Puna resident participates in Holocaust newspaper project

Puna resident participates in Holocaust newspaper project

PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - By Janelle Guerrero-Miguel

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is asking residents to dig through Hawaii newspaper archives from the 1930s and 40s to see how the threat of Nazism was covered.

As part of a nationwide project, called "History Unfolded," the museum is highlighting how 20 Holocaust-era events were reported on.

Close to 2,000 articles have been submitted from contributors across the country, but the museum is looking for more contributions from Hawaii publications.

One local resident has already participated in the project.

Bo Breda, of Puna, found a Honolulu Advertiser article entitled "Homes of 10,000 Jews Wrecked in Nazi Purge," at the University of Hawaii in Hilo. The UP article reported on the anti-Jewish riots known as Kristallnacht, and was published on Nov. 11, 1938.

"I was amazed by the outrageous Nazi propaganda concerning what they were doing," Breda said.

"Although I knew intellectually all about it, reading it from the viewpoint of current coverage in the 30s was truly eye-opening. The saddest part was the inactivity of the rest of the Western countries," she said.

Input from amateur researchers like Breda can help historians learn how American newspapers reported on the Holocaust, museum officials said. The museum is particularly interested in the way small- and mid-sized newspapers across the country covered these events.

"The project's goal is for contributors to explore Holocaust history as both an American story and a local story," said Michael J. Abramowitz, director of the museum's Levine Institute for Holocaust Education.

"We expect that some will be excited about using primary sources in historical research, but we also hope, through their involvement, people will challenge assumptions about what Americans knew about the events that came to be known as the Holocaust," he said.

The museum is looking for all sorts of submissions, including news stories, letters to the editors, political cartoons, and other published items addressing specific European events regarding the Holocaust or Nazism.

The project is a part of a new exhibition that is expected to open in 2018, the museum's 25th anniversary.

For more information on the project, click here.

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