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 20th 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.

Learn more, explore more content and find classroom resources at https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/us-and-the-holocaust/ 


Starting in early October, Arkansas PBS will present a series of screenings, panel discussions, and educator forums in partnership with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Fayetteville Public Library, and Black River Technical College.

No events posted yet

For more information visit our events page

Watch the episodes

The U.S. and the Holocaust” will be available to stream for free at PBS.org and the PBS Video App, on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.

THE U.S. AND THE HOLOCAUST: The Golden Door (Beginnings - 1938)

Reversing a history of open borders, a xenophobic backlash prompts Congress to restrict immigration.

Sunday, September 18
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Premiere)
9:14 pm - 11:14 pm (Repeat)

Monday, September 19
12:30 am - 2:30 am (Repeat)
8:31 pm - 10:31 pm (Repeat)

Tuesday, September 20
2:30 am - 4:30 am (Repeat)
8:31 pm - 10:31 pm (Repeat)

THE U.S. AND THE HOLOCAUST: Yearning to Breathe Free (1938 - 1942)

As the war begins, some Americans work tirelessly to help refugees, while others remain indifferent

Tuesday, September 20
7:00 - 9:00 pm (Premiere)
9:23 pm - 11:23 pm (Repeat)

Wednesday, September 21
12:30 am - 2:30 am (Repeat)
3 am - 5 am (Repeat)

THE U.S. AND THE HOLOCAUST: The Homeless, The Tempest-Tossed (1942 - )

As the Allies liberate German camps, the public sees the sheer scale of the Holocaust..

Wednesday, September 21
7:00 - 9:00 pm (Premiere)
9:15 pm - 11:15 pm (Repeat)


Arkansas Holocaust Education Committee (AHEC)
AHEC formed 25 years ago to provide Holocaust education to Jr. High and High School students in Arkansas via their annual conference on the Holocaust.

The University of Arkansas and The University of Arkansas Libraries
The University of Arkansas Libraries will host the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and American Libraries Association (ALA) exhibit, Americans and the Holocaust in early November. The film "The U.S. and the Holocaust" was inspired in part by the exhibit.

The Fayetteville Public Library
The Fayetteville Public Library's mission is to "strengthen our community and empower our citizens through free and public access to knowledge."

The Black River Community College
For over 15 years, Black River Technical College in Pocahontas, Ark. has been partnering with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to bring Survivors to their campus for an educational conference for public schools. We will co-host their two-day event this year in October and connect them to the film and resources.
Black River Tech

The Springdale Public Library - Library in the Park
The Springdale Public Library is a state-of-the-art public library providing the community with books, audio visual materials, online research resources, computers, and Internet access, as well as a full range of programming for all ages. Springdale Public Library serves a large Latino and Marshallese population.
Springdale Library

The Jewish Federation of Arkansas
Jewish Federation of Arkansas aims to strengthen, support, and sustain the Jewish Community in Arkansas and to support Jews in need worldwide.
Jewish Arkansas



Conversations on the Holocaust: A Virtual Event Series

Join hour-long discussions the filmmakers and special guests, featuring clips from the three-part series, THE U.S. AND THE HOLOCAUST. The six-hour series explores America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history.

September 8: "The Holocaust and Refugees, Lessons for Today"

With Ken Burns, Sarah Botstein and Madlin Sadler. Discussion begins at 7pm ET. Moderated by Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent. Presented by PBS and the International Rescue Committee.

September 15: "The Holocaust and Authoritarianism Today"

With Ken Burns, Sarah Botstein and Madlin Sadler. Discussion begins at 7pm ET. Moderated by Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent. Presented by PBS and the International Rescue Committee.

You can find more information about the events here: pbs.org/usath-events

PBS Books: VIRTUAL EVENTS: "The U.S. and the Holocaust"

Panel Discussion: The U.S. and the Holocaust, Sunday, September 18 at 5 pm

Noted historians, a second-generation Holocaust survivor, a leading voice in the interfaith community and others discuss the latest film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein. This talk will be moderated by award-winning journalist, Eli Newman. Panelists: Rev. Stancy Adams, Catherine Cangany, Arthur Horowitz, Jeffery Veidlinger, Ph.D.

Author Talk: Eboo Patel, Founder & President Interfaith America, Thursday, September 22 at 7 pm

In connection with The U.S. and the Holocaust, PBS Books is pleased to present a conversation with Interfaith America’s Founder and President Eboo Patel, author of We Need to Build: Fieldnotes for Diverse Democracy. It is an inspirational guide for those who seek to promote positive social change and build a more diverse and just democracy. While looking at the Holocaust and some of US’s historical policies, Eboo will discuss his work, his book, and inspiring social activists as he underscores the importance of social infrastructures within today’s society as we build our diverse democracy and ensure there is never another Holocaust.

Panel Discussion: The U.S. and the Holocaust, Sunday, September 18 at 6 pm ET
Author Talk: Eboo Patel, Founder & President Interfaith America

The U.S. and the Holocaust is a production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, D.C.


Corporate funding provided by Bank of America. Major funding provided by David M. Rubenstein; the Park Foundation; the Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation; Gilbert S. Omenn and Martha A. Darling; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; and by the following members of The Better Angels Society: Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine; Jan and Rick Cohen; Allan and Shelley Holt; the Koret Foundation; David and Susan Kreisman; Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder; Blavatnik Family Foundation; Crown Family Philanthropies, honoring the Crown and Goodman Families; the Fullerton Family Charitable Fund; Dr. Georgette Bennett and Dr. Leonard Polonsky; The Russell Berrie Foundation; Diane and Hal Brierley; John and Catherine Debs; and Leah Joy Zell and the Joy Foundation. Funding was also provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by public television viewers.