Parents' Guide to

The U.S. and the Holocaust

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Insightful docu about the U.S., immigration & democracy.

TV PBS Educational 2022
The U.S. and the Holocaust TV Show: poster.

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The informative, difficult, heartbreaking series illuminates how and why the United States didn't offer more support for European Jews during their persecution by the Nazis prior to, and during, World War II. Like most media about the Holocaust, it offers some insights into the wave of nationalism that facilitated Hitler's rise to power, and the Nazis' methodical slaughter of six million Jewish men, women, and children. But the main focus of this work is on detailing what the United States did and didn't do to help them, the reasons for which are contextualized within its history of systematic racism, antisemitism, and xenophobia. It also underscores how this legacy continues to inform contemporary U.S. refugee and immigration policymaking, despite the United States' continuing to celebrate open immigration as a principle on which American democracy is built. What's presented here is uncomfortable to come to terms with, but The U.S. and the Holocaust raises important questions that should compel us to think critically about what we value as pillars of American democracy, and why we're not living up to those values as a nation.

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