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Film Screening and Discussion

The U.S. and the Holocaust

A new documentary

September 21

Add to Calendar2022-09-21 7:30 pm2022-09-21 7:30 pmEDTThe U.S. and the Holocaust

by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein

Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater,
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Join us for a 30-minute screening, featuring segments from the documentary followed by panel discussions with Sarah Botstein, Christian Ayne Crouch, Thomas Keenan, Cecile E. Kuznitz, and Daniel Mendelsohn.

The event will be introduced by President Leon Botstein and followed by an audience Q&A session.

About the Film

The U.S. and the Holocaust is a three-part, six-hour series that examines America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the twentieth century. 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.



Sarah Botstein

Co-director and Producer

Christian Ayne Crouch

Dean of Graduate Studies; Associate Professor of History

Thomas Keenan

Professor of Comparative Literature; Director, Human Rights Program

Cecile E. Kuznitz

Patricia Ross Weis '52 Chair in Jewish History and Culture; Director, Jewish Studies

Daniel Mendelsohn

Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities

About the Panelists

Sarah Botstein has for more than two decades produced some of the most popular and acclaimed documentaries on PBS. Her work with directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, includes Hemingway (2020), College Behind Bars (2019), The Vietnam War (2017), Prohibition (2011), The War (2007) and Jazz (2001). The US and the Holocaust is Botstein’s directorial debut. 

Christian Ayne Crouch is dean of graduate studies and associate professor of history at Bard College. Her work focuses on the histories of the early modern Atlantic, comparative slavery, American material culture, and Native American and Indigenous Studies. Her book, Nobility Lost: French and Canadian Martial Cultures, Indians, and the End of New France 1600–1848 (Cornell University Press, 2014) won the Mary Alice and Philip Boucher Prize for best book in French colonial history from the French Colonial Historical Society in 2015. 

Thomas Keenan teaches human rights, media, and critical theory at Bard College, where he directs the Human Rights Project. He codirects the Threatened Scholars Integration Initiative, a project of the Open Society University Network and co-founded the OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts. He is the author of Fables of Responsibility (1997) and, with Eyal Weizman, Mengele’s Skull (2012).  He has served on the boards of a number of human rights organizations and journals, including WITNESS, Scholars at Risk, The Journal of Human Rights, and Humanity. 

Cecile E. Kuznitz is Associate Professor and Patricia Ross Weis ’52 Chair in Jewish History and Culture at Bard College, where she directs the Jewish Studies Program and teaches courses on the Holocaust. She is the author of YIVO and The Making of Modern Jewish Culture: Scholarship for the Yiddish Nation as well as numerous articles on the history of Yiddish scholarship, the Jewish community of Vilna, and Jewish urban history. She was most recently a Ruth Meltzer fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies (University of Pennsylvania) and a Lady Davis Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Daniel Mendelsohn, the Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College, is the author of the award-winning international bestseller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million.

More Info

The U.S. and the Holocaust will air on September 18, 19, and 20 at 8–10 pm ET (check local listings) on PBS stations, and all three episodes will stream the night of premiere on and the PBS Video app. To learn more about The US and the Holocaust, please visit