Holocaust exhibition coming to Northern MI

The touring library exhibition—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 2022.

Petoskey District Library (PDL) 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.

“We are honored to have been chosen from more than 250 applicants to host this important and powerful exhibition,” said Library Director Valerie Meyerson. “The mission of the Petoskey District Library is to nurture knowledge, drive discovery, and connect community. We will connect with the local schools and the community college for programs and exhibit tours, as well as partner with other organizations to bring related programming to our community.”  Americans and the Holocaust will be on display at Petoskey District Library, along with a series of related special events, from December 23, 2020 – February 10, 2021.

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.

In addition to the traveling exhibition on loan, PDL will receive a cash grant to support public programs. One library staff member will also have expenses paid to attend an orientation workshop at the Museum.

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.

About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires leaders and citizens worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. The Museum’s far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit ushmm.org.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.

Petoskey District Library’s hours are Monday – Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. For more information about this or other activities contact the Petoskey District Library staff at 231.758.3100 or visit us at www.petoskeylibrary.org.


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