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Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries: Home

Banner image in dark blue with a hint of an American flag in as the background. It reads: Americans and the Holocaust What did Americans Know? What more could have been done? Logos are present for the American Library Association and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

About the exhibit

Americans and the Holocaust is a traveling exhibition that examines Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. What did Americans know, and what more could have been done? The exhibition also presents stories of individual Americans, some of whom took actions that went against the grain at the time, daring to rescue Jews from Europe.

Events

EVENT INFORMATION

Each tab above includes information about upcoming events related to the Americans and the Holocaust Traveling Exhibition. Information about these events is also available on the University Libraries events calendar.

Please note: In support of Virginia Tech's efforts in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, we are hosting as many events as possible online. Links to access these events via Zoom are present in the event details.

This event has been canceled

OPENING RECEPTION

Thursday, March 19, 2020

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Newman Library, 2nd Floor Commons

Join University Libraries for the opening of Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries. Light refreshments will be provided.
This traveling exhibition is made possible by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association. It examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and genocide in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.

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.

AMERICAN IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE POLICY THROUGHOUT THE HOLOCAUST

This event has been moved online

Thursday, March 19, 2020

6-7:30 p.m.

Join using this link: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/j/336568540

Guest speaker Kathryn Perry Walters will discuss American immigration policy throughout the Holocaust, specifically focusing on refugee practices. The United States government’s role in the Jewish Refugee Crisis of the 1930s and 1940s is a contested historical subject. This talk will elaborate on existing debate by examining the proposal of the Wagner-Rogers bill and the creation of the War Refugee Board to analyze the methods in which the United States government approached refugee assistance. It will also provide background on where today’s anti-foreigner attitudes evolved from and how refugee need had been downplayed, but also how it had been fought for, and demonstrate Americans’ role in international human rights protection.

Kathryn Perry Walters graduated with a bachelor of arts in History from Virginia Tech in 2017 and then received a master of arts in History in 2019, also from Virginia Tech. Her master’s thesis was entitled 20,000 Fewer: The Wagner-Rogers Bill and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, and it examined the Wagner-Rogers bill, an American proposal to admit 20,000 German, mostly Jewish, children into the United States during the beginning of the Holocaust. It combined historigraphies of the Holocaust, American politics, refugee history, humanitarianism, and children to challenge the way we look at American Isolationism and Humanitarianism by revealing patterns of American humanitarian intervention in support of refugees by shedding light on activists who are usually overlooked and highlight the historical and contemporary similarities between anti-refugee and immigrant rhetoric to show that this has been an ongoing debate in American for decades. Before graduating, Walters interned with the national curator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and with the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Museum. In graduate school Walters was a graduate assistant with Special Collections and University Archives and with the History Department.

These events have been canceled

FILM SCREENING: INGLORIOUS BASTERDS

Sunday, March 29, 2020

2-5 p.m.

Lyric Theatre (135 College Ave)

In partnership with Virginia Tech Department of Religion and Culture, the Lyric Theatre will host a special free showing of the movie Inglourious Basterds with post-screening discussion led by Bradley J. Nichols, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History.


FILM SCREENING: NIGHT WILL FALL

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

6-8 p.m.

Lyric Theatre (135 College Ave)

In partnership with Virginia Tech Department of Religion and Culture, the Lyric Theatre will host a special free showing of the movie Night Will Fall with post-screening discussion led by Virginia Tech professor of cinema studies, Stephen Prince.


FILM SCREENING: IMAGINARY WITNESS: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST

Monday, April 20, 2020

6-8 p.m.

Blacksburg Library (200 Miller St SW)

In partnership with Virginia Tech Department of Religion and Culture, Virginia Tech University Libraries will host a special free showing of the movie Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust with post-screening discussion led by Virginia Tech public services and reference archivist, Marc Brodsky.

READ OUT LOUD: ESCAPING THE NAZIS

The March 30 event has been canceled. The April 6 event will proceed online.

Monday, March 30, 2020

3:30-5:30 p.m.

Reading Out Loud: Escaping the Nazis, a mediated discussion series, will be provided in partnership between the University Libraries at Virginia Tech, the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library, and Hillel at VT. Reading Out Loud: Escaping the Nazis is a series of mediated discussion sessions on selected readings from Ruth Wolman’s Crossing Over: An Oral History of Refugees from Hitler’s Reich and Michael Dobbs’ The Unwanted: America, Auschwitz and a Village Caught In Between. Audience members will submit questions and participate in active discussions moderated by Postdoctoral Fellow and Judaic Studies Coordinator Megan Case.


