The mission and purpose of the Museum’s collection is to preserve for future generations the photographic, documentary, and artifactual record of this fateful period in Jewish and world history. The Collections Division is responsible for caring for a rich and expanding variety of materials related to the period from the end of the First World War to the early 1950s. Collecting is futher expanded to include materials related to Holocaust war crimes trials, testimonies about the Holocaust and its aftermath, materials regarding restitution efforts, and contemporary documentation concerning Holocaust deniers.
The Museum’s holdings include drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, audio and video interviews, books, manuscripts, film, video, audio recordings, musical recordings and scores, uniforms, clothing, badges, armnamds, flags, banners, documents, personal papers, diaries, memoirs, correcpondence, personal effects, furnishings, architectural fragments, ritual objects, tools, broadsides, announcements, advertisements, posters, maps, and photographic images gathered from public and private institutions and donors from around the world.
The broad subject areas covered in the collection are:
- Jewish life before the Holocaust in Eastern and Western Europe.
- Prewar communal life of victim groups in affected areas of Europe and North Africa.
- Rise to power of the Nazi movement in Germany and Austria.
- Nazi racial "science" and the propaganda campaign against Jews, Romanies (Gypsies), and other targeted groups in Germany during the 1930s.
- Nazi anti-Jewish policy in the 1930s.
- Flight of victim groups from Nazi-occupied Europe.
- Refugee communities in various countries.
- World response to the rise of Nazism and the persecution of Jews and other targeted groups.
- Nazi occupation policies and practices.
- Round-up, deportation, and murder of European Jewry.
- Mass shootings conducted by the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) as well as other German and indigenous police and auxiliary units.
- Ghettos, concentration camps, labor camps, and killing centers.
- Fate of Poles, Romanies (Gypsies), homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the mentally and physically handicapped, Soviet prisoners of war, and other targeted groups during the war.
- Persecution of and by indigenous populations.
- Nazi collaborators in all affected countries.
- Regimes of the Nazi satellite states and their treatment of the populations under their control.
- Resistance to Nazi policies and actions.
- Life in hiding during the Holocaust.
- Discovery and disclosure of the concentration and death camps.
- Liberation of Holocaust victims.
- War crimes trials and the search for and apprehension of war criminals.
- Experiences of victim groups following liberation.
- Bricha (escape and rescue of Jews from eastern Europe).
- Jewish DP experiences in DP camps and elsewhere following liberation.
- Legal and illegal immigration to Palestine, the United States, and other countries.
- Victim reparation and compensation.
- Holocaust memorialization and commemoration.
- Contemporary documentation regarding Holocaust deniers.
Contact us at:
Art and Artifacts
(For donations of your family’s personal collections)
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2126
Tel.: (202) 488-2649
Fax: (202) 479-9726