Document Type

Honors Project

Abstract

This thesis considers the origins of Holocaust consciousness in the United States and U.S. aid to Israel. Both phenomena's trajectories are rooted in the publication of English translations of The Diary of Anne Frank and Night, Adolf Eichmann's 1961 trial in Jerusalem, and the growth of U.S. strategic interests in Israel after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. This thesis conceptualizes the correlations between growing Holocaust consciousness in the U.S. as reflected in high school history curriculum and evolving U.S. policy towards Israel in the form of foreign aid. Specifically, I analyze the treatment of the Holocaust in world history textbooks published between 1961 and 1995 and used in Illinois secondary public schools, as well as the coverage of the 1966 and 1974 spikes in U.S. military aid to Israel in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune. This thesis regards both textbooks and newspapers as indicators of public opinion and as vehicles for information subject to framing. The relationship between policy maker or textbook editor and the public acts as a positive feedback loop, with both parties influencing and being influenced by how the Holocaust or U.S. aid to Israel are framed. In this way, Holocaust education and U.S. aid to Israel have developed as metaphoric strands of a double helix, growing parallel to one other, connected and propelled forward by particular shared events, and at times, intertwined as textbooks used the Holocaust to frame why the state of Israel was established and was deserving of U.S. fiscal support.

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