'The U.S. And The Holocaust' asks hard questions about how Americans treated Jews and immigrants during wartime


September 9, 2022

By Andrew Lapin

(JTA) — One of the first people introduced in Ken Burns’ new documentary series about the Holocaust is Otto, a Jewish man seen in the series’ first episode who tries to secure passage to America for his family but gets stymied by the country’s fierce anti-immigration legislation.

It isn’t until the third episode that viewers learn that Otto’s daughter is nicknamed Anne, and the pieces fall into place: He’s the father of Anne Frank, the Holocaust’s most famous victim.

Burns calls the delayed detail a “hidden ball trick,” hoping that an audience with only p...

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