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“The U.S. and the Holocaust” is a new three-part, six-hour documentary coming to PBS this fall. In advance of this television event, WSRE PBS will present a free 40-minute preview screening of the film followed by a panel discussion, led by Pensacola's Steve Nissim, at the Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m.

The first 100 to register will receive a copy of the book “Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe” by Rebecca Erbelding. Erbelding is a historian, educator, curator and archivist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and she served as a historical advisor and an on-camera expert in the film.

The documentary series, directed and produced by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein of Florentine Films, explores America’s response to one of history’s greatest humanitarian crises.

Inspired in part by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s “Americans and the Holocaust” exhibition and supported by its historical resources, the film examines the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany in the context of global antisemitism and racism, the eugenics movement in the United States and race laws in the American south. The series, written by Geoffrey Ward, sheds light on what the U.S. government and American people knew and did as the catastrophe unfolded in Europe.

“At the center of our narrative is the moving and inspiring first-hand testimony of witnesses who were children in the 1930s,” said Botstein. “They share wrenching memories of the persecution, violence and flight that they and their families experienced as they escaped Nazi Europe and somehow made it to America.”

Nissim’s grandparents and four of their children were killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. His father and another son survived. Following the film screening, he will lead a panel discussion among other children of Holocaust survivors along with Rabbi Joel Fleekop of Temple Beth El and Rabbi David Cohen-Henriquez of B’nai Israel Synagogue. 

The series in its entirety will premiere Sept. 18, 19 and 20 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on WSRE PBS, at and on the PBS Video app.

FUNDING FORTHE U.S AND THE HOLOCAUSTWAS PROVIDED BY: Bank of America; 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.