Michelle Ann Kratts

The Lewiston Public Library and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; “Dachau Opens”

In The Holocaust and Niagara Falls, Uncategorized on January 6, 2017 at 7:25 pm

Just recently, I became a contributor to an exciting project sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum called “History Unfolded; US Newspapers and the Holocaust.” You can find this at https://newspapers.ushmm.org/

The project asks students, teachers, and history buffs throughout the United States what was possible for Americans to have known about the Holocaust as it was happening and how Americans responded. As volunteers, our job is to scour local newspapers for news and opinions concerning 31 specific Holocaust-era events that took place both in the United States and in Europe and to upload them to a database. As of January 6, 2017, 920 participants from across the country have submitted more than 6,200 articles from their local newspapers.  I am proud to say the the Lewiston Public Library is now a participant in this very important work. Anyone is welcome to contribute, as well. I encourage you to do so. Check it out and see if you have some time to help the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with their research.

As for my contributions, they will focus on the news as it appeared in Niagara Falls and Buffalo. It is fascinating to read through these old newspapers and to almost become a part of history as it unfolded. Witnessing these events as they occurred brings history to life. Only through learning about our past will we be able to make prudent decisions in the present.

As the articles that I submit are published, I will also share them with our page and I will take you along on my trips back in time.

The first event, or topic, that they list is “Dachau Opens, March 22, 1933.” How did the Niagara Falls/Buffalo area present this information? Interestingly, I found the very first reference in the Niagara Falls Gazette to the Dachau concentration camp on July 31, 1933. Dachau was initially set up on the grounds of an abandoned munitions plant on March 22, 1933 to incarcerate political prisoners. According to the Niagara Falls Gazette article, “…thousands of people are in jail for political offenses. Estimates of the number vary between 20,000 to 50,000. The latter figure seems nearer the truth, since it is learned on good authority that there are no less than 5,000 prisoners in Dachau, the Bavarian concentration camp.”

Below is the link to the newspaper submission, followed by images of the original article.



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