"Americans and the Holocaust" will travel to 50 U.S. public and academic libraries from 2020 to 2022.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and the ALA Public Programs Office invite libraries to apply to host 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 2020 to 2022.
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 Public Programs Office hope to challenge people to not only ask “what would I have done?” but also, “what will I do?”
Selected libraries will receive:
- The 1,100-square-foot exhibition on loan for five to six weeks;
- A $2,000 allowance to support public programs;
- Expenses paid for a library staff member to attend an orientation workshop at USHMM in January 2020 in Washington, D.C.; and
- Publicity materials, programming support and more.
Grantees will be required to meet minimum programming and reporting requirements. See the project guidelines for details.
Americans and the Holocaust was made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor 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.