Share This Episode
Brian Kilmeade Show Brian Kilmeade Logo

Producers’ Pick | Ken Burns: The U.S. and the Holocaust

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2022 12:00 am

Producers’ Pick | Ken Burns: The U.S. and the Holocaust

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

On-Demand NEW!

This broadcaster has 494 show archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

September 25, 2022 12:00 am

Ken Burns and co-director Lynn Novick on their new three-part, six hour series on America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 20th century.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


This episode is brought to you by Samsung unfold the all new galaxies. He fold for and expands your world with flex mode it stands on its own, so your hands free to get more done during calls and with multi-window view.

You can use up to three apps at the same time plus the edge to edge screen allows you to fully immerse yourself in your favorite games and shows.

Visit to learn more about galaxies he fold radio show like no other and we tell ourselves stories of the nation. One of the stories we tell ourselves that were immigrants, but in moments of crisis, it becomes very hard for us to live up to those stories, the Holocaust, beyond just disappear. Primary goes. Students but the goal is not your challenges Americans to think about what we would've done what we could have done done but that's not old theories to the store and is a valuable story. It's always worth looking back is so much footage available that no one would ever see begin Burns and Lynn Novick to get up the codirectors and producer of the US and the Holocaust a new three-part six hour series was America's response or the greatest humanitarian crisis of the 20th century.

Welcome to both you thanks thanks to Ken will hello Lynn hey Brian it to be with you always cancel for self to both you if you take this question what we would thus how did you get onto this topic, would you think this is unexplored.

I got it would expose it. Yeah, you know.

Remember when we made our film when I made a film on World War II that came out in 2007. You and I talked about it, I'll be done significant pain on the Holocaust, but people came out of the woodwork with a lot of misinformation and disinformation, conspiracy theories, and questions like why did you do this you know the statement for this person with the medic, and we realize the story to tell and then later I worked on the phone but the Roosevelt without writer Jeff Ward. Both those people. Now that's one and finally we are approaching 2015 by the Holocaust Museum in Washington that was going to do an exhibition along the same line and thought it be nice if we could work in cooperation in their exhibition opened in 2018. We spent seven years working on on this. It was really trying to dig deeper into the US in the Holocaust, such as what happened in the Holocaust, but we who are not responsible for it or complicit in any way what we did as you heard that Peter what we did and what we didn't do. Perhaps what we should have done and you know though the United States led into hundred and 25,000 refugees more than any other sovereign nation we could have let him five times as many at least even within the pernicious quota system that existed with the Johnson Reed immigration law and we didn't think in some ways, we have to reckon with a complicated history. It also permitted us to receive the Holocaust, not a separate event within or attached to or adjacent to World War II, but something that's very much part of the tick-tock of what happened and you can see it and ship to German expansion, so we just wanted to revisit it and tell a complicated story kilter filled with lots of American heroes and what is so typical because the water isn't blazing hot. It gradually gets hey what's going on with Hitler always is to be a problem. Only one just expand a little bit. All they just want to restore their economy away to second their belligerent against the Jews.

But maybe they won't expand in the old Russians of the issue and then little by little. It's easy to say why did we asked sooner but when you realize the headlines were covering it. They were doing it they did fear but they worried about another world war. When first off I want you to hear what a cut from your documentary. This is the State Department why they didn't do more to help Jews fleeing Nazi Germany got 38 Nazis persecuted the Jews was undeniable notion that the Nazis were now preparing to kill them all was simply impossible for many in the State Department to believe department officials decide that this is not good information and and this is crucial, they say, even if this were true, there's nothing we can do about it. They believe that they are doing all they can to assist the Jews any sort of rally or petition or protest asking them to do more would be diverting resources from the war effort. Many of these people were also racist and anti-Semitic and nativist and so you have to wonder whether some of their concerns.

Some of their annoyances have to do with the fact that they're being asked to help Jews your thoughts on that. Lynn Downing, a wonderful historian that really helped us understand adulation that are later media that Brian was a gradual escalation of a problem happening even while it was happening and the people to believe what they were hearing thing and the scale of what I think it is apologetic that your so there are multiple different problem here. One is understanding what's going on as a change to it.

What do we do about it and that these are difficult problems not only to try to show off a lot to judge the 2020 hindsight to represent the complexities of the adulation that the American people in our government, then and also the way my correspondence could have been better State Department at the place where people apply for visa to come here because of the fighting, and they went out of their way to make it harder making it easier and there are many reasons for that, let's record nothing just explained in her in her beautiful looking seminar and listened and watched all looking at it I'm I think Ellen is instinctual better than FDR's was used to the nature of his position. I think it is the great question Brian nature of his position. Remember, he's not a king. He's not a furor. He can't waive the wanted fail lucky people in this is been voted by Congress and act the American people overwhelmingly supported.

There's a kind of toxic environment of bothering people and blaming, particularly the Jews. There's lots of anti-Semitism in the air and he's moving as strategic politician who better than anyone in the coming war and realizes he has to sort of revoke the neutrality act quietly and while in retrospect that the humanitarian uniform both, but that's just in retrospect if he hadn't revoked the neutrality act we might be speaking German today. No kidding. But you're right about Eleanor. You know, with the exception of a prohibition, and her father was a hopeless alcoholic and she watched him die in the most horrible throws the mental illness of alcoholism. She's basically right on everything constantly got you know the somebody at his shoulder in his ear, telling him what's right and I think of the most part, believes that, but sometimes this action think a lot. Frustratingly cold because you wanted to do something more and I think perhaps he could have done more shouted loudly more loudly, but for the most part he got I wanted bigger fish to find is nothing more important than the Holocaust. In this regard, but he does have the greatest cataclysm in human history.

