To The Editor:
Regarding the recent commentary by Rep. Jeff Van Drew, “Filmmaker tries to vilify America, which ended the Holocaust”:
Congressman Van Drew was correct to criticize the biased PBS documentary film “The US and the Holocaust” by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein last December.
That film distorts true history by falsely blaming only conservatives for America’s shortcomings in the past. It fails to mention the many failures of “progressive” Americans, including Democrats, socialists, Communists, pacifists and others on the left. It also fails to blame American Jewish leaders.
The 1985 book “Were We Our Brothers’ Keepers” by Haskel Lookstein documents the many failures of American Jewish leaders during the 1930s and 1940s.
“In the Garden of Beasts” (2011) by Erik Larson documents how Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt’s top two immigration officials hated Jews when they visited Atlantic City in the early 1930s. They later kept out thousands of German Jews who qualified for admission under existing quotas. The “progressive” New York Times systematically kept news of the Holocaust off its front pages.
As German historian Goetz Aly often points out, the biggest cause of antisemitism and the Holocaust was socialism. It changes the biblical sin of envy into a “social justice” virtue. It promotes the idea that government should take from those with “too much” and give to those with “too little.” A nation that embraces these socialist ideas usually targets successful minorities like Jews. The word “Nazi” is short for “National Socialist.” New Deal Democrats in America embraced socialist ideas in the 1930s.
The PBS Holocaust film also falsely blames traditional America for racism, Jim Crow laws and lynchings. It fails to mention that those evils were at first limited to white Democrats in the Confederate South after the Civil War. They went national much later when “progressive” Democrats like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt (with the help of Hollywood movies like “Birth of a Nation” and “Gone With The Wind”) used them to win national elections.
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director