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Albertsons Library to host Americans and the Holocaust exhibit

American soldiers marching into Buchenwald
American soldiers march into Buchenwald upon liberation of the camp, April 11, 1945, photo from USHMM, courtesy of Virginia Longest

Albertsons Library was one of 50 U.S. libraries selected in 2019 to host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. The pandemic put the tour on hold, and we are now pleased to announce the exhibit will be on display from March 22 through April 26, 2023.

Americans and the Holocaust examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.  The exhibition challenges the commonly held assumptions that Americans knew little and did nothing about the Nazi persecution and murder of Jews as the Holocaust unfolded.

Based on extensive new research of that period, Americans and the Holocaust addresses important themes in American history, exploring the many factors — including the Great Depression, isolationism, xenophobia, racism and antisemitism — that influenced decisions made by the U.S. government, the news media, organizations and individuals as they responded to Nazism.

“We are so proud to be selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants to host this important and powerful exhibition,” said the library’s dean, Tod Colegrove. “We encourage community members to come explore it, and we’re excited to be partnering with local organizations to plan additional programming. The exhibition will challenge people to not only ask ‘what would I have done?’ but also, ‘what will I do?’”

Albertsons Library’s application was submitted by archivist Gwyn Hervochon with support from the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, the Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel and faculty from the Boise State history department. A series of related programming events are being developed in collaboration with community partners. The library’s website will post a schedule of events as soon as they are finalized. For more information, email Hervochon at gwynhervochon@boisestate.edu.

Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries is an educational initiative of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association. The exhibit is made possible by the generous support of lead sponsors Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine. Additional major funding was provided by the Bildners — Joan & Allen z”l, Elisa Spungen & Rob, Nancy & Jim; and Jane and Daniel Och. The Museum’s exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund, established in 1990.