FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – An exhibition that examines the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1040s is coming to Downtown Fresno, officials announced.

Officials say the Central Library in Downtown Fresno is one of the 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, was a genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.

Fresno County Public Library is honored to be one of fifty libraries nationally, and the only public library in the state, selected by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association to host the Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition. This exhibition has been in the works since 2019, and we are honored to provide this important experience free of charge to our residents.

Sally Gomez, Interum County Librarian.

Based on extensive new research of that period, officials say Americans and the Holocaust address important themes in American history, exploring the many factors that influenced decisions made by the U.S. government, the news media, organizations, and individuals as they responded to Nazism including the Great Depression, isolationism, xenophobia, racism, and antisemitism.

The exhibition challenges the commonly held assumptions that Americans knew little and did nothing about the Naxi persecution and murder of Jews as the Holocaust unfolded. It also focuses on the stories of individuals and groups of Americans who took action in response to Nazism, drawing on a remarkable collection of primary sources from the 1930s and ’40s.

Americans and the Holocaust will be on display at the Central Library in Downton Fresno along with a series of related special events, from Nov. 5 to Dec. 30.

For more information about Americans and the Holocaust and related programming at the Central Library click here. To learn more about the exhibition, click here.

The touring library exhibition -baed on the special exhibition of the same name at the Museum in Washington, D.C.- has been traveling to U.S. libraries since 2020 until 2023.