History

The U.S. and the Holocaust

Inspired in part by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s “Americans and the Holocaust” exhibition and supported by its historical resources, The U.S. and the Holocaust examines the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany in the context of global antisemitism and racism, the eugenics movement in the United States and race laws in the American south.

“The Homeless, Tempest-Tossed” (1942 - )

2h 10m

A group of dedicated government officials fights red tape to finance and support rescue operations. As the Allied soldiers advance, uncovering mass graves and liberating German concentration camps, the public sees for the first time the sheer scale of the Holocaust and begins to reckon with its reverberations.

Episodes

  • “The Homeless, Tempest-Tossed” (1942 - ): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “The Homeless, Tempest-Tossed” (1942 - )

    S1 E3 - 2h 10m

    A group of dedicated government officials fights red tape to finance and support rescue operations. As the Allied soldiers advance, uncovering mass graves and liberating German concentration camps, the public sees for the first time the sheer scale of the Holocaust and begins to reckon with its reverberations.

  • “Yearning to Breathe Free” (1938-1942): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “Yearning to Breathe Free” (1938-1942)

    S1 E2 - 2h 17m

    As World War II begins, Americans are united in their disapproval of Nazi brutality but divided on whether to act. Some individuals and organizations work tirelessly to help refugees escape. Meanwhile, Charles Lindbergh and isolationists battle with Roosevelt to try to keep America out of the war. Germany invades the Soviet Union and secretly begins the mass murder of European Jews.

  • “The Golden Door” (Beginnings-1938): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    “The Golden Door” (Beginnings-1938)

    S1 E1 - 2h 8m

    After decades of maintaining open borders, a xenophobic backlash prompts Congress to pass its first laws restricting immigration. Meanwhile, in Germany, Hitler and the Nazis begin their persecution of Jewish people, causing many to try to flee to neighboring countries or America. Franklin Roosevelt and other world leaders are concerned by the growing refugee crisis but fail to coordinate a response.

  • En Español: "Los Destituidos, Abrumados por Adversidades”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    En Español: "Los Destituidos, Abrumados por Adversidades”

    S1 E6 - 2h 10m

    Un grupo de funcionarios del gobierno dedicados a la causa, apoyan a financiar las operaciones de rescate. En tanto que los soldados Aliados avanzan y van descubriendo fosas comunes así como liberando campos de concentración Alemanes, el público ve por primera vez la magnitud del Holocausto y comienza a entender sus repercusiones.

  • En Español: “Anhelando Poder Respirar en Libertad”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    En Español: “Anhelando Poder Respirar en Libertad”

    S1 E5 - 2h 17m

    Al empezar la Segunda Guerra Mundial, los estadounidenses desaprueban la brutalidad Nazi y dudan si deben hacer algo. Individuos y organizaciones trabajan para ayudar a escapar a los refugiados. Charles Lindbergh y aislacionistas luchan contra Roosevelt para tratar de que Estados Unidos se mantenga fuera de la guerra. Alemania invade la Unión Soviética y comienza la matanza de Judíos Europeos.

  • En Español: “La Puerta de Oro”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    En Español: “La Puerta de Oro”

    S1 E4 - 2h 8m

    Luego de décadas de fronteras abiertas, y debido a la xenofobia, el Congreso pasa sus primeras leyes restringiendo la inmigración. En Alemania, Hitler y los Nazis comienzan la persecución de judíos causando que muchos traten de huir a países vecinos o a América. El presidente Franklin Roosevelt y otros líderes mundiales no pueden coordinar una respuesta a la crisis de refugiados.

Extras + Features

  • Not Every Jew Died in a Concentration Camp: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Not Every Jew Died in a Concentration Camp

    S1 E3 - 3m 49s

    Award-winning memoirist Daniel Mendelsohn reflects on myths surrounding the Holocaust, like how people assume every Jew died in a concentration camp or gas chamber. But that’s only part of the story – they were killed in all different manners and unimaginable ways. The tragedy is that there were millions who couldn’t be rescued, and the particularity of what happened is already being erased.

  • The War Refugee Board & Hungary: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The War Refugee Board & Hungary

    S1 E3 - 5m 59s

    In 1944, President Roosevelt established the War Refugee Board – the only government agency created by any of the Allies specifically to do what it could for the Jews still under Nazi threat. Much of the Board’s most effective work was focused on Hungary with the help of fellow diplomats from neutral nations. It was still home to some 800,000 Jews, the largest remaining population in Europe.

  • Life in Auschwitz: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Life in Auschwitz

    S1 E3 - 5m 22s

    Holocaust survivor Eva Geiringer reflects on life in Auschwitz. In 1944, Americans first learned details of the camp when three escapees meticulously documented what they’d seen. When the War Refugee Board received the report from Switzerland, they made the firsthand testimony public, and it became headline news. But Americans still couldn't grasp the scale and scope of the crime.

  • US Bill to Save Refugee Children Hits Wall of Anti-Semitism: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    US Bill to Save Refugee Children Hits Wall of Anti-Semitism

    S1 E2 - 6m 39s

    In 1939, two senators introduced a bill to help refugee children enter the United States. It was backed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt – and opposed by the American Legion, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies. But no group was more adamantly opposed to admitting Jewish refugees than the German American Bund, led by the “American Fuhrer.”

