Event box

Virtual: Screener & Community Conversation of The U.S. and the Holocaust, A film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick & Sarah Botstein

Virtual: Screener & Community Conversation of The U.S. and the Holocaust, A film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick & Sarah Botstein Online

Join us for an event featuring a viewing of clips from The U.S. and the Holocaust, a three-part, six hour series directed by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein.  This documentary examines America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history.  Americans consider themselves a “nation of immigrants,” but as the catastrophe of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. Through riveting firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape and restrictive quota laws in America. Did the nation fail to live up to its ideals? This is a history to be reckoned with.  

After viewing the clips join a panel of experts for an insightful conversation about core themes raised in the film, such as immigration policy, racism, isolationism, discrimination and more. We invite and encourage the audience to ask questions, make comments and engage in the discussion along with the panel. 

We are thrilled to welcome panelists Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D., and Jonathan C. Friedman, Ph.D., to assist in our discussion.  Rabbi Sussman currently serves as the Rabbi Emeritus of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, PA after serving as senior rabbi from 2001-2022.  Rabbi Sussman, a specialist in the field of American Jewish history, has written several books and numerous articles on the American Jewish experience. He is currently working on a television documentary on the history of the Philadelphia Jewish community with History Making Productions. 

Jonathan C. Friedman, Ph.D., currently serves as Professor of History, and Director of Graduate Holocaust and Genocide Studies at West Chester University.  Dr. Friedman has published numerous books on subjects ranging from the Holocaust to gay and Jewish performance, and he is currently working on a monograph entitled Haunted Laughter: Comedic Representations of Adolf Hitler, The Third Reich, and the Holocaust in Film and Television.

Anyone who would like to view the full documentary in advance of the event may stream it for free at on WHYY PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsun Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.  PBS station members can view the documentary via PBS Passport as part of a full collection of Ken Burns films.  You can also borrow a DVD of the film through the Chester County Library System.

Registration is required. Registration will close 2 hours prior to the scheduled start time of the event. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the program starts.  Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link.  You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual program.

Monday, November 14, 2022
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Library Location:
Henrietta Hankin Branch Library
This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.
  Adults     Virtual  
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Hankin Reference
Hankin Reference

More events like this...