The second world war to manage, which will kill in its totality no more than 50 million human banks will lend to just to set the stage. You do a great but what you get to set on the app I get on the app PBS video.

Our porch is PBS you get an iOS, android, Roku, Apple TV everything and is called the US in the Holocaust.

We got ready to fight.

We got 139,000 troops in the country decide to stunning our equipment from world war one. We have almost no we have no infrastructure so with the neutrality acts allows us to build planes and tanks for Europe to fight for the UK United Kingdom and for for France to fight. Little did we know they would but at least we were able to ramp up a little before we directly got involved. I want you to comment on this. This is the Auschwitz report, and it's so horrific we can get our head around it cut 40. The release of the Auschwitz report is headlines throughout the country. These news reports explaining to the American people what Auschwitz was what happened there are followed up by offense by Collins about Auschwitz and what America has to do in the wake of all of this information. The fact that it's released by the war refugee Board it's not being released by Jewish organization.

It's not being released Rabbi Stephen Wise says it's coming from a governmental source. It's much harder to dismiss it. Did we know know how to report a very important document that I cannot report that really verified what going on everything on the report before that when in April 1944 the government delete definitive report citing the Chambers the execution of the deportation. The whole scope and Catholic happening Auschwitz in the larger contact of the disruption of European gently knotted and it was front page news all over the country on the world.

We didn't dismiss that. The question then is what to do about it doesn't April 1944. This is before D-Day we do have daughters fighting on the European continent, but were nowhere near anywhere by the killing happening and if it's the highest priority priority is to win the war, can now immobilize it.we've got to fight as well but this is coming out in the contact Millie the middle of so you yeah yeah but we do not one little fine point Brian.

I would just add that is absolutely true is that by the time we get a boot on the ground in Europe and Sicily.

Three quarters of the people who are going to perish in the Holocaust have already been murdered right there and bearing Poland like we think concentration camp.

The gas chambers are in the killing center in Poland in Nazi occupied Poland and they are hidden out of sight and there out with their child know their bells that there's still people or their my Donna coming there. These are the horrible places people are dying in concentration camps are being worked to death and their being burned in cream and torment, but these places are designed purely to kill human beings and work them to death are immediately killed and that you know we were not even yet at a place where we got an airbase to go and conceivably disrupt if we could write, I think, and still there by the width of the voiceovers the best in the business Peter Coyote.

I guess he works for you guys. He's is unbelievable. Every time he talks is one pay attention Kimberly Novick. I guess what I with you support about what you do you put in perspective you bring us back to the time rather than judge us from the eyes of 2022. I not and I never thought we first started doing interviews about your project from the Civil War on down Janet I love doing it. We have to remind people that history is history for reason you can't judge me against today's today's morays and to what we believe today and believe it or not. I think Bill Moore Nanda. I nailed it when he talked about this current war on history cut 41 how we teach our kids. History is become a big controversy these days, with liberals accusing conservatives of wanting to whitewash the past and sometimes that's true sometimes they do, but plenty liberals also want to abuse history to control the present and last month a scholar named James Sween caught hell calling them out for doing just that.

He criticized the phenomenon known as presentism, which means judging everyone in the past by the standards of the present, it's the belief that people lived 100 or 500,000 years ago really should have known better, which is true.

It's like getting mad at yourself for not knowing what you know now when you were 10, in a funny comedic way so smart you know you don't agree with them. Is it isn't that would people to care about history of battling today that people want to take down statues and and when rule in Breck museums is that what you're battling today. No more complicated than the one thing I think we need to hold all of ourselves to a higher standard.

You thought were being in the pincer movement from from both what we have to do is liberate ourselves and tell a very complete and honest history that unafraid of controversy or tragedy, but equally drawn to the story from moment just an abiding faith in the human spirit, and particularly the unique role this remarkable, but also as our film showed dysfunctional Republic plays in the positive progress of mankind. People want to sanitize and make a Madison Avenue view and not upset people with anything that's disturbing and people on the other side want to use history as a kind of weapon to do this. Both are not right where interested in telling stories and stories about human beings are always complex and not easily fit in there is venality and virtue. There is greed and generosity. There is Puritanism in. And it's not just necessarily between people but within people can adopt a thing were you telling Dorian not making an argument because argument don't change people's minds will you do when you have the possibility of finding a common space where you and I and your listeners and the PDF listeners, which overlap tremendously can have a civil discourse which is the whole purpose of history to give up the perspective right look on this moment with a little bit of grace and understanding and and civility, but I always think of you and when SRC was in that way when I just when we only have 1/92 left until Teddy Roosevelt get that statue with the Museum of Natural History when they say take Lincoln's name off that grammar school that would take a rip so Andrew Jackson statue down from from the White House that angers me and worries me.

What about you know I'm agreeing with me being able to look at our stop critically and understand barely have time on better and have been very controversial at her own history that were selecting the tickets and how they are children and grandchildren velocity having difficult conversations that are uncomfortable truth in our path and I at least about now and I think that the statute is a question but there's a fair question. Thank you for by Kimberly Novick. Other new documentary, the US and the Holocaust. Thanks so much guys appreciate it greatly with you Brian. I care I'll talk to you soon as you got it. Just subscribe and listen to the federal prosecutor in Fort Drum U.S. Congress, and from south Carolina brings you a one-of-a-kind subscriber

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime