United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

by on August 23, 2008

Check out the latest internship postings from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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Four summers ago I had the pleasure of interning for Jill Weinberg, Midwest Region Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, or USHMM for short. Admittedly, my job consisted of a lot of clerical work. I became remarkably familiar with Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, and the paper cuts that you get on your tongue from licking envelopes over and over again; however, I also gained unforgettable knowledge and experience relating to crimes against humanity and genocide, both historical and current. The internship opened my eyes to world events, introduced me to compassionate and intelligent people, and gave me an excellent taste of what it is like to work for a non-profit, charitable company.

The following is the mission statement of the USHMM:

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national institution for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history, and serves as this country’s memorial to the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Jews were the primary victims — six million were murdered; Gypsies, the handicapped and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny.

The Museum’s primary mission is to advance and disseminate knowledge about this unprecedented tragedy; to preserve the memory of those who suffered; and to encourage its visitors to reflect upon the moral and spiritual questions raised by the events of the Holocaust as well as their own responsibilities as citizens of a democracy.

Chartered by a unanimous Act of Congress in 1980 and located adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, DC, the Museum strives to broaden public understanding of the history of the Holocaust through multifaceted programs: exhibitions; research and publication; collecting and preserving material evidence, art and artifacts related to the Holocaust; annual Holocaust commemorations known as Days of Remembrance; distribution of education materials and teacher resources; and a variety of public programming designed to enhance understanding of the Holocaust and related issues, including those of contemporary significance.

We Couldn’t Do It Without You

The USHMM boasts a great website with an entire page dedicated to discussing internship opportunities. Moreover, the museum recognizes how important interns are to its success. It states, “It takes many people to accomplish our mission, including a dedicated team of capable interns.” The museum offers many internships for Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer and Year-round seasons. There are two different types of internships offered:

Internship Type I: Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies

The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies works together with the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council to support scholarships and publications in the field of Holocaust studies, to promote the growth of Holocaust studies at American universities, and to initiate programs to ensure the ongoing training of future generations of scholars specializing in the Holocaust.

An intern for “The Center” would be responsible for any of the following types of activities:

Preparing material for publication
Making and/or entering editorial changes
Contacting publishers for copies of recently published books related to the Holocaust
Researching information about the Holocaust
Translating documents
Preparing documents for publication
Surveying archival collections
Performing general office duties
Tracking the status of Center projects

Interns need to be familiar with the basic techniques of archival and secondary source research, have basic knowledge of editing and composition, and be able to communicate effectively orally and in writing in English. Currently, the Museum is hiring Academic Publications Interns (year round), University Programs Interns (next Summer), and Senior Historian’s Interns (year round).

Though the qualifications specify that these internships are reserved for graduate level students, the fine print stipulates that “senior level” undergraduates could qualify.

Internship Type II: Inside the Museum — The Volunteer Internship

The Museum also has an extensive volunteer internship program that provides an environment for qualified candidates to learn about the Holocaust and about Museum operations. Museum interns can expect to work on hands-on projects and opportunities to work with Holocaust scholars and Museum professionals to learn about their roles, responsibilities, and backgrounds.

Most internships are unpaid and last one semester. Although the deadline for the Fall internship has passed, the deadline for the Winter/Spring session is October 15. Additionally, if you are an international student, feel free to apply, as the website stipulates that United States citizenship is not required.

The site outlines 17 divisions that have taken interns in the past, ranging from the Architecture Division to the Photo Archives Division.

Most internships are offered at the USHMM headquarters in Washington DC. To apply for an internship, click a link provided on either of the internship pages that reads “Apply Online”.

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

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