Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Hanson, Abigail. "The Holocaust: Memories and Memorials in the United States," Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. March 23, 2024.


Copyright Abigail Hanson 2024.


This paper engages with the development of memorialization and remembrance practices surrounding the Holocaust in the United States. Covering the years 1945 through 1993, this paper starts with the closing months of World War II and finishes with the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). The broad timeline of the paper focuses in part on the development of memorial practices in the Jewish community. Additionally, it considers how politicians become involved with large-scale memorial projects and public memory. This paper began under the question: “Why do we discuss the Holocaust to the extent we do in the U.S.?” Utilizing Peter Novick’s The Holocaust in American Life, Hasia Diner’s We Remember with Reverence and Love, Edward Linenthal’s Preserving Memory, and Marita Sturken’s Tourists of History, alongside other works, this paper attempts to answer why the USHMM came to be in the United States. This paper concludes by suggesting that how we remember the Holocaust has constantly shifted with the context of the era and the needs of politicians, and that the Holocaust has weaved itself irreversibly into the historical narrative of American memory.