Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition coming to Bangor Public Library

December 01, 2021

[Bangor, ME] — Bangor Public Library is one of 50 U.S. libraries selected to host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling  exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped  Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. 

The touring library exhibition — based on the special exhibition of the same name at the Museum in Washington, D.C.  — will travel to U.S. libraries from 2021 to 2023. 

“We are so fortunate to have been the only New England site selected to host this important and powerful exhibition,”  said Library Director Ben Treat. “Please come and explore the exhibit; it will challenge you to not only ask ‘what would I  have done?’ but also, ‘what will I do?’" 

Americans and the Holocaust will be on display at the Bangor Public Library, along with a series of related special events,  from December 1, 2021 – January 14, 2022.  

Based on extensive new research of that period, Americans and the Holocaust addresses important themes in American  history, exploring the many factors — including the Great Depression, isolationism, xenophobia, racism and  antisemitism — that influenced decisions made by the U.S. government, the news media, organizations and individuals  as they responded to Nazism. This exhibition will challenge the commonly held assumptions that Americans knew little  and did nothing about the Nazi persecution and murder of Jews as the Holocaust unfolded.  

Drawing on a remarkable collection of primary sources from the 1930s and ’40s, the exhibition focuses on the stories of  individuals and groups of Americans who took action in response to Nazism. It will challenge visitors to consider the  responsibilities and obstacles faced by individuals — from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to ordinary Americans — who made difficult choices, sought to effect change, and, in a few cases, took significant risks to help victims of Nazism  even as rescue never became a government priority.  

In addition to the traveling exhibition on loan, Bangor Public Library received a cash grant to support public programs.  The grant also covered one library staff member’s attendance at an orientation workshop at the Museum.  

For more information about Americans and the Holocaust and related programming at Bangor Public Library, visit To learn more about the exhibition, visit 

Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries is an educational initiative of the United States  Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association. 

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. 

Additional programming support was made possible, in part, by the Jewish Community Endowment

Hannah Young, (207) 947-8336

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