The US and the Holocaust.

So yesterday I binged on Ken Burns’ brilliant, immensely powerful, critically important, and sadly still relevant ndew documentary, “The US and the Holocaust”. In it, he shows the path that led Germany to hitler, his war on Europe and the world, and specifically the war on the Jews where his goal was to completely wipe out the Jews, which he nearly accomplished by murdering 2/3 of European Jewry. There are film clips, photos and documents of everything, from the stripping of rights, burning books, sending off to Ghettos and killing camps, as well as the outcome. Along with this story we are shown the American responses- disbelief in what was happening despite reports from news outlets and some aware and honest diplomats. We are also shown clips of henry ford and hitler, charles lindburgh’s anti-semitic, anti-interventionist speeches as well as comments in support of hitler, and the ways that many white Christians here did all that they could do to prevent refugees and immigrants from entering the US including withholding critical documents sent from Europe describing the situation as well as other documents that actually gave permission to increase the number of refugees to be allowed. We see the German Bund, a pro-nazi organization here in the US that purported to be all American. As my good friend Annamaria, a retired professor of Jewish history Krakow said, “sounds like burns dug up all the worms…”. I watched and thought of my teachers and friends whose families were killed. Most of my family came in the early 1900s to escape the pogroms, anti-Semitism, cossacks and Czar’s secret police. I also thought of my Armenian friends who lost family in the Genocide led by Turkey, as well as my Mexican, Japanese, Chinese and Black friends who all suffered from the same kind racism that still exists today, now maga-driven that still causing suffering here and around the world. Damn. But next weekend is the start of the Jewish new year, with it’s hope for redemption from hate and violence and the desire for a sanity and peace and a sweet year.
I recommend watching the documentary series as well as this interview with Stephen Colbert and Ken Burns.

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