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History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust

History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust poses the following questions: What did people in your community know about the event? Was the information accurate? What do the newspapers tell us about how local and national leaders and community members reacted to the event? The answers to these questions will help explore the Holocaust as a local American story and challenge assumptions about what the average American citizen knew about events related to the Holocaust as they occurred.

The site, hosted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) encourages “citizen historians” to investigate US press coverage of a number of Holocaust related events in the United States and Europe from 1933 to 1945. The site lists 20 significant events that the USHMM would like researchers to focus on, including the opening of Dachau in 1933, Hitler’s announcement of the Nuremberg race laws in 1935, Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938, and the establishment of the War Refugee Board in 1944 by President Roosevelt. The resulting research will contribute to an exhibition scheduled to open in 2018 at USHMM on Americans and the Holocaust.

Included on the site are detailed tips on how to research each event with a synopsis of the event, links to find out more about the topic, and the dates that the event would most likely have appeared in newspapers. After setting up an account, researchers may submit any articles they find in newspapers to the website for inclusion in a database through the spring of 2018.

Teachers can make use of History Unfolded in the classroom with the resources and a lesson plan that can be adapted for middle school, high school, or college curricula.

 
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