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Morgenthau Project

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Morgenthau Holocaust Collections Project

To discover, engage, and share records of American response to the Holocaust

The National Archives holds and provides access to millions of records created or received by the U.S. Government during and after World War II that document Nazi war crimes, wartime refugee issues, and activities and investigations of U.S. Government agencies. Significant Holocaust materials reside at the FDR Presidential Library, and a new discovery project is now underway – helping chart new paths among these remarkable records.

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Digital Scholarship

Enhance digital access and create new tools for citizen-curators

On April 24, 2017, the FDR Library formally launched a curatorial pathfinding initiative named in honor of Henry Morgenthau, Jr., FDR’s friend, advisor, Cabinet member, and head of the War Refugee Board. Morgenthau, whose incredible Papers and Diaries are part of the Library’s archival collection, was a key moral voice for the Roosevelt Administration. 

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There is perhaps no issue from the Roosevelt period that generates as much interest, research and controversy as the Unites States’ response to the Holocaust. The issue is extraordinarily complicated and filled with contradictory perspectives and narratives.

The Morgenthau Project seeks to enhance access to lesser-known archival collections with high research value in Holocaust studies. The Library will digitize thousands of rarely accessed documents, and create new research and engagement tools for citizen-curators to use and share online. These tools will enable citizen-curators to identify significant records, chart pathways among them, and build historical arguments based on those revealing relationships. This platform for digital curation will harness the potential for complex inquiry, and foster public argumentation based on primary source evidence. It will become a powerful new instrument for scholars and the general public to develop a broader, richer understanding of how and why President Roosevelt and the United States government took the actions they did during this period.

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Public Programs

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum -- with the Jewish Federation of Dutchess County -- will host a documentary film screening and discussion of NUREMBERG: ITS LESSON FOR TODAY [The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration] with film producer Sandra Schulberg on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. The screening will be held in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home. This is a Morgenthau Holocaust Collections program in commemoration of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).

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Educational Resources

To provide context and background for students and people who are not familiar with the history of the Holocaust, the Morgenthau Project will sponsor Teachable Moment video productions as an educational resource. These videos will draw from the original documentary film NURNBURG, which was produced in 1947 by Pare Lorentz and Stuart Schulberg.  The original film documented the trials of Nazi war criminals, and was funded by the American government.

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The Henry Morgenthau, Jr. Holocaust Collections Project is generously funded by the Trustees of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, with major support from the JKW Foundation, Peter S. Kalkow, John Catsimatidis, and the Righteous Persons Foundation.