The United States and the Holocaust by Ken Burns connects the past and present “https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1123134723/1123208479
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The U.S. and the Holocaust, a new three-part Ken Burns documentary, investigates what common Americans knew or didn’t know about what the Nazis were doing in Europe. In February 1940, a tenant farmer in Creek County, Oklahoma, is shown reading a newspaper. hidden caption 1940/Library of Congress
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from the Library of Congress, 1940 The U.S. and the Holocaust, a new three-part Ken Burns documentary, investigates what common Americans knew or didn’t know about what the Nazis were doing in Europe. In February 1940, a tenant farmer in Creek County, Oklahoma, is shown reading a newspaper.
Library of Congress, 1940 Ken Burns and his team are covering some terrain that they have already covered in their most recent documentary series, The U.S. and the Holocaust. The War, a Burns epic documentary about World War II, and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, in which Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were prominently featured, as they are in this new series, were also written by Geoffrey C. Ward. Additionally, Ward was the author of The Civil War, the documentary that initially made Ken Burns famous.
The U.S. and the Holocaust makes use of every aspect of a Ken Burns production, which is why it is still so recognisable and reassuring more than 30 years later. This time, historical leaders’ comments are being read aloud by famous actors Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, Liam Neeson, and Werner Herzog, among others. Images are employed poetically and gradually, slowly disclosing new details as they pan and zoom in and out. Every moment is made more genuine and emotional by the use of music and sound effects. A Ken Burns documentary series also always begins with a concise synopsis of what is to come, supplied this time by Peter Coyote, a recurring narrator in Burns’ work.
HISTORY Like many of Ken Burns’ historical documentaries, The U.S. and the Holocaust looks at its subject from the ground up. He speaks with survivors or their relatives rather than military authorities. When historians and other professionals are interviewed, they discuss events from a similar angle. In this instance, they make an effort to comprehend and describe what it was like to see Nazi atrocities or even to think that they were taking place.
The film spends a lot of time exploring the complexities of national politics, not only in Germany, where Adolf Hitler ascended from exile to become a dictator, but also in America, whose waves of isolationism kept the country out of the war for years. It demonstrates that the majority of regular Americans were aware of what the Nazis were doing to in Europe. Newspaper headlines are displayed repeatedly in the video to show that the information was in the public domain. However, until the liberation of the concentration camps and the documentation of their crimes after the war, they were questioned by many.
The first episode, which airs on September 18, ends in the year 1938, while part two jumps to the year 1942. The last two hours discuss the conclusion of World War II and its aftermath, including the creation of Israel, the Nuremberg war tribunals, and even the creation and introduction of the term “genocide.”
The tale is not completely updated until the final five minutes. But without Coyote or anyone else having to say a word, the concluding sounds and visuals that bring The U.S. and the Holocaust scenes—scenes that we are all too familiar with—of hate crimes and marches filled with hatred connect the past to the present. Burns and crew have once more brought history to life and served as a reminder that we are actually living history.