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Shake Library: Americans and the Holocaust

Shake Things Up @ Shake Library

Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition coming to Vincennes University’s Shake Library


VINCENNES, Ind. — The Vincennes University Shake Library is one of 50 U.S. libraries newly selected to host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association (ALA) that examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.

Following a highly successful tour to 50 libraries from 2021 to 2023, the touring library exhibition — based on the special exhibition of the same name at the Museum in Washington, D.C. — will travel to an additional 50 U.S. libraries from 2024 to 2026, covering wide distances from Hawaii and Alaska to Texas and New Hampshire. 

VU Director of Library Services Charla Gilbert said, “We are so proud to be selected from a competitive pool of applicants from all across the nation to host this important and powerful exhibition. We invite VU students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as the wider community, to embark on this journey of remembrance and reflection with us. Through collaborative efforts with local schools, businesses, and community members, we aspire to create an enriching experience that fosters dialogue, understanding, and a commitment to honoring the memory of those affected by this tragic chapter in history."

Americans and the Holocaust will be on display at the Shake Library, along with a series of related special events, from March 17, 2025, to April 28, 2025.

The 1,100-square-foot exhibition examines various aspects of American society: the government, the military, refugee aid organizations, the media, and the general public. Drawing on a remarkable collection of primary sources from the 1930s and ’40s, the exhibition tells the stories of Americans who acted in response to Nazism, challenging the commonly held assumptions that Americans knew little and did nothing about the Nazi persecution and murder of Jews as the Holocaust unfolded. It provides a portrait of American society that shows how the Depression, isolationism, xenophobia, racism and antisemitism shaped responses to Nazism and the Holocaust.

In addition to the traveling exhibition on loan, the Shake Library received a $3,000 cash grant to support public programs. The grant also covered one library staff member’s attendance at an orientation workshop at the Museum.

The Shake Library’s keynote speaker will present "Echoes from Auschwitz: The Story of Eva Mozes Kor" by Trent Adams of the CANDLES Holocaust Museum & Education Center on March 27, 2025. Additional programming partnerships are planned for the exhibit and will be announced with the full programming schedule in January 2025.

For more information about Americans and the Holocaust exhibition, visit

Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries is an educational initiative of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association. The traveling exhibition began by touring to 50 U.S. libraries from 2021 to 2023; due to widespread interest from libraries and communities around the country, a second tour was developed for 2024 to 2026.

Americans and the Holocaust was made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine. Additional major funding was provided by the Bildners — Joan & Allen z”l, Elisa Spungen & Rob, Nancy & Jim; and Jane and Daniel Och. The Museum's exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund, established in 1990.

About Shake Library

 The Vincennes University Shake Library strives to develop and present innovative programs, provide access to physical and online resources, and to engage in teaching and learning in order to equip students with the tools they need to be successful. Librarians assist students and faculty through instruction, research consultations, online chat, email, or phone. Additionally, librarians look to partner across the University and the surrounding communities to assist in providing unique learning experiences. Located on VU's Vincennes Campus in the Learning Resource Center, the Library’s physical space includes a variety of study areas, and access to computers, scanners, and printers. We provide access to a wide selection of print and online sources for VU students, faculty, staff, and people from the surrounding communities.

About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A nonpartisan, federal educational institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding and relevance. Through the power of Holocaust history, the Museum challenges leaders and individuals worldwide to think critically about their role in society and to confront antisemitism and other forms of hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. For more information, visit

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

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