114 Comments

Don’t forget that the refugees onboard the St. Lewis were also turned away from Canada.The shame is also ours. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized on behalf of Canada in 2018 for what that is worth which is slightly more than not apologizing but not by much.

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Charlie, I too have been unable to put aside the facts and images of the documentary. The comparison to today's climate with the demonization of the "other", the fear of being replaced and the outright hatred for political gain is clear. Among the many stories of individuals and families portrayed in the series will remain with me, but the story of that ship and its passengers will never be forgotten.

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Speaking of NRO, I cancelled my subscription when various writers there decided to try to thread the (revenue) needle by shifting from being Never-Trumpists to anti anti-Trumpists. However, I did miss the inimitable Kevin D. Williamson’s writing. So in moment of weakness, I recently ponied up an excessive $50 to read the moribund rag for a year, only to discover that KDW has now jumped ship to Jonah Goldberg’s and David French’s substack The Dispatch (of which I’m a sometime subscriber until they, too, manage to piss me off). I just might have to petition NRO for a refund …

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founding

Thank you Charlie for writing about Ken Burns work and writing about pieces of our history. Thank you Mona for suggesting the series.

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Oct 1, 2022·edited Oct 1, 2022

You're right, Charlie. I binged the series earlier this week. It was as sobering as it was moving. Ken Burns and his team are a national treasure. I was familiar with the story of the St. Louis, but putting it into a context and telling how it ended were vital additions. The relevance to our situation today was obvious, and so was the message, "never again". We don't hear that enough these days, and need to be reminded.

Jan Karski was one of my professors at Georgetown. We knew that he had been in the Polish Home Army during the War, and that alone made being in his presence an honor, but he was a modest man and the full story of his heroism didn't come out until a decade or more later. It was a thrill to hear and see him speak again, and to be reminded of the recognition that he received before he died.

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Charlie, I watched this and encouraged my friends to also. One said he could not bring himself to, could not stand to see the suffering he knew he would see. I knew many things about the Holocaust, but also learned many things.....

...it has made me realize that people are people, throughout history, and serving our own self-interests are and have been priorities.

We can hope that as more and younger generations replace us, the integration of people around the world that is already starting, along with the expanse of information that is reaching everywhere will slowly eliminate or at least reduce to a very minimum the behaviors exposed in the tragedies of the Holocaust. And also the same ignorance that continues to drive many of us today.

I am a white guy, a boomer, and I look forward to seeing a multi ethnic world. I for one do not want to see a future USA run by a bunch of old white crackers.

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Re: Immigrants

I was privileged to grow up in a family that included a live-in maternal grandmother and great aunt from Ireland.

My paternal grandmother was from the Danish West Indies.

This Baby Boomer learned geography by listening to those ancients tell stories of their extended families. And those of my friends' extended families.

Unlike the ethnically diverse NYC neighborhoods, my paper route included immigrant and first generation Marks (German Jewish), Hodaps (Hungarian), Peverly (English), Collins (Irish), Lorello (Italian), Diaz (Cape Verdean), Pecula (Czech), Rosbitski (Polish), Touravich (Russian) to name a few.

All took great pride in their ethnicity; more than willing to vamp on their ethnic backgrounds.

As an adult, I traveled for business and was amazed that most white people in the Midwest and South, when asked about their ancestry would say "I'm an American."

They had a vague idea of their European ancestry, or even downplayed it. This was the 1980s through the 20teens.

My point is that three or four generations away from the immigrant ancestor's arrival in the U.S., most Americans don't give a fiddler's fuque about their own bloodline connecting to the aspirations of current immigrants.

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Well, a lot of the most vehement anti-immigrants in my area (the Philly burbs near South Jersey) are descended from the ethnically diverse peoples you cite, and are acutely aware of that fact. They just want to pull the ladder up behind them, and continually moan about how *their* forebears allegedly came the “right” way, that is, via Ellis Island.

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Sep 30, 2022·edited Sep 30, 2022

First, migrants and refugees are not the same thing, either legally or morally. The Jews fleeing Nazi Germany were not the victims of economic depression, a random breakdown of law and order or even a civil war. They were being explicitly targeted for persecution and eventual murder based on their ethnicity.

Today many if not most migrants claim political asylum even though they wouldn't qualify for such treatment under traditional standards. That has added to the confusion and vitriol surrounding the issue.

