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Americans and the Holocaust Traveling Exhibition To Visit Valley Public Library November 1 – December 20

December 16, 2022 – News

Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, is on display at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library branch from November 1 to December 20. The exhibition examines the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped Americans’ response to Nazism, war, and genocide during the 1930s and 1940s.

Juneau Public Libraries is one of just 50 libraries across the United States selected to host the exhibition. “It’s a special opportunity to bring an exhibition of this scale directly to Juneau,” said JPL Director John Thill. “We hope this moving and powerful exhibition will inspire discussion and reflection not only about our past, but about our future as a community and as individuals in the world.”

The exhibition is open during Valley branch hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Juneau Public Libraries will also host several events while the exhibition is on display, including a hands-on research workshop, historical lecture, and community discussion featuring Juneau residents. Events include:

Alaskan Newspapers and the Holocaust: Help with original research to find out what Alaskan newspapers reported about the Holocaust and contribute to the USHMM’s History Unfolded newspaper project. History Unfolded Community Manager Eric Schmalz will also give a talk about the project.

Holocaust Denialism and the Wilder Landscape of 21st Century Conspiracy Belief: UAS history professor Dr. David Noon will discuss the history of Holocaust misinformation and denialism, the role it has played in conspiracy theories, and how it has been affected by the internet

Family Stories – Juneau and the Holocaust: Several Juneau residents will share their personal family connections to the Holocaust, including stories of loss, survival, and how the Shoah has resonated throught the generations.

See the end of this post for complete event details. In addition to programs for the general public, Juneau Public Libraries is also hosting school field trips to visit the exhibit and a teacher training workshop. JPL thanks Congregation Sukkat Shalom for their invaluable assistance with these programs.

Based on extensive new research, Americans and the Holocaust explores the many factors—including the Great Depression, isolationism, xenophobia, racism and antisemitism—that influenced decisions made by U.S. organizations and individuals as they responded to Nazism. This exhibition challenges the visitor to consider the responsibilities and obstacles faced by those 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.

The touring library exhibition, which is based on the special exhibition of the same name at the Museum in Washington, D.C., will travel to U.S. libraries from 2020 to 2023. Over 250 libraries applied for 50 host opportunities. To learn more about the exhibition, visit ushmm.org/americans-ala.

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.

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.

JPL Event Details

Alaskan Newspapers and the Holocaust
Thursday, November 17
Drop in for research: 10:15-11:45 a.m., 1:30-4:00 p.m.
Lecture: 12:00 p.m.
Andrew P. Kashevaroff (APK) Building, 395 Whitter Street
Featuring Eric Schmalz, Community Manager for USHMM History Unfolded Project

Holocaust Denialism and the Wilder Landscape of 21st Century Conspiracy Belief
Tuesday, December 6 at 6:00 p.m.
Mendenhall Valley Public Library, 3025 Dimond Park Loop
Featuring Dr. David Noon, University of Alaska Southeast Professor of History

Family Stories – Juneau and the Holocaust
Tuesday, December 20 at 6:00 p.m.
Mendenhall Valley Public Library, 3025 Dimond Park Loop
Featuring Juneau residents Rebecca Braun, Eva Bornstein, Helena Fagan, and Sheryl Weinberg