Americans and the Holocaust
Traveling Exhibition at Dayton Metro Library
Dayton Metro Library is one of 50 U.S. academic and public libraries selected to host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, opens a new window that examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.
The touring library exhibition is based on the special exhibition of the same name at the Museum in Washington, D.C.
“We are so proud to have been selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants to host this important and powerful exhibition,” said Jeffrey Trzeciak, Executive Director of Dayton Metro Library. “We encourage community members to come explore it and attend the related programs. The exhibition will challenge people to not only ask ‘what would I have done?’ but also, ‘what will I do?’”
Americans and the Holocaust will be on display at Dayton Metro Library, along with a series of related programs from May 18 to June 21, 2023.
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. 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.
In addition to the traveling exhibition on loan, Dayton Metro Library received a cash grant to support public programs. The grant also covered one library staff member’s attendance at an orientation workshop at the Museum.
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. To learn more about the exhibition, visit ushmm.org/americans-ala, opens a new window.
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.
Programming support was made possible, in part, by The Dayton Foundation, opens a new window.