But even (Indeed, especially) if migrants, UN sponsored refugees and legitimate asylees are conflated, neither the US nor other Western nations can afford - either politically or financially - to absorb every foreigner whose quality of life prospects in his or her home country happens to be intolerably poor. The number of such people is likely to grow exponentially in coming decades. We need to develop global strategies to deal with what is likely to be a massive population shift. https://thedispatch.com/p/a-solution-to-the-coming-global-migration

That doesn't mean the cap for actual refugees and asylees shouldn't be high here, or that legal conventional immigration shouldn't be significantly increased - perhaps subject to employment or educational priorities. We need to be realistic but that is no reason to let policy be dictated by spite.

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The St Louis & Cuba reminded me of the "remain in Mexico" policy, but with a worse ending. I've said it before and I'll say it again: our national culture revolves around decadent indifference and ignoring the problems we could easily fix. The past/present immigration situations are great examples. The growing wealth inequality situation is another. Rich Americans are the worst people on the face of this earth. They have the power to fix everything but they'd rather own 5 properties and a million in stocks.

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As a Jewish woman whose grandfather emigrated to US in 1912 when he was 11 I forced myself to watch the Burns program. As much as I had already known about the Holocaust and how the US and denied entry of those who were fleeing unspeakable horrors it still is so heart breaking to learn even more details. I have been to the US Holocaust museum, the Museum of The Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, the LA Holocaust Museum and the Ann Frank House in Amsterdam and still there are things I didn’t know. While I am glad by my accident of birth to be born in the US I am appalled by the way we treated the indigenous Indians, the internment of Japanese Americans, how we have marginalized black Americans and other minorities and the continuing xenophobic behavior today of people fleeing horrific dangerous countries. Unfortunately I have a pessimistic view of our current civilization. There just aren’t enough people who see beyond the end of their own noses and as such we are barreling towards unthinkable consequences.

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I was in the sixth grade when the Israelis captured Eichmann and it prompted my father and uncle to talk about their experiences during the war. My uncle was with Eisenhower when the US Army liberated Ohrdruff, a satellite camp of Buchenwald. It was the western Allies first encounter with the camps. He said Eisenhower was so appalled by what he saw he made everyone from the nearby town tour the place under armed guard. My uncle was part of that guard so he saw it all too. Eisenhower wanted as many Americans as possible to witness what they'd found (he probably thought it was one of a kind at that point) and he made a pass available to any soldier who wanted to go see. My father was with an ordnance unit seconded to the Brits in North Africa and he snatched up the opportunity to go see his brother but what he found there changed him in ways he hadn't expected. They told me what they'd seen, and said the day would come when people would deny it had ever happened and they wanted me to know that it did indeed happen and could indeed happen again.

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Every popular sentiment can be overdone. Fanboy worship of our SOF forces post 9/11 is one example. "The Greatest Generation" IMO is another. Yeah my parents were great alright. Great individuals. I've grave reservations about applying that moniker generally.

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founding

"Arizona’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, echoes (TFG), calling immigrants “rapists” coming the across the border."

If TFG has a chance, perhaps he should make her his AG so that she can draft a law to send convicted rapists with an American birth certificate "across the border" to join their brethren. I'm certain Ginni's husband would find a way to make such a law consistent with the Founders' intent, perhaps by citing the precedent of that great moral authority, Father Coughlin.

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Re Cannon - I remember reading a couple of times that Cannon technically has no right to the case, that the jurisdiction for ruling on Trump's possession of secret documents belongs in a DC court. Can the DOJ move everything out of her hands?

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I just think of the irony that Cannon is naturalized -- Cuban ethnic from Cali, Columbia.

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That I did not know. Should have stayed in Cuba - she could have gone far bowing to dictators. The little idiot thinks Trump is her key to what? Being his latest mistress? Apparently her rulings besides being totally lacking in legality have typos and seem to be written by an amateur, and have turned a majority of the legal profession against her. Little idiot may wind up doing traffic court cases in Alaska if she keeps bowing to Trump.

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She's no idiot, but foolish and perhaps lacking sensitivity to democratic traditions.

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Gini, Gini, quite the "spinny"

How does your garden grow?

With cockeyed plans and rebel bands

And a Supreme husband planted beside you!

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founding

I watched the episode on the St. Louis last night. It was painful and horrific at the same time. What made it worse is people do not learn. “Never forget” is only a feel good slogan for most.

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