April 11, 2017: TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

BLACK & INVISIBLE

Nearly 70% of young, poor black men will be imprisoned at some point in their lives. Find out what happens when these “Invisible Men” re-enter society after incarceration.

 

AFTER THE LAST SURVIVOR

What happens when the last Holocaust Survivor passes and there is no one left bear witness to the worst genocide in mankind?  Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center takes on this disturbing truth.

 

PATRIOTISM & DISSENT

It’s what part 2 of “The Great War” is all about tonight as America enters the fray, an army drafted, and how dissent was silenced.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS.'

NEARLY 70% OF YOUNG POOR BLACK MEN WILL BE I AM PRISONED AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIVES.

IN MOMENTS, THE STORE ISZ OF THESE INVISIBLE MEN AFTER THEY GET OUT.

> WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE LAST HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR DIES?

IT'S AN INTERVIEW YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS AND ONE YOU'LL NEVER FORGET.

> AND AS PATRIOTISM SWEPT THE NATION, AN ARMY ROSE AND FREE SPEECH AND DISSENT WERE SILENCED.

A SNEAK PEEK AT PART 2 OF PITTSBURGH STEELERS'S THE GREAT WAR.

ALL THAT AND MORE AHEAD AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪ ♪

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY -- FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS ALSO PROVIDED BY THE JPB FOUNDATION AND THE FORD FOUNDATION.

THERE'S A BLOT GOING ON AROUND THE TRI-STATE SO LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE.

DESPITE RUMORS, DONALD TRUMP, JR. WILL NOT BE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK IN 2018.

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, THE PRESIDENT'S SON PUT DOWN ALL SPECULATION THAT HE MIGHT CHALLENGE GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO FOR HIS SEAT, SAYING, QUOTE, I AM NOT RUNNING IN 2018.

QUOTE, THAT PUTS THAT TO REST.

ACROSS THE RIVER, TWO STATEN ISLANDERS WENT TO SEE THE MAYOR YESTERDAY AT A SATELLITE CITY HALL SET UP ACROSS THE HARBOR.

AND ACCORDING TO THE 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' MANY BIG DONORS ARE AVOIDING HIM AS WELL OF THE OF THE 892 PEOPLE WHO GAVE THE MAYOR THE MAXIMUM DONATION DURING HIS 2013 CAMPAIGN, JUST 142, OR 16%, HAVE MADE A CONTRIBUTION OF ANY SIZE TO HIS REELECTION CAMPAIGN.

AND A NEW REPORT SAYS THAT THE STATE'S PRISON INMATES ARE GETTING OLDER AND WITH THAT HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE RISING.

A REPORT RELEASED BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER FOUND THE NUMBER OF INMATES AGE 50 AND OLDER INCREASED 46% FROM 2007 TO 2016.

THE RISE OCCURRED AS THE STATE'S OVERALL INMATE POPULATION DECLINED OVER THE LAST DECADE.

OF THOSE BEHIND BARS, THE CHANCE OF THEM GOING BACK TO PRISON IS VERY HIGH, ALMOST 65%. BUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THE 35% WHO DON'T GO BACK TO PRISON, ESPECIALLY BLACK MEN?

AS PART OF OUR ONGOING SERIES CHASING THE DREAM, POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY IN AMERICA, WE FOCUS ON HOW AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS MANAGE TO FIND PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS, OFTEN BY HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT UNTIL THEY CAN REMOVE THE STIGMA OF INCARCERATION.

THE ASSOCIATE VICE-PRESIDENT OF STRATEGIC POLICY AND PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCED THIS PERSONALLY.

A FORMER LEADER IN THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY, FORBES HAS BEEN FREE FROM PRISON FOR 30 YEARS AND SAW HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS TO ELIMINATE THE STIGMA OF INCARCERATION.

HIS NEW BOOK, INVISIBLE MEN, A CONTEMPORARY SLAVE NARRATIVE IN THE ERA OF MASS INCARCERATION, HOPES TO GIVE THESE INVISIBLE MEN A VOICE.

HE JOINS ME NOW.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I REALLY APPRECIATE THIS.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

FIRST TO GIVE THE AUDIENCE AN UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR STORY, TELL US QUICKLY HOW YOU ARE, HOW IT IS YOU CAME TO BE IN PRISON AND WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU GOT OUT.

OKAY.

I GREW UP IN CALIFORNIA, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

I WAS AS A TEENAGER TERRORIZED BY THE POLICE.

SO, I EVENTUALLY JOINED THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY.

I WAS IN THE PARTY TWO YEARS.

I WAS RECRUITED INTO THE PARTY, GOT WOUNDED, A COLLEAGUE WAS KILLED DURING AN OPERATION.

SO, I BECAME A FUGITIVE.

I WAS A FUGITIVE FOR THREE YEARS.

AND THEN WHEN I TURNED MYSELF IN, I WAS CONVICTED OF FELONY MURDER AND --

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN THIS HAPPENED?

I WAS 25.

WOW, OKAY.

WHEN IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

FUGITIVE FOR THREE YEARS, WHEN I TURNED MYSELF IN I WAS CONVICTED OF FELONY, MURDER AND WAS SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS AND DID FOUR YEARS 8 MONTHS 9 DAYS.

