AMES, Iowa — Eric Schmalz, community manager of the History Unfolded project at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will explore Holocaust news coverage in Iowa and other Midwestern states during two lectures on the Iowa State University campus Monday, Nov. 5.
Schmalz will present “Midwestern Newspaper Reporting on the Holocaust” at 8 a.m. in 127 Curtiss Hall and at 12:10 p.m. in 169 Hamilton Hall. A reception in 172 Hamilton Hall will follow the second lecture. Both lectures and the reception are open to the public.
In the lectures, Schmalz will address themes of facts, propaganda and the First Amendment freedoms of speech and press. He will present case studies of newspaper coverage on the mistreatment of Jews in early 1933 with the rise of the Third Reich and Father Charles Coughlin’s radio addresses after Kristallnacht, the Nazi attack on German Jews, their synagogues, and Jewish-owned businesses, in late 1938. Coughlin, a Catholic priest, hosted a controversial radio program in the U.S. in the 1920s and 30s.
Through the History Unfolded project, Schmalz locates news archives from the 1930s and 1940s that reveal what Americans knew about the Holocaust during World War II.
The projects encourages participants to look in local newspapers for news and opinion about 37 different Holocaust-era events that took place in the United States and Europe, and submit articles they find to a national database, as well as information about newspapers that did not cover events.
Schmalz’ visit is a collaboration between the Iowa State University Department of History and the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. The lectures will serve as part of the Greenlee School’s First Amendment Series, a new initiative that provides First Amendment programming throughout the year to expand upon the school’s nationally recognized annual First Amendment Days celebration that takes place in April.
“The opportunity to join either one of the two class presentations is invaluable,” said Julie Roosa, adjunct assistant professor and First Amendment specialist. “[Schmalz] will bring valuable information, whether you are a journalism student, history student or a citizen who wants to be more informed.”
In addition to speaking in two Greenlee courses, Schmalz will present The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown: Newspapers, Op-eds, and American Responses to Anti-Semitism,” in partnership with the Ames Public Library and Ames Historical Society. The public lecture will take place at 7 p.m. Monday at the Ames Public Library’s Farwell T. Brown Auditorium.
Prior to beginning his position with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Schmalz taught high school social studies for five years in Albemarle County, Virginia. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in history from The College of William and Mary, followed by a master’s degree in education from Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia.