IRVINE, Calif. — A traveling exhibit covering the American perspective of the Holocaust will come to the University of California, Irvine in February. It will coincide with a second exhibit, “Snapshots of Orange County,” which shows the history of the county during World War II.
The exhibit “Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition,” will be shown at the Langson Library at UCI until March 9.
The tragedy of the Holocaust has been explored in famous films like "Schindler’s List" and important memoirs from "The Diary of Anne Frank" to Ruth Klüger’s "Still Alive."
The latter was the New York Times best-selling product of long-time UCI professor Klüger, who passed away last year.
While those treatments of the Holocaust experience focus on the experience of German and other European Jewish prisoners, the traveling exhibit shows what some of the atrocities looked like from afar. The exhibit features posters decrying the Nazi power grab floating such American documents as "The Bill of Rights" to promote stated motivations for participation in the war. It also shows a document for immigrants of the time and black and white photos of immigrants, some gazing at the statue of liberty.
The exhibit has been on tour since 2020 and “examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.”
UCI was selected as one of 50 U.S. libraries to host the exhibit, which is a mobile version of an offering presented at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., since 2018.
The companion exhibit, “Snapshots of Orange County in the 1940s: Spaces, Places, Faces,” dives into the county’s stake in the war. As the war continued, Southern California’s aerospace industry developed, and military bases were built out, drawing thousands to neighboring cities.
The exhibit will be available to the public for free.