Photos of Anne Frank and her family, whose account of the Holocaust has been read or seen by millions of people worldwide, appear in the opening sequence of a new documentary about it.
Why then would a six-hour movie that sheds new light on America’s response to the Holocaust start with such stale imagery? Even those who are well aware of Anne’s sister’s imprisonment and subsequent passing will probably be surprised by the answer. The documentary contends that their deaths were also a blot on America and the fundamental lie that it was a country that was open and welcoming to the “huddled masses” of immigrants and refugees.
According to “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” Ken Burns’ most recent exploration of American history, Otto Frank strove valiantly to get his family asylum in the U.S. “only to find,” the narration continues, “that Americans did not want to allow them in, like countless others escaping Nazism.” Having no other options, he organized the building of the Franks’ disastrous hiding place in Amsterdam.
The three-night PBS broadcast “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” which debuts on September 18, also makes an effort to refute other widely accepted historical beliefs. It also draws a thematic connection between past tragedies and present problems.
It draws attention to the racism and antisemitism that permeated the country’s ostensibly democratic institutions and caused them to do little to stop Germany’s persecution of Jews. The modern video demonstrates how persistently these flaws persist. This includes footage of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, when rioters wore pro-Nazi symbols, including a much-discussed Camp Auschwitz hoodie, and the 2017 white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, where protesters screamed “Jews will not replace us.”
Is “The U.S. and the Holocaust” on HBO Max?
“The U.S. and the Holocaust” will not be seen on HBO Max. Best alternatives: Monsters, The Matrix.
Is “The U.S. and the Holocaust” on Netflix?
“The U.S. and the Holocaust” won’t be seen on Netflix. Best shows: Day Shift, Sing 2.
Is “The U.S. and the Holocaust” on Prime Video?
“The U.S. and the Holocaust” won’t be releasing on Prime Video. Best choices: Gonzo, Grand Cru.
Is “The U.S. and the Holocaust” on Hulu?
“The U.S. and the Holocaust” will not be hosted by the platform Hulu. Best flicks: Diggers, Get Smart.
Is “The U.S. and the Holocaust” on PBS?
The documentary “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” premiering on PBS on September 18, explores the factors that contributed to the nation’s subpar response to Germany’s persecution of Jews.
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