Filmmakers Ken Burns, Sarah Botstein to deliver annual Keene State Holocaust lecture

·2 min read

Sep. 7—Filmmakers Ken Burns and Sarah Botstein will discuss their latest documentary, "The U.S. and The Holocaust," as part of the Keene State College Holocaust Memorial Lecture, the school announced in a news release Wednesday.

The three-part film, co-directed with Lynn Novick, premieres Sept. 18-20 at 8 p.m. on PBS. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room of the Young Student Center, the release states. People who plan to attend are asked to register online at

"The Holocaust is an event in human history that raises fundamental questions about what it means to be human and how or whether we hold ourselves accountable to our neighbors in times of crisis," Kate DeConinck, director of Keene State's Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, said in the release. "In that sense, I hope that this film — and our conversation with the filmmakers — will raise critical awareness about the dangers of hatred and antisemitism both historically and today."

Burns, a Walpole resident, has collaborated for years with Botstein and Novick, and collectively their work includes acclaimed documentaries such as "Hemingway," "The Vietnam War," "Prohibition" and "Jazz."

Their latest film, which took seven years to finish, "explores America's response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history and how it tested the ideals of democracy," according to the news release.

The Cohen Center has hosted the Holocaust Memorial Lecture since 1998, according to the release. The annual series "invites scholars, writers, and activists to help listeners remember and think in new ways about the Holocaust and its relevance in the world today," the release states.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.