From the AHA
Seventy-three years ago, on December 4, 1942, a newspaper in Battle Creek, Michigan, then a town of 40,000 people 120 miles west of Detroit, ran a short piece with the headline “Million Jews Slain in Poland, Is Charge.” The United Press report from New York declared:
At least 1,000,000 Polish Jews have been executed in the “human slaughter houses” set up by the Nazis in Poland, it was asserted recently by Henryk Strasburger, finance minister of the Polish governmentin- exile.
What the rest of the world knew about the persecution and murder of the Jews is a longstanding question in Holocaust studies. In the US context, much of what we know about the reporting of the Holocaust comes from large urban newspapers. The regional and local papers from which many Americans received their news remain largely unexplored.
A new project launched in November by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is working to fill this gap. History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust aims to build a searchable online archive of articles about the Holocaust that appeared in regional and small-town newspapers across the United States. By involving high school students, lifelong learners, and academics as volunteer participants in the process of discovery and digitization, the museum hopes to greatly increase our understanding of the transmission of information about the Holocaust across the country. Initially, the museum is seeking bibliographic information and images of articles related to 10 events during the years 1933–45.