MARSHALL, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) – Out of 50 libraries across the country, Marshall Public Library was chosen as a location for the traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum titled Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries.

The exhibit works to explore the pressures, fears, and motives that shaped Americans’ responses to war, genocide, and Nazism in Europe during the 1930s and 40s.

As a result of the collaboration between the traveling exhibit and the American Library Association, the exhibit will be on display at the Marshall Public Library from September 1st through October 13.

A release from Marshall Public Library Director Alyson Thompson reads, “Addressing 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.”

 The exhibit also focuses on stories from specific individuals and groups of Americans who decided to take action against the rise of Nazism in the United States. 

There will also be special events scheduled throughout the duration of the exhibit’s stay at the library that will go in-depth to explore various topics and details of the events that lead up to the Holocaust. 

The schedule of events is below (seating is limited for these free programs and registration is strongly encouraged):

  • September 7, 6:30 pm | Holocaust survivor story told by a survivor from the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center Speaker’s Bureau
  • September 14, 6:30 pm | Award-winning musician Lil Rev, traveling from Wisconsin, will perform Jews ‘n’ the Blues concert
  • September 21, 6:30 pm | PBS movie US and the Holocaust, guided discussion by local WWII historian Dan Crews
  • September 28, 6:30 pm | Mollie’s War author and IL Humanities Road Scholar Cyndee Shaffer shares the story of the Women’s Army Corp during WWII
  • October 5, 6:30 pm | C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Holocaust Museum Executive Director Troy Fears presents: The Story of Eva Kor: A Holocaust Survivor and Forgiveness Advocate
  • October 12, 6:30 pm | IL Humanities Road Scholar and Head Librarian Jamie Poorman presents: A New Deal for the American People – Roosevelt’s Recovery Programs in Clark County, Illinois.

Other local contributions to the exhibit will include an art project by Mrs. Kelly Welsh’s sixth graders (2023) displaying their comprehension and understanding of the events of the Holocaust, along with a WWII display compliments of Dan Crews, and other Jewish memorabilia, provided by Amy Ladd.

For those interested in registering for the programs or other events related to the exhibit, visit the Marshall Public Library website, the library’s Facebook, or by calling 217-826-2535.