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Looking for a great museum to visit over February school break week? Visit us at the American Heritage Museum. See some of the world's most rare tanks, armored vehicles and aircraft. Experience the WWI trench, see the Clash of Steel and talk with some of the greatest docents in the world! Open all week, Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.American Heritage Museum.org ... See MoreSee Less
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The American Heritage Museum will be open all through February school break (next week! 2/19-2/23). Bring the kids for fun scavenger hunts, board games, show and tell and more! ... See MoreSee Less
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The response on our search for Sue Tharp or Sue Thorp from Evansville, IN who worked at Republic Aircraft from 1944-1945 has been tremendous... below is a YouTube video you can share with some video of where her signature is. See it at: ... See MoreSee Less
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As our restoration team in Florida works on the P-47 Thunderbolt restoration, we have uncovered an amazing piece of history that we need your help with! As we removed the components of the turbosupercharger (turbocharger) section in the aft fuselage, we found the name of a "Rosie the Riveter" who likely helped construct the aircraft (P-47D-40-RA s/n 45-49167) in late 1944 at the Republic Aircraft factory in Evansville, IN. We think her name is "Sue Tharp" or "Sue Thorp" with a middle initial of "V"? We'd love to find her, if she is still with us, or her family. Is there anyone from the Evansville, IN area that might know or remember Sue? Any leads, email us at ahm@collingsfoundation.org! ... See MoreSee Less
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Thank you WBZ / CBS News Boston for honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day at the American Heritage Museum on January 27th, underscoring the importance of educating future generations on the horrors that took place before and during WWII. A German rail car from 1913 that was used to transport Holocaust victims sits on display at the American Heritage Museum in Hudson. ... See MoreSee Less
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Holocaust


1913 Deutsche Reichsbahn Rail Car
– GERMANY

THE DESTRUCTION OF A PEOPLE

“Who has inflicted this upon us? Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now?”
– Anne Frank

Anti-Semitism, sometimes called history’s oldest hatred, began in ancient Babylonia, Greece, and Rome. It continued through the Crusades where Jews had been persecuted, but this is nothing compared to the horrific Holocaust (Shoah) by the Nazi Regime in 1941 – 1945.

In Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” he wrote of a “Jewish Conspiracy” to take over the world. Elected Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, and as a member of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) called Nazis, he would take over total control upon President Hindenburg’s death in 1934 on a platform of German nationalism, racial purity, and global expansion (Lebensraum or “living space”).

The first concentration camp, Dachau, in March 1933 would house political opponents such as Communists or Social Democrats. Under such control of Heinrich Himmler’s Schutzstaffel (SS), anti-Semitism increased with the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, leading to violence at Kristallnacht in November 1938 where 100 Jews were killed, and thousands were arrested.

In September 1939, tens of thousands of Polish Jews were forced from their homes into ghettos. In 1941, having conquered Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, Jews and Gypsies were transported to Polish ghettos and then to concentration camps. All Jews were marked with a yellow star.

As Germany invaded Russia, mobile killing units, known as Einsatzgruppen, would murder 800,000 – 1.4 million Soviet Jews. At the 1942 Wannsee Conference in Berlin, Reinhard Heydrich would come up with Endlösung, the “Final Solution.” Extermination camps or killing centers would be established in six locations in Poland with the first mass gassing in March 1942 at Bełżec, followed by followed by Chelmno, Sobibór, Treblinka, and Majdanek. At the largest death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, an estimated 1.1 – 1.3 million were murdered, 2,000 at a time, 12,000 incinerated per day, of which 90% were Jews. Extermination camps genocide included 3.1 – 3.2 million people, of which 2.7 million were Jews.

The healthy were sent to a system of 42,000 concentration camps and sub-camps which played a pivotal role in economically sustaining the German reign of terror. A substantial percentage of the prisoners in Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen-Gusen, Ravensbrück (a women’s camp,) Sachsenhausen and others would die of starvation and disease.

Altogether, the Nazis murdered 6 million Jews, almost two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population.

After the war, death camp commandants and high-level Nazi leaders, including Adolf Eichmann, would be captured, tried, and executed. Jewish survivors seeking a new homeland would lead to the creation of Israel in 1948.

The primary artifact in the American Heritage Museum’s Holocaust exhibit is the WWII German cattle car. This 1913 rail car was imported to the United States by the American Heritage Museum from Nuremberg, Germany in the summer of 2023 and has undergone a complete restoration. This 30-foot long, two-axle freight wagon is the type used by the Nazi regime for the inhumane transportation of millions of innocent Jewish people and other persecuted groups to concentration camps and extermination sites across Europe from 1933 to 1945. While no rail car can be directly traced to this terrible use as records were not kept of this type, the sheer numbers of victims transported during the Holocaust points to the likelihood that every car would have been used in this way at some point in its history.

 

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OPEN PRESIDENTS DAY WEEK - February 19-25

The American Heritage Museum will be open for Presidents Day Week (February 19-25) including Monday, Feb 19th and Tuesday, Feb 20th. Open daily from 10am to 5pm.