What is History Unfolded?
History Unfolded is a project that seeks to expand our knowledge of how American newspapers reported on Nazi persecution during the 1930s and ’40s so we can better understand what Americans knew about the Holocaust as it was happening.
To help achieve this, the History Unfolded project asks people like you to search local newspapers from the 1930s and ’40s for Holocaust-related news and opinions and then submit them online to the museum.
How Are the Articles Used?
The newspaper articles you submit will be used to help support the museum’s current initiative on Americans and the Holocaust. Material from History Unfolded has been included in the “Americans and the Holocaust” exhibition at the museum, a companion online exhibition, a traveling version of the exhibition, and lesson materials.
The articles will also be made available to scholars, historians, and the public.
Who Can Contribute?
Everyone! History buffs, students, teachers . . . All you need is an interest in the Holocaust and access to a newspaper from the 1930s or ’40s, either online (using Newspapers.com, for example) or through a physical archive, such as a library. Simply create an account with History Unfolded, and away you go!
How Do I Contribute?
History Unfolded has created a list of more than 40 Holocaust-related events to focus on. Choose one of these events to research, then search for content related to that topic in an American newspaper of your choice from the 1930s or ’40s.
After you find an article related to one of the events, submit it online to the museum through the project’s website.
Can I See an Example?
Curious to see an example before you get started?
Of the many topics on History Unfolded that you can help research, some explore different aspects of the massive 1938-1941 European refugee crisis (topics such as “Evian Conference Offers Neither Help, Nor Haven” and “Jewish Refugees Desperately Seek Safe Harbor,” for instance).
As Jews and others sought safety from Nazi persecution and violence, some of these refugees fled (or tried to flee) to the United States. But restrictive immigration laws—combined with isolationism, xenophobia, racism, and antisemitism exacerbated by the Great Depression—meant refugees faced a complicated response in America.
How did American newspapers cover the country’s multi-faceted reaction to European refugees? Here are just a few examples that citizen historians like you have discovered and submitted to History Unfolded:
- An opinion piece about the Evian Conference, a multinational conference on refugees, from a 1938 Maryland newspaper
- An account of a Rabbi’s address about the persecution of Jews in Germany, from a 1938 Louisiana newspaper
- A letter to the editor about the St. Louis refugee ship, from a 1939 Iowa newspaper
These newspaper discoveries have helped shed light on this significant era of our history. What might you uncover on these or other topics with a little digging?
Newspapers.com & History Unfolded
You can contribute to this important project whether or not you use Newspapers.com to do so. But using Newspapers.com makes it even easier to submit the articles you find.
Simply use Newspapers.com to create a clipping of an article you’ve found, then submit that clipping through the submission form on the History Unfolded website. The submission form has a special tool created specifically for Newspapers.com users that makes submitting your clipping a snap.
Your assistance with this project will help shape our understanding of the Holocaust and the lessons it holds for us today.