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.
Please select from the following options:
Tour 2 (2024-2026)
- Applications are closed - notifications of application status in late January 2024
- Read the project guidelines
- View frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Tour 1 (2021-2024)
- View a list of libraries selected to host the exhibit
- See the 2021-2024 tour itinerary
- Access the Americans and the Holocaust Site Support Notebook (for grantees)
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?”
"Americans and the Holocaust' Traveling Exhibition at UH West O'ahu" (University of Hawaii News, January 26, 2022)
“Students, others learn about U.S. and the Holocaust through UL exhibition” (The Acadiana Advocate, November 29, 2022)
“Americans and the Holocaust’ exhibit comes to Furman University” (Fox Carolina News, March 23, 2023)
“What will I Do?” The Continued Impact of a Holocaust Exhibition at an Iowa Library” (Programming Librarian, May 2, 2023)
“Americans and the Holocaust at Dayton Metro Library” (Dayton News, May 21, 2023)
"Academic Libraries and Exhibitions: Keys to Program Success & Engagement” (Programming Librarian, June 9, 2023)
"Americans and the Holocaust" (Chattanooga Public Library: The University Echo, February 14, 2023)
"Traveling Holocaust exhibit arrives at the Billings Public Library" (Billings Public Library: KTVQ, November 15, 2022)
"'It isn't long ago history': Presentation focuses on Alaskan newspaper coverage of the Holocaust" (Juneau Public Library: Juneau Empire, December 5, 2022)
"'Chance of a lifetime for Amarillo': Americans and the Holocaust exhibit opening this weekend" (Amarillo Public Library: News Channel 10, September 15, 2022)
"UCI Judaic scholar discusses upcoming Americans and the Holocaust exhibition" (University of California, Irvine: UCI News, January 27, 2022)
Questions? Contact ALA's Public Programs Office.
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.