By Mike Smith

The term Holocaust was not used as a historical concept until after World War II when the world finally understood that the Nazi party and its collaborators had systemically and brutally attempted to annihilate the Jews of Europe.

Unlike America’s mainstream media, the Jewish News and its predecessor, the Detroit Jewish Chronicle, continually published reports about Nazi atrocities during World War II.

An exhibit, assembled by Detroit Jewish News Foundation Archivist Mike Smith from the William Davidson Archive of Jewish Detroit History, was shown at the Holocaust Memorial Center late last year. On this “Looking Back” page, we will offer selected exhibit panels showing the history of what we now call the Holocaust as it unfolded in the pages of these publications.

As the Nazis were slowly retreating from the territories they had occupied in the early stages of World War II, resistance grew bolder. The headline story in this issue of the Jewish News reported on Jewish partisans fighting the Nazis and the targeted sabotage of a train carrying Jews from Hungary to Nazi death camps in Poland. The Jewish News often relied on reports from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). Founded in 1917 to cover worldwide Jewish affairs, the JTA provided many reports on Nazi atrocities before and during World War II.

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