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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’s William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History Archivist Mike Smith, was shown at the Holocaust Memorial Center late last year. On this “Looking Back” page in the Detroit Jewish News, 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.

The organization we now know as the United Nations (UN) was conceived during World War II. During the War, there were often references in the American media and the Jewish News that referred to the Allied powers as the “United Nations,” but the formal organization was not established until after the war ended in 1945.

It replaced the League of Nations that was formed after World War I and was largely a failure.

The first meeting of the General Assembly of the UN was held on Jan. 10, 1946, and debated a host of issues. Two issues that were of particular importance to Jews worldwide were the declaration of the modern state (there was a UN resolution creating territory for Israel in Palestine in 1946) and the efforts to prevent another Holocaust.

After two years of deliberations, as this Jewish News editorial explains, the UN finally outlawed genocide.

To learn more, visit the archive at


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The Holocaust Unfolds Exhibit — Sept. 28, 1945

The Holocaust Unfolds Exhibit — Nov. 28, 1945