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What Were We Watching? Americans’ Responses to Nazism through Cinema, Radio, and Media

Public Program
New Bedford Theatre, 1934. Spinner Publications

New Bedford Theatre, 1934. Spinner Publications

Stories about World War II and the persecution of Europe’s Jews were a constant presence in American movie theaters and living rooms throughout the 1930–40s. Award-winning films such as Mrs. Miniver, The Great Dictator, and Casablanca shaped Americans’ understanding of the Nazi threat, while newsreels and radio programs offered a brief glimpse into world events and the range of opinions on the war effort. Join us to learn how Hollywood and leaders in entertainment and government battled for the hearts and minds of Americans.

Laurent Bouzereau, Director and Producer of the Netflix series Five Came Back
Daniel Greene, Curator of the Americans and the Holocaust special exhibition, US Holocaust Memorial Museum
David Weinstein, Author of The Eddie Cantor Story: A Jewish Life in Performance and Politics and “Why Sarnoff Slept: NBC and the Holocaust”*

Lisa Leff, Acting Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of History at American University

*Weinstein, David. 2007. “Why Sarnoff Slept: NBC and the Holocaust.” In NBC: America’s Network, edited by Michele Hilmes, 98­-116. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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