What is your reaction to Ken Burns's documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust"?

I wanted to know if you are watching the Ken Burns documentary series on PBS titled The U.S. and the Holocaust. It appears to dovetail with your War Against Humanity series, but with more of a focus on the reaction of the United States to the growing persecution of the Jews culminating in the Holocaust. I know you covered the America First Committee in a special episode, as well as addressing the situation in America in Between Two Wars. If you have watched the documentary series, do you have any opinions about it from a historical perspective?

Didn’t watch it. I watched “Civil War”, and hated it. I watched “Baseball”, and absolutely loathed it. Ken Burns turned very quickly (immediately after the excellent “Brooklyn Bridge”) into the worst kind of historian, the “and this is still true today” social reactionary. (And I mean ‘reactionary’ in it’s actual meaning, not what it has come to mean politically.)

I read a review of this one, and the (entirely positive review of) film(s) end up as a ‘warning’ about… Trump, and that all white people are probable murderers, and sometime soon. No thank you. A race war a-comin’? F* you, Ken.

I don’t need a literal fundraiser for the Left telling me what to think (and I’m a life-long Democrat, thank you very much.) If you read my stuff on the TimeGhost reddit pages, I don’t pull any punches about the US response to what was known (and known fairly early) about the Germans murdering Jews in their hundreds of thousands, and eventual millions.

Breckenridge Long is apparently singled out for criticism, but Cordell Hull (who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945, by the way) - was his co-conspiratoritor, and has ultimate responsibility entirely - seems (from the review) to not be pointed to. FDR was the boss. He’s responsible too - he was given ample evidence (for instance December 8, 1942 by Stephen Wise) and passed it off to Hull - knowing full well what would happen to the question of Jewish refugees – that is, nothing. The same evidence had been presented to the Secretary of State (Hull) in August 1942, to no response whatsoever.

But trying to shoehorn that into the present day is just ridiculous. It was a different time. People were different. Declaring that people now are just like people then is the reasoning of a child.

So, no, and I’m not going to have Ken Burns lecture me - again. Anybody who moves up release of a film by a year to try and influence the US Congressional elections is simply not to be trusted.


Fuck off republican scum.

and LOLing at ‘social reactionary’ coming from the republican fascist.

I know his Civil War documentary is controversial for a variety of reasons (there is literally a book of essays by historians complaining about it), but why did you hate his documentary about baseball so much?

Because he is a rethuglican.

@jacktyunmen I wasn’t aware Republicans had developed a hatred for baseball; just the NFL.

Given that liking sports now is gay and woke now, I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned against baseball.

What the hell are you talking about?

That is the correct reaction towards learning about what conservative “intellectuals” talk about/hate.

  1. Baseball is a continuity - with relatively minor changes (regardless of the puritists) it is the same game my father, grandfather, and great grandfather knew. My father took me to minor league games (we lived far away from any major league games), and we talked about it - why this player stood where he did, why a pitcher was good or not. It’s a continuation. Why the heck tell it in strict chronological order?
    (well, besides laziness.)

  2. He spent an entire episode on how terrible it was to be a Boston Red Sox fan – this being before the Red Sox did what the Yankees had been doing for decades and buying pennants and world series by paying players better than everybody else.
    F* you, man. The Red Sox played the same game, they just had the misfortune - as did the entire AL East - to be up against the Yanks. Other teams were too, but they didn’t get an expensive documentary made about them.

  3. There were two themes - class warfare and racism. They come down to: Evil rich owners kept the players down and Evil rich white owners kept black players down. That’s certainly true before the late 1940s, but Mr. Burns kept flogging it for the rest of the documentary. And flogging it, and flogging it. If there were lots of black players, but few black head coaches – racism. If there were few black owners - racism. And there you have it - a beautiful game that generations have loved is something to be ashamed of… unless you’re a Boston Red Sox fan.

  4. How about a different organization? How about taking each team and describing its makeup, behavior, location, success, failure. Take one show to describe the 1800’s-1918. Then the next 6 on teams. One on breaking the color barrier - with concentration on Jackie Robinson (who was a far more interesting man than just “he broke the color barrier”) and Branch Ricky; a stop by the “antitrust exemption”, and the rest of that episode on the “Reserve Clause” - why it was bad, Kurt Flood’s role, Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally’s role too - and why it took not quite 100 years to abolish it.

Then one last episode on… pitching and hitting. What makes someone good at it? How did Hank Aaron hit 755 HRs, but no more than 47 a season? How did Sandy Koufax manage to pitch the way he could? What’s a knuckleball - how does it work? How do you throw a slider?

In other words, why couldn’t he make a documentary about baseball? That’s why I hate it. It’s not about baseball, it’s about Ken Burns’ politics. He doesn’t love baseball, he loves the Red Sox.

1 Like

And a mention of the Negro Baseball League as well. Very underrated.

All I can do is repeat what I’ve read. I don’t watch TV and had no idea of the show in question. Responsibility in my book of history, only Jewish human beings that were the very talented, highly known intellectuals or very rich gain entry without interreference from our Immigration Department. The ordinary people were denied entry. We’re filled to brim with Jews which sounds very near to today’s political crying points. We knew what was to be and didn’t do a thing until liberation which made great copy by the Press. If I’m wrong about this, then ok. I’ll learn something new … again.