Observing how Jewish Americans remember the Holocaust, through memorialization, or lack thereof, is important because the next generations will determine the future of Holocaust memory in the United States. The manner in which Jews memorialize the Holocaust (through physical or other means) is indicative of their relationship with each other and their shared past. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to explore the memorialization of the Holocaust in American synagogues as a way of thinking about how collective memory changes and passes on in Jewish American communities. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Jews struggled to rebuild their lives and reestablish their place in the world. The first chapter explores the progression of the relationship between Jews, the Holocaust, and the American people from immigration to the United States and the trial of Adolf Eichmann, to the Civil Rights movement and the establishment of the Unites States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The second chapter explores the struggles of Jews to form a Jewish American identity by cooperating with other Jewish communities throughout the country. Lastly, the third chapter uses six interviews of Jews from New York and Ohio to show how community ties foster remembrance. The closeness of the community dictates the type and extent of Holocaust remembrance passed on from generation to generation. It is important that we understand how Holocaust memory is passed on so future generations can continue to memorialize the Holocaust in a respectful and meaningful way.


Hettinger, Madonna




Oral History | United States History


Holocaust, Judaism, collective memory, memorialization, United States, Jews, American synagogues

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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