Morgenthau Holocaust Collections Project
Holocaust Ed./Survivor Aid /
More than 70 years after the end of WWII, the American response to the Holocaust remains contested by historians. While some hail President Roosevelt as a savior of the Jewish people, others believe he largely failed them. Millions of potentially significant items related to this period—including the diaries of Henry Morgenthau Jr., the Secretary of Treasury whose efforts led to the creation of the War Refugee Board—belong to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. Until now, these items have been difficult to access or contextualize. As a result, the Roosevelt Institute (which runs the Library and Museum) has begun a multi-year effort to make these materials more accessible. Between 2018 and 2020 the Institute will research, curate, and digitize more than 100,000 pages of documents that speak to this history, from FDR’s pre-war policy on refugees and the St. Louis being denied entry to Cuba, to the events leading up to the War Refugee Board’s formation. Funding from RPF will help the Institute advance this project so that new audiences can learn about—and take actionable lessons from—this complicated and important past.