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America and the Holocaust exhibit comes to Colorado Springs

Only 50 libraries nationwide were selected to show the exhibit, and East Library is the only one in Colorado
Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 13, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — A new interactive holocaust exhibit has come to the East Library off North Union Boulevard called "Americans and the Holocaust". It aims to teach the public about how the United States reacted to the genocide of 6 million people.

"Just because time is passing, it's no less important than it was, and even maybe more so important as our times change, to continue to educate our students about what did occur, and also about how it occurred, and that it wasn't inevitable," said 2023-24 Teacher Fellow with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Katie Johnson.

Librarians from the Pikes Peak Library District say they're one of 50 libraries across the nation to be selected for this exhibit. In fact, they're the only one in Colorado.

"I think there's always something in the exhibit people get surprised about, they didn't know it was happening," said Senior Librarian Melissa Mitchell. "Immigration has always been a hot-button issue in the United States, and it didn't just start recently".

One aspect the exhibit mentions is immigration practices in the 1930s to the early 1940s for the United States. The government classified Jewish Germans leaving their country as immigrants, not asylum seekers. They also purposefully limited the amount of Jewish visas due to fears of spying, anti-interventionist public opinion, and racism.

"I just think there's things that they're not thinking about because they're only in 8th grade, and this opens their eyes to different things they hadn't even considered," said Carson Middle School teacher Julia Martin.

Students from classrooms around the state are traveling to the East Library for tours of the exhibit. One student, Jesse Harlow from Cheyenne Wells High School, said he felt an impact learning about the genocide.

"Really it changed my perspective of it, because I got a deeper meaning of what it actually meant," he said. "You don't really think about the holocaust, a bunch of people died, but they [students] don't really understand the significance of what happened. So I think it's good for kids to come here and go through the exhibit".

The exhibit is open until October 11th. You can visit it at any time the library is open, or sign up for a guided tour on any Saturday while it is still here.

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