READ OUT LOUD: ESCAPING THE NAZIS

This event has been moved online

Monday, April 6, 2020

4-6 p.m.

Join using this linkhttps://virginiatech.zoom.us/j/695900809

Reading Out Loud: Escaping the Nazis, a mediated discussion series, will be provided in partnership between the University Libraries at Virginia Tech, the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library, and Hillel at VT. Reading Out Loud: Escaping the Nazis is a series of mediated discussion sessions on selected readings from Ruth Wolman’s Crossing Over: An Oral History of Refugees from Hitler’s Reich and Michael Dobbs’ The Unwanted: America, Auschwitz and a Village Caught In Between. Audience members will submit questions and participate in active discussions moderated by Bradley J. Nichols, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History.

QUEER CONSPIRACIES?
LESBIANS AND GAY MEN IN NAZI GERMANY

This event has been moved online

Thursday, April 2, 2020

6-7:30 p.m.

Join using this link: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/j/341179045

In association with Virginia Tech Pride Week 2020, guest speaker Samuel Clowes Huneke will discuss gay and lesbian experience in Nazi Germany.

In the twelve years the Nazis were in power, the German government convicted around fifty thousand men under the country’s sodomy law, §175 of the penal code. Around ten thousand were sent to concentration camps, where approximately six thousand perished, some subjected to gruesome medical experiments. Today, memory of gay persecution under the Nazis lives on in the form of the pink triangle, a ubiquitous symbol of gay liberation that was originally the designation of homosexual concentration camp inmates. But why did the National Socialist go out of their way to persecute gay men and why did lesbians largely remain untouched by the terror? While the Nazis had run on a moralizing platform that promised to stamp out prostitution and homosexuality, the widespread persecution of homosexuals was motivated not by the eugenic concerns of the Nazis’ racial state, but rather by fears that gay men were naturally drawn into conspiratorial cliques and thus posed a political threat to the regime. For the same reason, the National Socialists were less apprehensive about the threat of female homosexuality. The fascist government, after all, had succeeded in driving women out of politics and the workplace and back into the home, where they posed less of a threat to society or the state. This talk traces the changing contours of the Nazis’ divergent treatment of gay men and lesbians, showing when and how their anti-homosexual views arose, how they waxed and waned, and how they ultimately impacted the formation of modern gay and lesbian identity, both in Germany and abroad.

Samuel Clowes Huneke is a historian of modern Europe, with a focus on the social and political history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany. His research interests include the history of gender and sexuality, legal history, and the history of science and mathematics. Dr. Huneke received a B.A. summa cum laude in German and Mathematics from Amherst College, an M.Sc. with Distinction in Applicable Mathematics from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. He is currently at work on a book that examines gay persecution and liberation in Germany during the Cold War. He has also begun research for a project that examines crimes against humanity trials in Allied-occupied Germany. His recent scholarly publications include an article on the history of gay suicide in New German Critique and an article on lesbianism in the Third Reich in Journal of Contemporary History. Dr. Huneke also regularly writes for venues including Boston ReviewThe Point, and Los Angeles Review of Books.

This event has been canceled

SHABBAT DINNER WITH FOOD INSPIRED BY HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS

Program by Hillel at Virginia Tech

Friday, April 17, 2020

6-8 p.m.

Malcolm Rosenberg Hillel Center (710 Toms Creek Rd)

The Hillel at Virginia Tech weekly Shabbat dinner will feature recipes inspired by Holocaust survivors and a display of newspapers about the Holocaust from the collections of Hillel at Virginia Tech.

YOM HASHOAH - HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY - READING OF THE NAMES

Program by Hillel at Virginia Tech

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Virginia Tech Drillfield

To commemorate Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), volunteers will read aloud the names of individuals (both Jewish and non-Jewish) who perished during the holocaust.

Event accommodations

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please email library-event-accessibility-g@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Event location information

COVID-19 Updates

Get the latest information from the University

Get the latest information from the University Libraries

Exhibit status

2020-03-31 4:00 p.m. 

Accessing the exhibit
Newman Library is closed. As of this time, the exhibit is no longer accessible. We are working with the American Library Association to arrange to host the exhibit again in the future.

Canceled events

  • Opening Reception
  • March 30 Read Out Loud book discussion
  • Film Screening series
  • Shabbat Dinner

Modified events
Links to join the events via Zoom are included in the event details.

