The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is launching a “citizen history” project to examine Holocaust coverage during the 1930s and 1940s in local newspapers throughout the United States. Information about Nazi persecution and murder of Jews and others was available to the American public as it happened. This project will provide insight into how Americans—from ordinary citizens to the president—understood the threat of Nazism, perceived responsibility to respond to the Nazis’ expansionist and murderous goals, and dealt with the challenges that influenced response options. “Citizen historians” will be asked to engage in primary research using online databases, microfilm, and/or hardcopies of newspapers in local libraries, universities, and historical societies, and submit their resulting research data into a centralized online database.
This project encourages participants to:
- Explore Holocaust history as both an American story and a local story;
- Learn how to use primary sources in historical research;
- Challenge assumptions about American knowledge of and responses to the Holocaust; and
- Help the Museum collect data on local and regional U.S. newspaper coverage of the Holocaust.
Everyone is welcome to participate.
Data collected through this project will help the Museum visualize trends in American reporting on the Holocaust and further scholarly research about the American press and the Holocaust. It will also inform the Museum’s upcoming Americans and the Holocaust exhibition, slated to open in 2018.
Visit the "U.S. Newspapers and the Holocaust" website to learn more.