Traveling exhibit “Americans and the Holocaust” coming to City Tech in Fall 2021

One Friday earlier this month, shortly after New Years, I had lunch in Midtown Manhattan with a friend who is also a Holocaust survivor. We wanted to meet so soon after the holidays because he was heading to Mexico the following Monday for two weeks to speak at schools and to various groups about his experience during the Second World War. Later that very week I too was heading elsewhere, in my case to Washington D.C. for two days of training at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the National Mall. The training was in preparation for an exhibit entitled “Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries” coming to New York City College of Technology in Fall 2021.

“Americans and the Holocaust” is a joint initiative of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and American Library Association. There are many others who have played a role in making it happen as well. “Americans and the Holocaust” was made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine. Additional major funding was provided by the Bildners — Joan & Allen z”l, Elisa Spungen & Rob, Nancy & Jim; and Jane and Daniel Och. The Museum’s exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund, established in 1990.

City Tech is one of fifty institutions across the United States, including in Alaska and Hawaii, who will host “Americans and the Holocaust” as it tours the country in 2020-2022. There at the training were the 49 other project directors representing their various institutions. For two full days we listened to USHMM officials, historians, ALA representatives, and others explain the scope of the exhibit, the history of the Holocaust and the Second World War, the nature of genocide itself, and other topics. We also broke into groups to share ideas and learn from one another. It was a rewarding experience.

We here at the Ursula C. Schwerin Library thought that today, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, would be an appropriate moment to mention the coming of “Americans and the Holocaust” to City Tech. What is more, today, January 27, 2020, is an especially poignant day to do so; it was 75 years ago today that the Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz. Time is moving along and there are fewer Holocaust survivors left as the years pass. When I had lunch with my friend a few weeks back I asked him how many Holocaust survivors remain with us today. He estimated approximately 100,000 in the United States and 400,000 worldwide. That is why now is an opportune and crucial time to host “Americans and the Holocaust.” In addition to showcasing the 1100 square foot interactive exhibit itself in October-November 2021, there will be numerous panel discussions, expert speakers, and other events, all open to the public.

We will have more to share as things develop in the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime, please watch the brief video above that explains more.

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