Skip to main content

tv   American Artifacts Americans and the Holocaust Exhibit - Part 1  CSPAN  December 30, 2018 6:00pm-6:41pm EST

6:00 pm
definitely, people can see, yes, he was a francophile. >> you can watch this and other programs on our website where all of our videos are archived. >> each american artifex visits museums and historic places. >> welcome to the u.s. holocaust memorial museum. we decided to look closely at americans role in this history. that goes back to our founding charter, which mandated that the museum look closely at the americans role in this history. this museum is not an answer, it's a question.
6:01 pm
the questions that frame this exhibition are what did americans know and what more could have been done. you will see what they try to do is try to show the context of american history. that context includes our isolationism in the aftermath of world war i, xenophobia, fear of immigrants, racism, jim crow then we anti-semitism are responding to nazi is him amid the context of the great depression and war. always trying to keep that context front and center. of thening film exhibition shows the context of the united states between 1918 and 1932. what you see is americans response to world war i.
6:02 pm
america morning at graves of fallen soldiers. you see the context of the united states being relatively that to immigrants severely limited the number of immigrants who could be led in. the ku kluxrise of klan in the 1920's, as well as jim crowe america. all these things are precursors to the nazi's and power in 1933. in interwar. -- interwar period that shape our responses to nazi is him. one of the myths we want to combust is the idea that americans did not have information. exhibition the you'll see the americans had a --l about early on americans are very
6:03 pm
interested in the rise of this new world leader, adolf hitler. of magazines at the beginning of the nazi regime where you see hit laurent the cover of vanity fair. this one is particularly fascinating. a 3000 word article covering nazi germany. americans are picking up --azines and could -- what's not hidden here is anti-semitism is essential.
6:04 pm
mass murder is to come. it doesn't allow us to say we didn't know. we want to tell in the exhibition lobby the individual story. storyen an individual about dorothy thompson. dorothy thompson is about to --rnalistic spells journalistic cells. a popular move -- a popular book .n america we are showing that issue from the cosmopolitan. thompson gets many things right. the nazi's lose no opportunity to insult the jews.
6:05 pm
she also says there is no way that this guy can become chancellor of germany. ideal.s anti-semitism is some of them saw a real danger and understood his appeal to germans at the time. there was no way he would last. one of the most interesting projects the museum launched years before the exhibition, two calledf years was history unfolded. we estimate in history buffs throughout the country to go to their local newspapers.
6:06 pm
and archives and look for coverage of nazi is him -- naziism americans could have had access to a lot of information. 15,000 articles to our website, we put a number of them to our interactive map. the indianapolis star in september of 1935. there is-page news coverage of the nuremberg laws. i will show one more from nevada, which speaks to an adjusting challenge which we thought about. bit -- a reno nevada
6:07 pm
nevada paper. robert is renouncing his and that he won't return to germany. missed treatment of jews ends. there had been no story of persecution coming out of nazi germany. or we may consider physical mistreatment virtually terminated. that speaks to one of the central challenges of this exhibition. we know what nazi is him ultimately leads. 1930's --n the the things we try to address. that's one of the reasons we see such a chronicle treatment.
6:08 pm
you see rallies in 1933 across the united states. marches by jewish communities, by labor organizations, by philadelphia in cleveland and new york and chicago. there are protests and movements to boycott german-made goods. to show that you supported boycotted germane -- german-made goods. even a matchbook saying for humanity sake. away, manyns right led by this man.
6:09 pm
, you seedon't see individual actions, rallies and protests. you don't see a sustained anti-nazi movement. we look at how u.s. government reacts early on. george messersmith is one. a favorite past time to attack jews. messersmith and others in the state department are receiving petitions like this from all over the country. many of these petitions are not clear about what they are asking for. they just want some anti-not the declaration. died -- to be the
6:10 pm
ambassador in 1933, he tells authoritiese german are treating jews shamefully. i think what. thought fdr meant job to is it is his respect germany's national sovereignty. it's actually about multiple attacks on americans. brutal attacks on americans in 1933. number one on the agenda. the united states government at outside thinks it's
6:11 pm
their purview to protect the citizens of another nation. of course they know jews are .eing persecuted political opponents are being rounded up and sent to dock out. to -- one of the ways we want to get at the question on what was all minds, was to use public polling throughout the exhibition. we use polls throughout the exhibition to show america's concerns at home, later on you that asksany polls americans opinions about whether we should be letting in refugees.
