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Americans and the Holocaust Initiative


The Museum's Americans and the Holocaust initiative focuses on Americans' responses to the rise of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. The initiative is anchored in an exhibition of the same name currently on display in the Museum. In partnership with the American Library Association, a traveling version is touring public and university libraries nationwide.

Educational resources include lessons, books, and a crowdsourcing newspaper project. Related archival materials can be found in the Museum's collections. 

The new documentary by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, The U.S. and the Holocaust, was partly inspired by the Museum's initiative and can be viewed on PBS.

Stories Featured in the Documentary

The Museum was pleased to cooperate with the filmmakers of The U.S. and the Holocaust by providing archival and historical sources. Explore stories featured in the film.

Susan Warsinger (née Hilsenrath)

Susan Warsinger's parents hoped they were sending 10-year old Susi away from danger when they paid to have her and her brother, Joseph, smuggled into France. It was only the beginning of their journey from terror to freedom.

Guy Stern

Guy Stern’s family sent him to the United States as a teen to escape Nazi Germany, and as a German Jewish refugee, he was recruited to be a US Army Intelligence Operative. 

Ben Ferencz

After witnessing Nazi concentration camps shortly after liberation, Ben Ferencz became the lead prosecutor at Nuremberg. His fight for justice for victims of atrocity crimes continues today.  

Otto Frank

Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, fled Nazi Germany to Amsterdam with his family soon after Hitler came to power. Determined to leave Europe, he contacted an old college friend in the United States for help—but ultimately to no avail.

Related Publications


Americans and the Holocaust Reader

This collection of more than 100 primary sources draws on groundbreaking research conducted for the Americans and the Holocaust exhibition. Learn More

The Unwanted 

This book is an intimate account of a small village in Germany whose Jewish families desperately pursued American visas to flee the Nazis. Learn More