US Holocaust museum crowdsourcing local newspaper coverage of the era


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is crowdsourcing research on how local U.S. newspapers reported the Holocaust.

The museum said in a statement issued Tuesday it had already received more than 900 submissions from researchers, including newspapers as far afield as the Bangor (Maine) Daily News and the Santa Cruz (California) Sentinel.

“While scholars have extensively surveyed how major newspapers covered the Holocaust, local news coverage has not been heavily studied by scholars,” said the statement, which encouraged would-be researchers – particularly students – to search online or visit archives and libraries, where some newspapers remain archived on microfilm.

The project identifies 20 events for research including Kristallnacht in 1938, forcing Jews to wear yellow stars in 1941, and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943. It also singles out American events, including the U.S. agreement to attend the 1936 Berlin Olympics, although it was evident Jewish athletes would not be treated fairly; and the claim by Father Charles Coughlin, the radio demagogue, in 1938 blaming Jews for the violence they were suffering.

The project will be a component of an exhibition on Americans and the Holocaust, opening in 2018.

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