6:12 pm
gallup is pulling in 1942, 1943. they believeans of the -- believe the stories of the atrocities. early on his deep concern about our own economy. you will see a poll that speaks to american isolationism. americans asked whether it was a .istake for the united states you see 70% of americans say yes. this is one of the ways we try to get the extent of our economic fears and their isolationism. in the depths of this depression , there are so much of what going on in the united states and the 19 -- early 1930's is
6:13 pm
about economics. i think that prevents americans from looking abroad as much as they might have. fdr's first term is so much about trying to with the country out of the depression through the new deal and foreign-policy concerns are not a priority at that point. whereare a few moments americans pay attention and debate a proper response. one of those moments is the question of whether they go to the olympic games. americans debate this for a couple of months throughout 1935. worded a little confusingly. should america refuse to participate in the limping games, which are to be held in germany, we reproduce these
6:14 pm
polls exactly. 43% of americans saying we should refuse to participate. go.57% saying we should the people who get caught in the middle in this debate are african-american athletes. there have been african-american athletes participating in the 1932 games in los angeles. there are 18 african-american athletes on the team. owens going to win three gold medals. . the new york amsterdam news and african-american newspaper writes an open letter to jesse owens and other athletes, saying if they want to strike a blow against racism here at home, then they have to protest by not going to the games.
6:15 pm
what you see with an african-american community, jewish american communities is a divide on how to respond to nazi -- nazi is him -- nazi is m. others say the best way to m is medals. is of course it doesn't work out that way. what you see is the nazi propaganda machine has an explanation for everything. version some version of african-american -- they can spin
6:16 pm
anything anything that happens to serve their aims. the american olympic committee, who will then later be the head of the international of the committee. they have some deeply held anti-semitic ideas. what he articles -- what he argues his radical -- and that is coded language for jews pushing a boycott. and brundage ultimately wins the day. he goes over to germany to inspect and check whether jewish athletes are being treated fairly under the regime.
6:17 pm
he's never allowed to talk to a athlete without a nazi official present. find.ds what he wants to earliest policies were to segregate jews. jews couldn't swim in pools, jews couldn't train with non-jews. they affected jewish athletes who could have qualified. we try to round out the media landscape by showing american newsreels here. even during the depression americans went to the movies. movies were relatively cheap. before the movies you would watch digests. the news of the week. what we are showing is the extent of american isolationism. american stay out of the spanish civil war.
6:18 pm
they stay out of china and the war between china and japan. we are seeing in some of these newsreels the extent of anti-immigrant sentiment. >> if we had refused admission to the foreign-born in our midst they will see no prominent to harassers. >> there arguably the height of anti-send his him here. one of the people who give voice to this more than anyone else is the radio priest. waysee him in a popular ranting against jewish communism, questioning the
6:19 pm
loyalty of jews and others. you see that some -- see that in some of the newsreel footage we show in the exhibition. >> new york turns out 18,000 strong freight glimpse at detroit's famous radio partner. you in the name of christianity. which loved america. i will ask you if you will rise to restoreces america to the americans. >> there is some support for nazis. organizations.g
6:20 pm
this man who fashions himself as the american furor. a lot of american ethnics who support the nazi party, this is for membership of the german-american bund, asking people to verify and declare. i am free from jewish or colored blood. the story we are telling here is about trying to set up summer camps across the united states. town thatone small stands up against the german-american, they don't want in german-american bund camp their town. every resident got this flyer in their mailbox. ultimately the residents of this tiny town are able to keep the bund out. in largely due to the efforts of this man.
6:21 pm
inongregationalist minister south berry, who gives a stirring anti-nazi sermon. he calls nazism and anti-christian menace. describes it as agents of the antichrist. residents need to keep nancy's out because nazism is unchristian and un-american. the point there is americans for the 1930's, they weren't always a threatding nazism as to jews. there are it as a threat to democracy. the next section really focuses on how americans rep -- americans responded to a refugee crisis. in nazis invade austria march of 1938.
