Opening of Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries

Register HERE.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office present Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition that examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.

The special library exhibition — based on the exhibition at the USHMM in Washington, D.C. — will travel to 50 U.S. public and academic libraries from 2021 to 2023. The extension of the exhibition will travel to another 50 U.S. public and academic libraries from 2024 to 2026.

The Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition addresses important themes in American history, including Americans’ responses to refugees, war and genocide in the 1930s and ‘40s. This exhibition will challenge the commonly held assumptions that Americans knew little and did nothing about the Nazi persecution and murder of Jews as the Holocaust unfolded.

Drawing on a remarkable collection of primary sources from the 1930s and ‘40s, the exhibition focuses on the stories of individuals and groups of Americans who took action in response to Nazism. It will challenge visitors to consider the responsibilities and obstacles faced by individuals — from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to ordinary Americans — who made difficult choices, sought to effect change, and, in a few cases, took significant risks to help victims of Nazism even as rescue never became a government priority. The USHMM and ALA PPO hope to challenge people to not only ask “what would I have done?” but also, “what will I do?”

November 9th was chosen intentionally as the opening date because Kristallnacht was a crucial warning sign that Americans failed to heed.

Dr. Daniel Greene, Professor at Northwestern University and curator of the exhibition, will lead a tour beginning at 5pm at the Milwaukee Public Library Center branch and serve as the keynote speaker.

This program is in partnership with the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center and the Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch.



Thu. November 9, 2023


 6:30 pm


Milwaukee Public LIbrary

814 W. Wisconsin Avenue

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