(Jerusalem Post) At the behest of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, America’s “foremost documentary filmmaker” — Ken Burns — has produced a new film showing how the U.S. government’s systemic “antisemitism” contributed to the death of millions of Jews in the Holocaust™ — helping the Jews lay the groundwork for demanding billions more in Holocaust Reparations™ courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers:
The US’s epic failure to make room for Jews escaping Hitler is among the most shameful chapters in its history and for some US expats (myself included) a reason for aliyah…
Premiering on September 18 on US public television stations (PBS) and scheduled to air on Israeli TV in the coming months, US filmmaker Ken Burns’s documentary The US and the Holocaust “tells this story in all its sordid glory” – the film is six hours long.
Burns and his team began considering the idea of exploring this story in 2015 when staff members from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC – then developing an exhibit, now currently on view – floated the idea of creating a film.
“We jumped at the idea,” recalls co-director Lynn Novick. “This story had not been told how we wanted to tell it.” For Novick and Burns and their third partner, co-director Sarah Botstein, that meant looking at the problem from its roots.
Unlike other Holocaust stories, which typically begin in 1933, this film takes us back to late 19th- and early 20th-century America, when eugenics-supporting WASP elites, fearful of immigrants – especially rapidly ascending Jewish ones – began agitating for closed doors.
That fear combined with the heavy death toll from World War I — the “war to end all wars” — to produce a tsunami-like wave of xenophobia, which resulted in the 1924 Reed Johnson Act, which implemented a draconian cut in immigration. Ratified by both houses of Congress and signed by president Calvin Coolidge, the law set the scene for the disaster that would come barely a decade later.
The law, the film points out, wasn’t overtly antisemitic.
“There was no explicit quota for Jews, but it wasn’t an accident that recent Jewish immigrants had come from the Eastern European countries that now had minuscule quotas,” says the film’s unnamed narrator. In 1921, before the law took effect, 120,000 Jews immigrated to the US legally. Five years later, that number had dropped to 10,000, and there were many more hoops to jump through before one could move to the US.
Under the new law, the State Department – the US government’s most antisemitic branch with a “heartbeat muffled in protocol,” at least according to pro-immigration congressman Emanuel Cellar – took charge of immigration. Now erstwhile immigrants needed to produce visas from US consuls in their home countries and plenty of other paperwork, such as multiple copies of birth certificates and letters vouching for good citizenship – a near impossibility for people escaping countries where they were hated, historian Deborah Lipstadt points out in the film…
During the Great Depression, the State Department upped the ante, expecting would-be immigrants to secure refundable $5,000 guarantees known as affidavits – a fortune in those days (roughly $100,000 in today’s dollars).
“You couldn’t come if you had a job because then you’d be taking a job away from an American; but if you didn’t have a job, you’d go on the dole (and you couldn’t come if you couldn’t support yourself),” says Lipstadt. Despite Emma Lazarus’s beautiful words about Miss Liberty’s hands being extended to the “tired, poor and wretched refuse yearning to breathe free,” there was no exception for refugees and no popular support for one.
“If I had my way,” said Robert Reynolds, then the North Carolina senator, “I would build a wall so high and so secure that not a single alien or foreign refugee from any country on the face of this Earth could scale or ascend it.”
Quoting journalist Dorothy Thompson, the film points out that for thousands (even millions) of people, “a piece of paper with a stamp on it is the difference between life and death.”
IN THIS film, we meet some of these people. Making a choice that plays up this story’s drama, The US and the Holocaust is framed with the stories of a half dozen elderly survivors who suffered on account of the US’s cruel immigration policies….
For Novick, the film’s most powerful moment is Susan Hilsenrath’s recollection of her escape as a five-year-old from Germany to France, then still a haven. “She doesn’t remember saying goodbye to her parents. That blank space speaks to the trauma of separation,” says Novick…
Sadly, the spiritual component which was a primary coping tool for many survivors is absent from this film. Though at least half of prewar European Jewry identified as religiously observant, that community is ignored. Another unfortunate omission is the remarkable history of the Vaad Hatzalah, the Orthodox community’s homegrown and often effective effort to help Jews stuck in war-torn Europe.
