What did American newspapers report about Nazi persecution during the 1930s and ’40s?
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has launched the History Unfolded project to seek answers to that question. The project asks students, teachers and history buffs throughout the United States what was possible for Americans to have known about the Holocaust as it was happening and how Americans responded. Participants look in local newspapers for news and opinion about 31 different Holocaust-era events that took place in the United States and Europe, and submit articles they find to a national database, as well as information about newspapers that did not cover events.
The events range from the March 1933 opening of the Dachau concentration camp, initially established to hold political prisoners, to President Harry S. Truman’s executive order in December 1945 to fill immigration quotas with displaced persons.
At https://newspapers.ushmm.org, the museum offers tips on how to find newspaper archives (think public and university libraries), tips on how to read old newspapers, and links to online archives — there are currently four publications from Arizona, including El Tucsonense, a Spanish-language newspaper published twice a week during the years 1933-1945.
As of June 6, 2017, 1,645 History Unfolded participants had submitted more than 10,200 items from newspapers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They include news articles, editorials, letters to the editor, political cartoons, and advertisements.