Stream or skip: “The US And The Holocaust” on PBS, Ken Burns docuseries about US government policy during Hitler’s reign

USA and the Holocaust is a three-part series directed by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein that addresses the United States on immigration and other issues as Hitler comes to power in Germany and begins targeting Jews. It traces how many European Jews were displaced by the policies of for exclusion. Even after World War II began, there were problems accepting refugees from Germany and other European countries annexed by the Nazis.

Opening shot: Black and white home video of Frankfurt in the 1930s. Narrator Peter Coyote describes that one day in 1933, businessman Otto Frank took a family photograph, including his eldest daughter, Annalize.

yeast: The first episode takes viewers to 1938, just before Germany goes to war with Britain and the Soviet Union. But Mr. Burns and his company really began their story in his late 1800s, when the United States, which until then had mostly opened its borders, began to reduce the number of people coming from southern and eastern European countries. That’s when we started enacting restrictive immigration policies. Immigration, and the spread of questionable “sciences” like eugenics.

Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party began to gain power in Germany, finding its beginnings when the latest democratic government they took over in the wake of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I began to collapse. And during the Great Depression that began in the United States in 1929, Hitler came to power in 1933 through a conservative government that felt he could be used as a puppet. But defying those expectations, he easily pushed the anti-Semitic agenda, creating laws that banned Jews from holding most jobs and imprisoned political opponents. Most of them were also Jewish. Meanwhile, the SS and Gestapo threatened and beat Jewish business owners and their families.

Some families, like the Franks, ended up in countries like Holland. It was more friendly to refugees back then. Little did they know that Hitler had plans to invade and annex other countries to create a new German Empire. And of America’s anti-Semitism, instigated at the turn of the century by such luminaries as Henry Ford and Madison Grant and continued in the 1930s by figures like his USOC chief Avery Brundage. For continuity, America kept turning its back on the fast. The majority of European Jews seeking safe haven.

what does that remind you of? format of USA and the Holocaust is a classic Ken Burns, reading texts and quotes from various historical figures, including celebrities such as Paul Giamatti, Adam Arkin, Joe Morton, Bradley Whitford, and archival footage. , still images, and interviews with historians. Here, Burns and her associates also talk to people who were children when her parents came under threat from the Nazis in the 1930s.

USA and the Holocaust
Photo: PBS

Our opinion: Barnes, Novick and Botstein do exactly what they set out to do United States and the Holocaust; They described how the government viewed Hitler and the rise of Nazism in Germany, and how the “nation of immigrants” would ultimately find refuge for the Jews persecuted and ultimately murdered by Hitler. I wanted to explain exactly how I set up the situation that was not given to me.

A lot of this is not what we learned in history books, but the part of the first episode where we talk about how Hitler came to power and spread his anti-Semitic agenda throughout Germany. It was chilling, but especially since there are so many frightening similarities between them. How Hitler got ordinary Germans on his side, and how he’s doing in America today – that’s familiar to most people who studied the period. It is not widely known that the situation of the Jews in

There are also striking parallels between US immigration policy in the late 1800s and early 20th century and the much-discussed policy today. Both movements are fueled by misinformation, outright racism, and demagogues. But both are driven by fear that the structure of the country will change and the majority will become a minority. All the similarities Burns and company show are sure to make viewers pause and realize that before things got better, they could be worse now.

sex and skin: none.

Farewell shot: As Coyote explains how Otto Frank added his family’s name to the list of Western Europeans and Czechs who wanted to distance themselves further from the Nazis and come to America. , you will see a stack of folders. Yes, Otto Frank’s daughter Annalize is better known as Anne Frank, who spent years hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam before being finally sent to a concentration camp.

Sleeper Star: All of our interviewees, who were children when the Nazis were in power, still remember vividly how hard it was for Jews in Germany before they were sent to concentration camps and died. I’m here.

The most pilot-like line: That said, all interviewees look significantly younger than their age in 2022, i.e. in their 90s and 100s. The interview took place about 15 years ago, so there is a high possibility that the memories of that time remain vivid.

Our call: streaming. Of course it’s not an easy watch, USA and the Holocaust It points out aspects of this country’s history that are not only not taught in schools, but also show frightening parallels to the current state of the United States.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he’s not kidding himself, he’s a TV addict. His writings have been published in The New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, Vanity Fair.comFast Company, etc.

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