The Impact of the Holocaust on the Piedmont

The Piedmont region of Georgia contains the capital city of Atlanta and thus shared a strong connection with Holocaust survivors. Atlanta has become a metropolitan center and thus contains many Holocaust survivors and memorial efforts.

The impact of the Holocaust on Georgians during WWII was minimal. However, Georgia did have a substantial and influential Jewish population, which had been a part of Georgia history since its founding in 1733.  Jewish citizens would continue to settle throughout Georgia over the next two centuries.[1]

The Jewish population would grow and thrive tremendously in Atlanta. Having been steered away from farming by historical circumstances (for example, many of the governments in Europe imposed restrictions on their owning land), Jews across Georgia tended to gravitate toward nonagricultural work. Thus the history of Georgia’s Jews finds most of them clustered in the more urban areas, especially Savannah and Atlanta; the latter has become the center of Georgia’s largest Jewish population. One of the most historical buildings in Atlanta is the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Synagogue which began construction in 1875.

Currently, the Georgia Legislature acknowledges the Holocaust annually with a ceremony. Also, located in Atlanta are The William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum, Celebrating Jewish culture, embracing diversity, and promoting social justice.[2] The Holocaust has left a lasting impact on Georgia and the Jewish heritage is celebrated throughout the state.