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Americans and the Holocaust: A Reader

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Title: Americans and the Holocaust

Authors: Daniel Greene and Edward Phillips

Published: January 2022

Purchase: From Rutgers University Press

What did the American people and the US government know about the threats posed by Nazi Germany? What could have been done to stop the rise of Nazism in Germany and its assault on Europe’s Jews? 

Americans and the Holocaust explores these enduring questions by gathering together more than 100 primary sources that reveal how Americans debated their responsibility to respond to Nazism. Drawing on groundbreaking research conducted for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Americans and the Holocaust exhibition, these carefully chosen sources help readers understand how Americans’ responses to Nazism were shaped by the challenging circumstances in the United States during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, including profound economic crisis, fear of communism, pervasive antisemitism and racism, and widespread isolationism. 

Through newspaper and magazine articles, popular culture materials, and government records, Americans and the Holocaust is a valuable resource for college-level courses, advanced secondary students, and historians seeking to shed light on this dark era in world history.

About the Authors

Daniel Greene is President and Librarian at the Newberry Library and an adjunct professor of history at Northwestern University. He curated Americans and the Holocaust, an exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Edward J. Phillips joined the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1994 and directed its exhibitions program from 2008 until his retirement in 2018. He contributed to nearly fifty exhibition projects, including Americans and the Holocaust, the basis for this reader.

Additional Resources

This book is part of a groundbreaking educational initiative at the Museum that includes the following resources: