We're very fortunate to have been selected to present a traveling exhibit
from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), cosponsored by
ALA. Entitled "Americans And The Holocaust," the exhibit explores
questions about America's knowledge of and response to Nazi anti-Semitism
and the Holocaust, 1933-1945. I urge you to consider making the trip
up/down/over to Bangor to view this exhibit, which is open from today
through January 15. Though the exhibit will have 50 stops around the
country, this is its only stop in New England.
The exhibit does *not* offer the sort of stark imagery that one might
associate with the USHMM in DC, the sort of imagery that might cause one to
avoid bringing children. The point is not to detail the history of the
concentration camps or the death camps, but to present documentary evidence
of the news and rhetoric that Americans had access to and the responses of
individual Americans and various leaders in the US. The exhibit is
appropriate for children; we are encouraging schools to send children from
8th-12th grade, but families may well want to bring significantly younger
children. No one is more genuinely interested in questions of justice than
a child; they know all the right questions to ask.
If you're a school librarian -- or someone connected to your local school
-- and you would like to see teachers at your school bring children, please
visit the library web site at
where you can complete the application for a field trip. Busing costs can
be offset or covered by a generous grant from a local organization, the
Jewish Community Endowment Associates, on a first-come first-serve basis.
Time is running out, and I know this has a couple of weeks of school break
in the middle of it, but this may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,
especially for place-bound youth, to learn about this subject from such a
reliable source as the USHMM.
Again, I encourage you to come and view the exhibit. I'm never the smartest
person in the room, so I'm probably not a great yardstick, but I've
definitely learned a lot from the exhibit.
We have three fabulous programs to offer. Heidi Omlor (Ellsworth High
School teacher) discusses her PhD research into the way that local Maine
newspapers put Nazi anti-Semitism and the Holocaust on the front page when
nationally-circulated newspapers buried the news deeper in their papers.
Anne Kelly Knowles will present on Zoom only on December 15; a professor at
UMaine, she is a co-founder of the Holocaust Geographies Collaborative, and
she will present dynamic, creative maps and other visualizations from the
Collaborative. Erica Nadelhaft is the Education Coordinator at the
Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC) and is a faculty member
at UMFK; she will present on a specific story of a prominent German Jewish
man who was unable to immigrate to the US, drawing on primary source
material in the HHRC archives. Details including dates and times can be
Finally, I want to make a point of thanking our colleague, Meg Gray, the
head of the Reference Department here at Bangor Public Library. She has
been the unstoppable force who has made this exhibit happen and has put
countless hours into the exhibit's success. I also want to thank our
colleagues, Lori Patterson (James F Doughty Middle School, Bangor) and
Nancy Watson (Bangor High School), for joining Rabbi Darah Lerner
(Congregation Beth El, Bangor) and Rabbi Bill Siemers (Congregation Beth
Israel, Bangor) on the steering committee for the Bangor installation of
this exhibit. I feel very fortunate that we have such a fabulous team
working to make this exhibit a success.
Director, Bangor Public Library
145 Harlow St, Bangor, ME 04401
Direct to me: 207-922-6064
Library's main line: 207-947-8336
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