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Americans and the Holocaust

Artifacts from the Museum’s Collection

When the Museum decided to open an exhibition related to the United States and the Holocaust, it was clear the initiative would require new collections. For six years, dedicated curators and exhibition researchers combed the country for artifacts that could help tell the story they were uncovering.

Margret Simon Hantman wore this dress for a performance at the Deggendorf displaced persons camp. In 1946, she immigrated to the United States. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Margret Simon Hantman. Photography: Lisa Masson

Thanks to people who opened up their homes, dug family treasures out of attics, and told us their stories, the Museum’s collection now illustrates the wide range of American responses to Nazi persecution of Jews, to an unfolding refugee crisis, and to the debate over entering World War II.

Published in 2020, Americans and the Holocaust features more than 60 of these items in full color. Taken together, these artifacts—from children’s playthings, to a high school yearbook, to vivid US propaganda—reveal the complexity of what in hindsight can seem like a simpler time.    

Copies of this 64-page volume are available on Amazon or in the Museum shop.

Related Publication

View the first volume of Artifacts from the Museum’s Collection: The Last Witnesses.