Some Were Neighbors: Choice, Human Behavior, and the Holocaust addresses one of the central questions about the Holocaust: How was it possible? The central role of Hitler and other Nazi Party leaders is indisputable. However, the dependence of these perpetrators on countless others for the execution of Nazi racial policies is less understood. Within Nazi Germany and across German-dominated Europe, circles of collaboration and complicity rippled throughout governments and societies wherever victims of persecution and mass murder lived.
This exhibition examines the role of ordinary people in the Holocaust and the variety of motives and pressures that influenced individual choices to act. These influences often reflect fear, indifference, antisemitism, career concerns, community standing, peer pressure, or chances for material gain. It also looks at individuals who did not give in to the opportunities and temptations to betray their fellow human beings, reminding us that there is an alternative to complicity in evil acts—even in extraordinary times.
This exhibition is currently touring in Germany only. The Museum offers educational resources in German to accompany the exhibition for host organizations. See resources, tour locations, and learn how to host.
This exhibition is sponsored by the William Levine Family Institute of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and was made possible in part by support from The David Berg Foundation, The Oliver Stanton Foundation, The William & Sheila Konar Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Benjamin and Seema Pulier Charitable Foundation, Sy and Laurie Sternberg, and The Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund established in 1990.