6:22 pm
american start to realize americans start to have greater territorial ambitions. nationwide violent attack across germany and the former austria. that is arguably the biggest in this 12 nazism year period. they talk about the paper walls that kept immigrants out. we were motivated and interested in a letter to eleanor roosevelt. your government has erected a wall of bureaucratic measures to keep measures out. can't you do something about this? this is kind of our take on this paper wall. you see ship tickets, passports, letters of sponsorship with refugee organizations, affidavits of americans
6:23 pm
guaranteeing their support or sponsorship for immigrants. all this paperwork that they had to line up in order to make it to the united states. we operated under this immigration system. there is no system for refugees. jews who want to make it in or anybody who wants to make it out of nazi germany needs to navigate the immigration system. it's also quite expensive. you see all these examples from trying totion navigate the app -- navigate the immigration system. as i said, it really is the biggest story, you see the biggest productions of american
6:24 pm
newspapers across the country, showing headlines from november of 1938, the los angeles examiner says jews will be wiped out unless evacuated by democracies. this was huge front-page news. you see a full-page spread, of-page spread in november 1938. americans are shocked by this nationwide attack where thousands of jews are rounded up. nearly 100 are murdered. fdr speaks out about kristallnacht in the aftermath of the attack. this is the handwritten speech he gave the week after kristallnacht. could scarcely believe
6:25 pm
such things could occur in the 20th century civilization. fdr does speak out. the united states was -- united states recalled the ambassador to germany. our government response is limited. whether he would recommend relaxation of immigration restrictions. says that ise fdr not in contemplation with the system. he speaks out against kristallnacht. ambassador.he he extends or waives the abouttion date for 12,000. will to no political politicize the immigration system in response to kristallnacht.
6:26 pm
congress tries in a way pre-at you see is robert wagner from knownrk introduce a bill as the wagner rogers bill. outside of the immigration quota system. public is pulled about this in 1939. you see two thirds of americans are against letting in refugee children. eleanor roosevelt was the champion of this bill. she said other countries are taking their share. she writes this telegram to fdr singing about the passage of the child. responds, all right for you to support child refugee bills.
6:27 pm
he never does speak out on behalf of this bill. the opponents are led by robert reynolds. and its democratic white southerners in congress and the --ate who are deeply the deeply anti-immigration. that american children have their own problem. the contrast of these two poles is at the heart of the exhibition. november 1938, americans are asked what they think. you see 94% of americans disapprove. that same week they are then asked should we allow a larger number of exiles in. is one of these essential questions.
6:28 pm
why is there such a gap between disapproval and a will to action whathalf of the victims? you see here, a graphic representation of the immigration system. how many immigration visas could have been issued to people living under nazi germany. ach person represents thousand visas that could have been issued in gray. what you see is a number of visas that were actually issued. one of the essential questions is what more could have been done. certainly more could have been done under existing law that were issued. these visas issued? there is no singular explanation. certainly the extent of the great depression matters. there is a lot of rhetoric about
6:29 pm
immigrants taking jobs from americans, the death of anti-semitism in the united states certainly mattered. you see here if you added up all these visas, you are talking about nearly 120,000 visas that could have been issued that what't during this period you see is the waiting list. each suitcase represents 5000 people on the waiting list. you have a three year waiting list. for germany alone, for the country of germany alone is over 300,000. an issue in every year except
6:30 pm
for one they weren't. table wenteractive tell the stories of nine individuals that were trying to make it out of nazi controlled europe and the americans trying to sponsor them. thise trying to show how restrictive immigration system influences real people. story of how an frank's father tries to make his way getting visas for his wife and two daughters. this story is an interesting one that shows both the limits or the challenges of people trying to immigrate. her father passed away already. she has no siblings. hermother decides to send under the care of german jewish children's aid alone as an unaccompanied child to the
6:31 pm
united states. in see her and her mother hrs from a museum's collection that her and her mother had made. she has to collect paperwork. she is forced by the nazis, as all were to make a more identifiable as jews. she collect her passport where she is listed as stateless. shields medley makes it on a family in the free landers. you see her with her foster family.
