Site Logo

Hello, you are using an old browser that's unsafe and no longer supported. Please consider updating your browser to a newer version, or downloading a modern browser.

Skip to main content
Public Educational Media
Date Approved

The U.S. and the Holocaust is a three-part series that tells the story of how the American people grappled with one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 20th century, and how these events tested the ideals of our democracy. The film, produced in conjunction with a ground-breaking exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will ask three essential questions about the Holocaust: What did Americans know? When did we know it? What did we do about it?

The film also explores complex challenges that arise from isolationism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism, preventing the U.S. from rising to its stated ideals and rescuing the Jewish people at their time of greatest need. By examining the events of this period and the difficult choices they presented, the film raises questions that are as relevant today as they were in the 1930s and 1940s. These questions include: What is America’s role as a land of immigrants? What are the responsibilities of a nation to intervene in humanitarian crises? What should our leaders and the press do to shape public opinion? And what can individuals do when governments fail to act?

The U.S. and the Holocaust is directed by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein. It is scheduled to premiere to a national PBS audience on September 18-20, 2022.