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?’”
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.