Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 11, 2022

Holocaust traveling exhibit coming to Public Library

The Chattanooga Public Library is one of 50 U.S. libraries selected to host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum 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 – based on the special exhibition of the same name at the Museum in Washington, D.C. – began traveling to U.S. libraries in 2021. CPL was selected to be one of the 50 host libraries out of a pool of over 250 applicants.

“We are so proud to be selected as a host for this important and powerful exhibition,” says library development director Michael Watson. “Thanks to the support from The Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission, we will be providing six educational opportunities free to the public, including school field trips sponsored by ArtsBuild and Unum.”

Americans and the Holocaust will be on display at CPL Jan. 27-Feb. 27. A full schedule of events can be found at chattlibrary.org/exhibition.

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 and 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.

Americans and the Holocaust is copresented locally by The Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. Additional support comes from ArtsBuild, EPB and the Chattanooga Public Library Foundation.

Source: Chattanooga Public Library