's Grand America Hotel. On display were objects and artifacts from the past several centuries, reports Politicus USA. As people walked through the rooms, they saw preserved Bibles from the 18th century, early US currency, historical presidential campaign memorabilia, and even sculptures of "simian slaves."
The exhibition was presented as a historical tribute to United States history and its European heritage. Most of the items in the first room came from David Barton's personal collection. Barton, a friend of Beck's, is also known for his tea party writings.
The second room contained Glenn Beck's personal contributions. Nazi mementos, Klu Klux Klan hoods, and an early edition of Anne Frank's diary were among the items on display. With no clear connection between Beck's items and the exhibition's theme, it is understandable that this angered some, including members of Utah's Jewish community.
The collection included a swastika banner from Nuremberg, a copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler, and even love letters penned by Hermann Goring. And next to the Anne Frank diary, perhaps the strangest piece of Beck's collection: a handkerchief stained in Hitler's blood.
This display seemed to create neither enthusiasm nor outrage from its attendants. However it has left not only Salt Lake City's Jewish citizens upset but puzzled Beck's liberal opponents. Known for his vehement rhetoric, Beck has rarely shied away from making comparisons between Nazi Germany and President Obama and liberals in the United States.
As the Tribune points out, memorabilia like these are extremely rare. Most items such as these have been completely outlawed in much of Europe, including Germany and Austria. When such items are found, they are usually destroyed. The items that still survive today are usually passed among ex-Nazis and neo-Nazis.
Critics say this insensitive exhibition in Salt Lake City reveals Glenn Beck's Nazi leanings and extreme right-wing ideology.