LISTEN: Why British Jews Loved the Queen, and How the U.S. Failed Anne Frank

Haaretz Weekly
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Security officers guard the gates of Balmoral Castle, amid concerns over Britain Queen Elizabeth's health, in Balmoral, Scotland, Britain on Thursday.
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Haaretz Weekly

When Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein began work on the documentary series “The US and the Holocaust” together with acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns, they, like other Americans, shared the common belief that America only rescued a small fraction of Europe’s Jews because it was unaware of the systematic Nazi extermination in real time.

But, as they tell Allison Kaplan Sommer on Haaretz Weekly, an abundance of research shows that this myth has little basis. Among those “desperately” trying to seek refuge in the United States - and failing - was the family of Anne Frank, one of the Holocaust’s most famous victims.

“We could have done so much more,” said Novick. “And that idea is very much in conflict with Americans’ sense that we hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

Earlier on the show, Haaretz English editor-in-chief Esther Solomon reviews the life and legacy of Elizabeth II, and explains why so many British Jews revered the monarchy: “There is a strong connection between the welfare of a minority community like the Jewish community, and a stable political entity, of which the queen was the ultimate symbol.”

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