Traveling Holocaust exhibit comes to Troy University

by Kiara Posey

The Troy University Library will soon welcome visitors to view the Americans and the Holocaust Exhibit. The traveling exhibit, presented by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Alabama Library Association, will address important themes in American history, including Americans’ responses to refugees, war, and genocide in the 1930s and ‘40s. 

The exhibit, which runs from March 17- April 28, focuses on the stories of individuals and groups of Americans who took action in response to Nazism.

“The exhibit will have various kinds of documents, both written and visual images,” said Dr. David Chroust, Troy University’s Social Sciences and Government Documents Librarian. “These are documents that recorded what people in America knew about what was happening to Jews in Nazi Germany.”

The traveling exhibit will be presented at 50 public and private libraries across the country. 

“I think it will be an emotionally difficult exhibit because of the topic,” Chroust said. “The Holocaust is a name for the persecution of the Jews in Germany that culminated in the genocide of about six million individuals in a system of death camps and gas chambers.”

Dr. Dan Puckett, a professor of history and author of “In the Shadow of Hitler: Alabama Jews, the Second World War, and the Holocaust,” is one of the five speakers who will present throughout the duration of the exhibit.

In his presentation, Puckett will give an overview of the exhibit and discuss Alabama citizens’ response to the Holocaust.

“The exhibit looks at national responses,” Puckett said. “How national organizations and President Roosevelt responded. How Alabama differed is that local Jewish organizations were much more outspoken than national Jewish organizations.

“You had a lot of organizing at the local and the state level, and also attempts to influence national representation on how to protest against Nazi Germany and their treatment of the Jews.”

In light of the recent increase in outbreaks of antisemitic views in America and other countries, Puckett said it is important to be educated and become more aware of the Holocaust.

 “It’s imperative that Troy students, that Alabamians and Americans learn more about the Holocaust and what it entails,” said Puckett. “I think it’s essential for all of us to know something about the Holocaust, what it means, and the dangers that bigotry and racism and antisemitism pose to us.” 

One Troy student has taken it upon herself to learn more about the Holocaust.

“I’m really excited for the Holocaust exhibit to come to Troy,” said Elyse Quinn, a junior broadcast journalism major from Birmingham, Alabama. “I think it’s a really interesting topic to have and it’s really important to know our history.

“I think it’s very important to fight antisemitism and stereotyping.” 

The exhibit will be located on the main floor of the library, to the right of the entrance. 

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