Here’s something to ponder in this new era of “alt-right” anti-Semitism in the U.S.: an exhibit at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington asks, What did Americans know about the Holocaust as it was happening? This front page story, “Jews of World Are Warned By Nazis,” in the Fredericksburg, Virginia newpaper makes clear that the information was available in 1938, and some editors gave the story prominence. But big-city papers ran fewer stories and tended to bury them in the back pages. A year later, the United States refused entry to 900 Jewish refugees on board the St. Louis; coverage was heavy and sympathetic, but the State Department and President Roosevelt turned a deaf ear – and none of the papers editorialized in favor of admitting the Jews. When good people do nothing, evil triumphs.

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