Watertown Regional Library to host traveling Holocaust exhibit

July 18, 2022


WATERTOWN, S.D.–Watertown Regional 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.


Americans and the Holocaust will be on display, along with a series of related special events, from July 19, 2022 to August 28, 2022. The opening event will be held July 19th at 7pm featuring Dr. Michael Mullin, Augustana University.


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.


For more information about Americans and the Holocaust and related programming at Watertown Regional Library, visit http://watlib.org. To learn more about the exhibition, visit ushmm.org/americans-ala.