The Passover season and this library guide provide an opportunity to reflect on the unprecedented loss of human life in the Holocaust and its connection to American history.
This guide will serve as an online discussion of the three-part PBS docuseries The US and the Holocaust by Ken Burns. The episodes examine the relation between European-Jewish immigration to the US, western geopolitics, the Nazi movement domestically and transnationally, and American culture and history.
Watch any of the episodes, check out relevant library resources, and contribute to the discussion. If you are off campus or not logged into MyNWACC, log in with your NWACC username by clicking on My Library Account and then View Your Library Account. Members of the public may see streaming options from PBS.
Questions about the event can be emailed to email@example.com.
Click the image below to watch the video "The Golden Door".
Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein’s three-part, six-hour documentary series, The U.S. and the Holocaust, examines how the American people and our leaders responded to one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of the twentieth century, and how this catastrophe challenged our identity as a nation of immigrants and the very ideals of our democracy. After decades of open borders, a xenophobic backlash prompts the United States to pass laws restricting immigration. In Germany, Hitler finds support for his antisemitic rhetoric and the Nazis begin their persecution of Jewish people, causing many to flee to neighboring countries or America. FDR and other world leaders are concerned by the growing refugee crisis but fail to coordinate a response.
Click the image below to watch the video "Yearning to Breathe Free".
Part two of Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein's three-part, six-hour documentary series, The U.S. and the Holocaust, examines Jews' desperation to escape Hitler's expanding reach after Kristallnacht. Americans are united in their disapproval of Nazi brutality but divided on whether or how to act even as World War II begins. Charles Lindbergh speaks for isolationists while FDR tries to support the European democracies. The Nazis invade the Soviet Union, and the Holocaust begins in secret.
Click the image below to watch the video "The Homeless, Tempest Tossed".
Part three of Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein’s three-part, six-hour documentary series, The U.S. and the Holocaust, examines when the first reports of the killings reach the United States. A group of dedicated government officials form the War Refugee Board to finance and support rescue operations. As the Allies advance, soldiers uncover mass graves and liberate German concentration camps, revealing the sheer scale of the Holocaust. The danger of its reverberations becomes apparent.