Risk and Resistance: The Elise Kann Jaeger Collection
When Germany occupied the Netherlands, a young Elise Kann went into hiding with Molly and Jerry van Heel. Though she once walked in on Jerry while he was forging identification cards, it wasn’t until decades later that Elise learned the full story behind his and Molly’s efforts to rescue Jews. Curator Susan Snyder explains the significance of the van Heels’ forging materials, which Elise donated to the Museum.
Collaborators committed some of the worst atrocities of the Holocaust era. Antisemitism, nationalism, ethnic hatred, anti-communism, and opportunism led many citizens of nations occupied by Germany to collaborate with the Nazi regime in the annihilation of the European Jews.
The word antisemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews. The Holocaust, the state-sponsored persecution and murder of European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945, is history’s most extreme example of antisemitism.
Visitors to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Permanent Exhibition receive ID cards chronicling the experiences of people who lived in Europe during the Holocaust. These cards are designed to help personalize the historical events of the time.