  • Invited speaker (online via Zoom)
  • April 6 Read Out Loud book discussion (online via Zoom)
  • Reading of the Names - Planning for a virtual event is underway. Check the Hillel at Virginia Tech website for the most up-to-date information.
2020-03-23 10:00 a.m. 

Accessing the exhibit
Newman Library is open and the exhibit remains accessible to faculty, staff, and students of Virginia Tech.

Hours (please refer to the library's hours page for the latest updates):

  • 9 a.m.-6 p.m. M-F for faculty, staff, and students of Virginia Tech
  • Closed on Saturday and Sunday
  • Closed to the general public, Hokie Passport swipe access only

Virginia Tech community members will be able to enter Newman Library at the 2nd floor Alumni Mall and Drillfield doors only, and only with Hokie Passport card swipe access.

Canceled events

  • Opening Reception
  • March 30 Read Out Loud book discussion
  • Film Screening series
  • Shabbat Dinner

Modified events
Links to join the events via Zoom are included in the event details.

  • Invited speaker (online via Zoom)
  • April 6 Read Out Loud book discussion (online via Zoom)
  • Reading of the Names - Planning for a virtual event is underway. Check the Hillel at Virginia Tech website for the most up-to-date information.
2020-03-18 12:00 p.m. 

Accessing the exhibit
Newman Library is open and the exhibit remains accessible to faculty, staff, and students of Virginia Tech.

Hours until March 22 are 8 a.m.-8 p.m., M-F, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Hours starting March 23 (please refer to the library's hours page for the latest updates):

  • 9 a.m.-6 p.m. M-F for faculty, staff, and students of Virginia Tech
  • Closed on Saturday and Sunday
  • Closed to the general public, Hokie Passport swipe access only

Virginia Tech community members will be able to enter Newman Library at the 2nd floor Alumni Mall and Drillfield doors only, and only with Hokie Passport card swipe access.

Canceled events

  • Opening Reception
  • Film Screening series
  • Shabbat Dinner

Modified events
Links to join the events via Zoom are included in the event details.

  • Invited speaker (online via Zoom)
  • Read Out Loud book discussion (online via Zoom)
  • Reading of the Names - Planning for a virtual event is underway. Check the Hillel at Virginia Tech website for the most up-to-date information.

2020-03-16 5:00 p.m.

Accessing the exhibit

Newman Library is open and the exhibit remains accessible to faculty, staff, and students of Virginia Tech.

Newman Library hours until March 22 are 8 a.m.-8 p.m., M-F, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Hours starting March 23 (please refer to the library's hours page for the latest updates):

  • 9 a.m.-6 p.m. M-F for faculty, staff, and students of Virginia Tech
  • Closed on Saturday and Sunday
  • Closed to the general public, Hokie Passport swipe access only

Virginia Tech community members will be able to enter Newman Library at the 2nd floor Alumni Mall and Drillfield doors only, and only with Hokie Passport card swipe access.

Event status

The exhibit Opening Reception and Film Screening series have been canceled. Invited speaker and Read Out Loud book discussion events are continuing online-only sessions. Links to join the events via Zoom are included in the event details.

Shabbat Dinner, and Reading of the Names are currently unchanged. Plans for these events remain under review and updates will be posted as decisions are made. You can also check the Hillel at Virginia Tech website for updates.


2020-03-16 3:00 p.m.

The exhibit Opening Reception and Film Screening series have been canceled. Invited speaker and Read Out Loud book discussion events are continuing online-only sessions. Links to join the events via Zoom are included in the event details.

Newman Library is open and the exhibit may be viewed in the 2nd floor commons.

Shabbat Dinner, and Reading of the Names are currently unchanged. Plans for these events remain under review and updates will be posted as decisions are made. You can also check the Hillel at Virginia Tech website for updates.


2020-03-12 4:30 p.m.

The exhibit Opening Reception has been canceled. Invited speaker and Read Out Loud book discussion events are being moved to online-only formats. Links to join the events via Zoom are included in the event details.

Newman Library is open and the exhibit may be viewed in the 2nd floor commons. 

The film screenings, Shabbat Dinner, and Reading of the Names are currently unchanged. Plans for these events remain under review and updates will be posted as decisions are made.


2020-03-12 9:00 a.m.

Newman Library is open and the exhibit may be viewed in the 2nd floor commons. All events are currently under review based on the university's decision to move to extend spring break and convert to online instruction for the remainder of the semester. Options to hold exhibit-related events online via Zoom are being explored.

Acknowledgements

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.