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What, exactly, did newspapers across the U.S. have to say about the Holocaust during World War II? Your collections may hold the answer!

What Did We Know? Citizen History, Local Newspapers, and the Holocaust

A digital project from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, is turning to “citizen historians” to research how their hometown newspapers covered the Holocaust throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

Through History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust, the Museum is asking readers to dive deep into the holdings of their local libraries and historical societies, or into online newspaper archives, for articles around a set of major Holocaust-related events. The project empowers individual history enthusiasts and students to research how their hometown newspapers covered specific events in the 1930s and 1940s related to the Nazi persecution of Jews and others. Articles submitted by citizen-historians, teachers, students, and anyone else interested in contributing will inform the Museum’s upcoming exhibition on Americans and the Holocaust (opening in 2018)—and may even be used in the exhibit itself. There is a unique opportunity here for state and local museums, historical societies, and historic sites and houses to support this international project as well.

Join us for this webinar as experts explore how you can participate in this unique initiative to engage audiences with historical newspaper collections and teach history through real, hands-on historical research.

(Read AASLH President & CEO John Dichtl’s article on using this project to engage your institution’s visitors and community.)


David Klevan is the Education Outreach Specialist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He specializes in experiential education and instructional design with a focus on digital learning in out-of-school learning environments.

Elissa Frankle is the Digital Projects Coordinator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She is a museum educator with broad experience across many areas of museum and historical society work in cultural and history-focused institutions. Her focuses are on digital learning, community engagement, expanding audiences, museums as catalysts for social change; special expertise in social justice, museum labor practices, German- and Austrian-Jewish history, local Washington, DC history, and law enforcement outreach.

Dr. Aleisa Fishman is a historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She encourages audiences to explore the history of the Holocaust and how that history remains relevant today. Dr. Fishman curates the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s podcast interview series Confronting Hatred, part of the Museum’s initiative against Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.


Hot Topic Webinar Series

This webinar is the second in AASLH’s new Hot Topics Series and is free for AASLH members. The world around us is changing at a rapid pace. How can history organizations react and respond to those changes? What is the historian’s role when issues arise such as the debate over Confederate iconography or Ferguson? This series grapples with current event topics and explores how history organizations can contribute to the greater conversation.

Visit our Calendar of Events to learn about more AASLH Continuing Education Opportunities.