“The World Must Know… is a skillfully organized and clearly told account of the German Holocaust that consumed, with unparalleled malevolence, six million Jews and millions of innocent others—Protestants, Catholics, Poles, Russians, Gypsies, the handicapped, and so many others, adults and children. This important book, a vital guide through the unique corridors of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., merits the widest of audiences.”
— Chaim Potok, author of The Chosen and The Promise
In April 1993, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened its doors in Washington, D.C. Drawing on the Museum’s artifacts and its extensive eyewitness testimony collection, and including over 200 photographic images from the Museum’s archives, The World Must Know journeys back in time to a world where Jewish culture thrived in Europe, and proceeds to the moment when the most unspeakable events in history occurred.
The World Must Know documents the human stories of the Holocaust, from the families who received sudden orders to report to the train stations for “resettlement in the East” to the Nazi officials who determined who would live and who would die and to ordinary citizens, like those in the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, who risked their own lives by hiding Jewish refugees in their homes. The powerful and provocative images in The World Must Know tell of hope and death—the grim reality of the ghettos and concentration camps, the coolly efficient mobile killing units, and the brave and heart-wrenching stories of resistance and rescue.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is dedicated to presenting the history of the persecution and murder of six million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazi tyranny from 1933 to 1945.
The Museum was chartered by a unanimous act of Congress in 1980. Its primary mission is to advance and disseminate knowledge about this unprecedented tragedy; to preserve the memory of those who suffered; and to encourage visitors to contemplate their responsibilities as citizens in an interdependent world. From the book jacket.
“The World Must Know is a majestic and profoundly moving ‘history of the Holocaust as told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.’ I thought I knew that history well, but I found it impossible to put The World Must Know down once I had started…. The World Must Know is must reading for anyone who would like to be human in the post-Holocaust world.”
— Charles E. Silberman, author of Crisis in the Classroom and Crisis in Black and White
“A rare, indispensable book about the Holocaust. This is a superb, authoritative resource. Through texts, image and interpretation we gain a deeper understanding of the victims, helpers and perpetrators.”
— Dr. Richard L. Rubinstein, author of After Auschwitz
“Berenbaum’s scholarly work provides an excellent assessment of the Holocaust Museum, which combines literary and visual media to describe the subject. . . . Interweaving narrative, pictures, and quotations from victims, the book culminates with an extensive bibliographic essay, making this work an excellent resource for anyone interested in the Holocaust. Berenbaum guides the reader through the history and causes of Nazism, tracks the avenues that led to the mass destruction of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and various Slavic peoples, and illustrates Western inaction in assisting the victims.”
— A.K. Steinberg, Choice
Michael Berenbaum is an independent consultant working on the historical content of films and the conceptual development of museums. He is the former president and CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and served as director of the Research Institute of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dr. Berenbaum is also adjunct professor of theology at the University of Judaism.