6:32 pm
her mother did not have a andsor in the united states ultimately supported to the east in 1932 and murdered. part of a jewish school class. this is a picture of the class either from 1939 or 1940. know, two girls from this class survived the holocaust. is how this restrictive immigration system influenced real people and how those americans who made the wassion to sponsor refugees challenging to the bureaucracy they try to navigate. we show stories of individual americans who took extraordinary risks. these are outliers, these are people who went against the
6:33 pm
mainstream, risked their lives at time or pushed the boundary of the law or even broke the law to aid refugees. one story we tell is a couple of philadelphia. he's an attorney, she's a homemaker. toy decide to go to vienna rescue 50 children. they get an affidavit and sponsorship from people in their own community in philadelphia. they work in conjunction with the state department. the ultimate lego to be in -- to parents toconvince put children in their care. and they foster 50 children and bring them back to philadelphia. some americans who took this extraordinary risk and to think about what was in the realm of the possible.
6:34 pm
as congress is unwilling to pass a bill to aid refugee children. individual -- the action the individual taken impact the individual in ways that the government is feeling to take an action on behalf of refugees. the first half of the exhibition you're looking at the early years before world war ii begins. are trying to ask them questions in the exhibition. what do americans know about nazism early on? how do they respond to the collapse of the democracy? section of thehe exhibition, our americans debating the responsibility responding to this refugee crisis? what action are individual americans trying to what is the government doing or not doing on behalf of shift oncehere is a europe goes to war and after
6:35 pm
germany invades poland. their reluctance to let in refugees remain. now they are going to start debating, should we go to war? >> this was the first of two parts at a look at americans during the hot cost. >> one of george's 14 congressional districts will send new representation to the u.s. house of representatives. an employee for more than 30 years was elected to represent georgia's sixth district. she defeated republican incumbent karen. ms. mcbath talks about how the shooting death of her son in 2012 spurred her to run for office.
6:36 pm
2012 my son was killed in what people have considered the national lobby case. i started questioning our leaders. why were these tragedies continuing to happen? as i continue to ask more questions, why were our legislators not willing to keep our family safe, there was silence, there was complicity. what i began to understand is no one was willing to do anything. f the reason i stood up and the reason i'm taking action. what i've noticed over and over again is karen handel and other republican legislators refuse to do anything about this unnecessary gun violence. in the end the only thing i am beholden to are the people i talk to every single day and my son's legacy. i'm running because i'm a mother on a mission. to represent everyone.
6:37 pm
new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. films can watch archival on public affairs each week on our series real america. saturday at 10 p.m. and sunday at 4 p.m. eastern on american history tv. here's a quick look at one of our recent programs. >> the mission was conducted -- when apollo's goals were first set, president kennedy said, whatever mankind must undertake, all men must freely share. apollo eight remains true to that pledge. on television it gave us a new look at the moon. direct from the deep space antenna in madrid, these
6:38 pm
pictures were passed along to the eurovision networks. to london, paris, rome, scandinavia. it was seen in warsaw and moscow. of the world, winner of the nobel prize of peace, dr. ralph bunch. apollo eight and those astronauts have given to mankind a new and limitless perspective in the universe. and to the earth, and added in theon of proximity sewer system. the epic flight of apollo eight demonstrates that man now has the capability to soar as high and as far as his dreams may project. >> dr. ralph bunch of the united nations. >> ok, houston.
6:39 pm
the moon is essentially grey, no color. much like plaster of paris. the mission is dictated by launch windows, which open and close in long cycles. the date the apollo mission was determined billions of years ago on the celestial clock set in motion. bob hope reported to vietnam reactions. >> the men i have spent christmas with have a lot on their minds. the three astronauts rubbed off on a lot of guys. everybody grew a little tall. will be months before we know how much is meant to all of us. bob hope. it was christmas on earth and on
6:40 pm
the moon. >> you can watch archival films in their entirety on our weekly series real america. saturday at 10 p.m. and sunday at 4 p.m. eastern. >> next, on american history tv, a holocaust survivor recalls his experiences as a young boy after the nazi's occupied his hometown in czechoslovakia. he talks about his deportation to the auschwitz concentration camp. his friendship with a fellow prisoner, and a last-minute maneuver by a man who spared his life. this event was part of the greensburg immunity high


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on