21

https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/us-and-the-holocaust/

The U.S. and the Holocaust A new documentary by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein Premieres September 18 at 8/7c The U.S. and the Holocaust is a three-part, six hour series that examines America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the twentieth century. Americans consider themselves a “nation of immigrants,” but as the catastrophe of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. Through riveting firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape and restrictive quota laws in America. Did the nation fail to live up to its ideals? This is a history to be reckoned with.

https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/us-and-the-holocaust/ > The U.S. and the Holocaust A new documentary by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein Premieres September 18 at 8/7c The U.S. and the Holocaust is a three-part, six hour series that examines America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the twentieth century. Americans consider themselves a “nation of immigrants,” but as the catastrophe of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. Through riveting firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape and restrictive quota laws in America. Did the nation fail to live up to its ideals? This is a history to be reckoned with.

11 comments

I also suggest the movie "Shoah". It's a documentary about the Holocaust where the filmmaker interviews people who perpetrated it directly, enabled it indirectly and also its victims and their loved ones. It's emotionally devastating and brutal and shatters the human tendency to believe the myth "Not me, I would've been one of the good guys". It's 9 hours long so you need an entire day to watch it (You really need to watch it all in one go to feel the real impact of it).

I'm always surprised at how few Americans have even heard of the SS St. Louis much less understand how we behaved during the crisis.

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll be watching this.

[–] Cogent 2 points Edited

Conservatives love to beat up on FDR's inaction to “Save the Jews” and blame it on liberal antisemitism. I haven't seen the show, but Americans have a real blind spot when it comes to this era and FDR's position. The topic revolves around three points:

First, the Nazi Party was a powerful and populous political force, with numerous business leaders financing it.

Second, there was a strong political resistance in DC to the USA meddling in European politics. A book that documents resistance to WW2 transcribed the speeches given by Republicans and is called “The Illustrious Dunderheads”. Nobody should believe the Republican lie that liberals were responsible for the Holocaust.

Third, the economic and logistical challenges of invading Europe with a military strong enough to defeat the entrenched Nazis required years of preparation. Although strategists knew somewhat the real situation with Jews, it was accepted that Hitler's genocidal obsession would distract the Nazis from the American offensive long enough to get into military production and land on the beach. So in that respect Jews were sacrificed for the sake of eventual victory.

Bringing up any of these points in a discussion board will get you vehement conservatives with well rehearsed refutations. They are very divisive topics of history. Essentially once the death camps were known the Republicans entered a phase of selective amnesia about the whole episode.

I love Ken Burns and can't wait to watch this. Thanks for the reminder!

[+] [Deleted] -25 points