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New U.S. Holocaust Museum exhibit explores Americans’ responses to Nazism

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marking its 25th anniversary year, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum recently opened a special exhibition, “Americans and the Holocaust,” which examines the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and the persecution and murder of Jews in Europe during the 1930s and ‘40s.

Based on extensive new research, this is the most comprehensive exhibition 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, Hollywood, organizations, and individuals as they responded to Nazism. Americans and the Holocaust dispels myths about this history, such as the misperception that Americans lacked access to information about the persecution of Jews as it was happening. It examines why their rescue never became a priority for the U.S. government even as the country made great sacrifices to defeat Nazism.

“Americans and the Holocaust will challenge visitors to think about both the missed opportunities to save lives and the impact of those few individuals who took action,” said Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield.

Americans and the Holocaust will be featured at the Museum until 2021. An online version of the exhibition can be found at ushmm.org/americans. Stories from the Americans and the Holocaust exhibition and the online exhibition will be featured on the Museum’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@holocaustmuseum).

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