Despite this, The US and the Holocaust is still worth watching, especially because it explodes another important myth – that Americans didn’t know what was going on overseas.
“This is a misconception that is very popular among American Jews,” says Novick. “There were lots of front-page stories about persecutions, deportations, violence, all covered at length,” she points out.
The US and the Holocaust ends with clips from the Charlottesville riots, the Tree of Life shootings, and the January 6 Capitol uprising, including a shot of an insurrectionist wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words “Camp Auschwitz.” In this final montage, the filmmakers broadcast the not very subtle message that the US far Right members are today’s Nazis. While the rise of homegrown antisemitism in the US is disturbing, the comparison feels overstated. And what about the antisemitism of the pro-Palestinian Left? This film doesn’t address that at all.
Even with its flaws, Burns and his team deserve kudos for their outstanding work.
With survivors dying and ignorance rising to startling proportions – a 2020 survey revealed that 63% of young adults, including Gen Z and millennials, were unaware that Hitler had murdered six million Jews – Burns and his team have brought much-needed attention to the Jewish people’s toughest hour.
According to Sarah Botstein — one of the two Jewish co-directors of the film — they “relied heavily on an “advisory board” of Jewish historians and experts to decide what to include in the film — going so far as to state, “We don’t go anywhere without our advisory board.”
In other words, Ken Burns is merely the goy frontman for this project in order to give it a semblance of “objectivity” — when in reality this film — for all intents and purposes — is merely a blatant propaganda piece by the USC Shoah Foundation which produced the film.
Ken Burns owes his enormous success — and sizeable wealth — to his cozy relationship with the Jews at NPR/PBS who often finance and promote his Leftist takes on American history.
No wonder he felt compelled to solemnly declare about this latest Holocaust project, “I will never work on a more important film.”
For the last number of years Jewish “historians” have been publishing books and articles that directly indict the U.S. government’s “moral failures” which facilitated the Holocaust — most recently The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust by Rafael Medoff — which we thoroughly debunked in a previous article.
Recently, Medoff wrote a scathing review of the new Ken Burns film — claiming that it soft-pedals the extent of the U.S. responsibility for the avoidable death of millions of Jews — by not bombing the concentration camps.
Ironically, it was in fact the relentless bombing of German railways and infrastructure that made it impossible for the Germans to resupply the camps with much needed food and medical supplies — leading to the death of tens of thousands of camp inmates — a fact substantiated by an official report by the International Red Cross — who the Germans gave free access to the camps to monitor the well-being of the prisoners.
In reality, the FDR administration closed the door on immigration of European Jews into America not because of “systemic antisemitism” but rather because FDR’s Jewish advisors knew they needed to create worldwide sympathy for the plight of the Jews if they were going to realize their ultimate goal — the establishment of the ersatz State of Israel in Palestine.
If millions of Jews were allowed to freely immigrate to the U.S. and escape “Nazi” persecution, they wouldn’t have the body count they needed to justify having their own homeland — and safe haven from persecution in the future.
Not only that, many prominent Jewish leaders at the time — such as Chief Rabbi Stephen A. Wise and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter — were skeptical of the rumors of millions of Jews being murdered in the camps
Rabbi Wise also rightly believed that if the U.S. government showed too much preference for saving Jews from the ravages of the war in Europe, there would be an antisemitic backlash against Jews by the American public — but he eventually changed his tune when it was to the Jews’ advantage to do so toward the end of the war.
And the Jews know that their days of shaking down the German government for tens of billions in Holocaust Reparations™ are coming to an end — so now they are turning their wrath on the U.S. government to shame and guilt them into paying reparations for their failure to save the Jews when they had the opportunity.
Some of groundwork for U.S. reparations was established when Jewish Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz sponsored The Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act of 2019 — which paved the way for Holocaust Survivors™ to get billions in insurance reparations without any documentation or legal proof — the courts will literally accept their word that the claims are valid.
Given the stranglehold Jews now have on the U.S. State Department — and the country as a whole — it shouldn’t surprise us if — and when — the U.S. Congress formally broaches the subject of Holocaust reparations in the wake of this new “Ken Burns” film.