The exhibit tells the story of Jewish professors who fled Nazism and came to America in the 1930s and 1940s, finding teaching positions at historically black colleges and universities. It explores the encounter between these scholars and their students, and their impact on each other, the Civil Rights Movement and American society.
“Intolerance is not something that affects just the Jewish community or the African American community,” said Holocaust Memorial Center Executive Director Stephen M. Goldman. “It affects people of all religions and ethnic backgrounds. By bringing exhibits like this to the museum, we can show visitors how the power of mutual respect between two groups can help one day to bring us closer to reaching universal hope, tolerance and understanding of one another.”
"Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow" tells the story of Jewish academics from Germany and Austria, who were dismissed from their teaching positions in the 1930s. After fleeing to America, some refugee scholars found positions at historically black colleges and universities in the Jim Crow South.
Jim Crow laws mandated segregation in all public facilities, creating a “separate, but equal” status for African Americans. Together with the use of intimidation and terror by whites, these laws isolated blacks physically and culturally.