USHMM New Online Exhibit- Americans and the Holocaust #general


Jan Meisels Allen
 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened a new exhibit in
Washington D.C. today- April 23, 2018, entitled "Americans and the
Holocaust". There is also a free, online exhibit which may be access by
going to: https://exhibitions.ushmm.org/americans-and-the-holocaust/main.

The new exhibit was five years in the making. It paints a portrait of
American society in the 1930s-40s, exploring the factors that shaped our
responses to Nazism, war, and the Holocaust. It also asks why, if Americans
knew so much, rescuing Jews did not become a priority-except for a few
individuals who chose to help. The exhibit starts in 1933 and ends in
December 1945

One part of the exhibit was a public opinion poll after Kristallnacht: Do
you approve or disapprove of the Nazi treatment of Jews in Germany? 94%
disapprove 6 % approve. The follow-up question is telling of the
environment during the times:
Should we allow a larger number of Jewish exiles >from Germany to come to the
United States to live?
71 percent No; 21 percent yes and 8 percent no opinion.
Another poll taken December 1945:
Should we permit more persons >from Europe to come to this country each year
than we did before the war, should we keep the number about the same, or
should we reduce the number? 37 percent fewer; 32 percent the same, 14%
none at all; 5 % more and 12 percent no opinion.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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