  • Susan & Joseph Arrive in America: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Susan & Joseph Arrive in America

    S1 E2 - 7m 3s

    After the Germans occupied northern France, Susan and Joseph made their way from Versailles to the Chateau des Morelles, a home for Jewish children separated from their parents. Their father had gotten himself, his wife and youngest boy to the United States. But, when Susan and Joseph finally arrived at Ellis Island to join them, only their father was there to greet them.

  • Charles Lindbergh & The America First Committee: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Charles Lindbergh & The America First Committee

    S1 E2 - 5m 31s

    In 1940, American public opinion for providing aid to Britain was slowly starting to change. Charles Lindbergh became the chief spokesman for a new isolationist organization dedicated to keeping America out of the war – the America First Committee. Founded by a handful of students at the Yale Law School, it soon became the largest anti-war organization in the history of the United States.

  • The Gradual Rise of Nazi Germany: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Gradual Rise of Nazi Germany

    S1 E1 - 6m 5s

    As Jewish children living in Germany, these Holocaust survivors saw their lives turn upside down when the Nazis came into power. But the changes didn’t happen overnight. Instead, they were gradual – step by step – and no one realized how much worse things would get.

  • The American Press in Germany: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The American Press in Germany

    S1 E1 - 5m 43s

    It wasn’t easy for foreign correspondents to report what was really happening in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sources were often too frightened to talk. Reporters were reluctant to quote witnesses by name for fear of betraying them to the secret police – called the Gestapo. But the best American journalists did write about what was going on, however much the Nazi government tried to hide it.

  • The Rise of Eugenics in America: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Rise of Eugenics in America

    S1 E1 - 5m 54s

    By the early 1900s, many white protestant Americans came to fear they were about to be outnumbered and outbred by immigrants and their offspring. They embraced a new pseudo-science born in Britain, called eugenics. It falsely claimed you could eliminate everything from poverty and prostitution to disabilities if you stopped the individuals they dismissed as “socially defective” from reproducing.

Schedule

  • Image
    The U.S. and the Holocaust: TVSS: Iconic

    The U.S. and the Holocaust

    The Golden Door (Beginnings -- 1938)

    Sunday
    Sep 25

    2 Hours 15 Minutes

    Congress reverses open borders; Hitler and the Nazis begin their persecution of German Jews, causing many to seek refuge; President Franklin D. Roosevelt is concerned but unable to coordinate a response to the crisis.
  • Image
    The U.S. and the Holocaust: TVSS: Iconic

    The U.S. and the Holocaust

    Yearning to Breathe Free (1938-1942)

    Sunday
    Sep 25

    2 Hours 24 Minutes

    As World War II begins, Americans unite in their disapproval of Nazi brutality and work to help refugees escape; Germany invades the Soviet Union and secretly begins the mass murder of European Jews.
  • Image
    The U.S. and the Holocaust: TVSS: Iconic

    The U.S. and the Holocaust

    The Homeless, The Tempest-Tossed (1942 -- )

    Sunday
    Sep 25

    2 Hours 20 Minutes

    A group of government officials supports rescue operations; the public sees for the first time the scale of the Holocaust as Allies liberate German camps.
  • Image
    The U.S. and the Holocaust: TVSS: Iconic

    The U.S. and the Holocaust

    The Golden Door (Beginnings -- 1938)

    Sunday
    Sep 25

    2 Hours 30 Minutes

    Congress reverses open borders; Hitler and the Nazis begin their persecution of German Jews, causing many to seek refuge; President Franklin D. Roosevelt is concerned but unable to coordinate a response to the crisis.
  • Image
    The U.S. and the Holocaust: TVSS: Iconic

    The U.S. and the Holocaust

    The Golden Door (Beginnings -- 1938)

    Monday
    Sep 26

    2 Hours 30 Minutes

    Congress reverses open borders; Hitler and the Nazis begin their persecution of German Jews, causing many to seek refuge; President Franklin D. Roosevelt is concerned but unable to coordinate a response to the crisis.
  • Image
    The U.S. and the Holocaust: TVSS: Iconic

    The U.S. and the Holocaust

    The Golden Door (Beginnings -- 1938)

    Monday
    Sep 26

    2 Hours 30 Minutes

    Congress reverses open borders; Hitler and the Nazis begin their persecution of German Jews, causing many to seek refuge; President Franklin D. Roosevelt is concerned but unable to coordinate a response to the crisis.
  • Image
    The U.S. and the Holocaust: TVSS: Iconic

    The U.S. and the Holocaust

    Yearning to Breathe Free (1938-1942)

    Sunday
    Oct 2

    2 Hours 30 Minutes

    As World War II begins, Americans unite in their disapproval of Nazi brutality and work to help refugees escape; Germany invades the Soviet Union and secretly begins the mass murder of European Jews.
  • Image
    The U.S. and the Holocaust: TVSS: Iconic

    The U.S. and the Holocaust

    Yearning to Breathe Free (1938-1942)

    Monday
    Oct 3

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    As World War II begins, Americans unite in their disapproval of Nazi brutality and work to help refugees escape; Germany invades the Soviet Union and secretly begins the mass murder of European Jews.
  • Image
    The U.S. and the Holocaust: TVSS: Iconic

    The U.S. and the Holocaust

    Yearning to Breathe Free (1938-1942)

    Monday
    Oct 3

    2 Hours 30 Minutes

    As World War II begins, Americans unite in their disapproval of Nazi brutality and work to help refugees escape; Germany invades the Soviet Union and secretly begins the mass murder of European Jews.

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