AND WHEN I GOT OUT OF PRISON, I WENT BACK TO COLLEGE AND FINISHED MY UNDERGRADUATE WORK AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY.

THEN I CAME TO NEW YORK AND WENT TO GRADUATE SCHOOL AT NYU.

DID MY MASTER'S DEGREE IN URBAN PLANNING AND I'VE BEEN AN URBAN PLANNER IN NEW YORK CITY SINCE 1989.

TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE.

WHAT WAS THAT LIKE COMING FROM BEING IN PRISON?

DID YOU JUST SMOOTHLY TRANSITION TO BEING A STUDENT OR WHAT WERE THE STUMBLING BLOCKS FOR YOU?

IT'S VERY COMFORTABLE IN TERMS OF BEING A STUDENT BECAUSE SAN FRANCISCO STATE HAD A PRETTY OPEN POLICY.

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, THE PROFESSORS THERE AND ADMINISTRATION WERE VERY OPEN IN TERMS OF MY BACKGROUND.

BUT THE DIFFICULTY OBVIOUSLY IN TERMS OF TRAVELING THROUGH THE SYSTEM, IN TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES IT'S ALMOST AN IMPOSSIBLE FEAT.

WELL, INTERESTING, BECAUSE THIS IS A REALLY POWERFUL BOOK.

BUT IN THE TITLE, A CONTEMPORARY SLAVE NARRATIVE, AN ERA OF MASS INCARCERATION.

I'M WONDERING ARE YOU USING SLAVE AS A METAPHOR OR DO YOU MEAN IT LITERALLY?

I MEAN IT LITERALLY.

THE 13th CLAUSE SAYS IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF A CRIME YOU WILL BE A SLAVE WHEN YOU'RE SENT TO PRISON.

WHEN YOU GO TO PRISON YOU LOSE YOUR NAME AND YOU GET A NUMBER.

YOU CAN BE PAID NOTHING AND IN DIFFERENT PRISONS YOU'RE PAID A SMALL SALARY.

I WAS PAID 15 CENTS AN HOUR WHEN I WORKED IN THE UPHOLSTERY FACTORY AT SAN QUENTIN.

IS THERE A FINANCIAL INCENTIVE, THEN, FOR THERE TO CONTINUE TO BE RECIDIVISM AS OPPOSED TO PEOPLE BEING ABLE TO READJUST AND MOVE ON WITH THEIR LIVES?

RIGHT, RIGHT.

I THINK THE THING IS THAT THE INVESTMENT THAT GOES INTO CONFINEMENT IS OVERWHELMING.

THE CAPITAL COST, MAYBE IT'S $80 BILLION IN TERMS OF THE PRISONS THAT HAVE BEEN BUILT.

THE AVERAGE COST TO KEEP SOMEONE IN PRISON IS AROUND 32, $35,000.

SOME PRISONS SPEND ASTRONOMICAL AMOUNTS LIKE 900,000.

I KNOW THAT --

OVER 18 YEARS, BUT YES.

THAT'S $50,000.

YEAH, I THINK THERE IS AN INCENTIVE BECAUSE MY LABOR PRODUCED PRODUCT THAT THE STATE SOLD TO OTHER STATE ENTITIES AT A TREMENDOUS PROFIT.

SO, WHEN YOU LEAVE PRISON, YOU RECEIVE NOTHING.

IN CALIFORNIA YOU GET $200 AND A PAT ON THE BACK AND A BUS TICKET IF YOU NEED IT.

SO, IF THERE IS THAT MUCH FINANCIAL INCENTIVE FOR THERE TO ALMOST BE THE CLICHE OF THE REVOLVING DOOR, ALTHOUGH IT'S NOT A CLICHE FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, HOW DO WE ADDRESS THIS, THEN?

I THINK WE NEED TO FOCUS ON REENTRY.

IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT.

LIKE I SAID, THERE'S NO INVESTMENT IN REENTRY.

YOU KNOW, I KIND OF PROPOSE THAT IF YOU GIVE SOME RESOURCES TO THE PERSON WHO HAS BEEN RELEASED, OVER A PERIOD OF YEAR, MAYBE FOUR OR FIVE YEARS, I THINK THEY SAY IF YOU STAY OUT FOR FIVE YEARS, YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO GO BACK.

AND IF IT PROVIDES THEM WITH HOUSING, PROVIDES THEM WITH STIPEND, EDUCATIONAL COSTS, TRAINING COSTS, THAT SORT OF THING, I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY.

IS IT AN INVESTMENT?

YES, IT'S AN INVESTMENT THAT WILL PROBABLY BE RETURNED ONCE THAT PERSON STARTS WORKING AGAIN AND PAYING TAXES.

YOU SORT OF TALKED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA FOR WHAT CAN BE DONE.

BUT I'M WONDERING DOES IT ALSO NEED TO BE LIKE A SUPPORT NETWORK?

DOES IT ALSO NEED TO BE SUPPORTING THE ENTIRE FAMILY NETWORK?

BECAUSE ONE OF THE THEMES THAT SEEMS TO COME OUT IS THAT PEOPLE GO OUT, THEY GO RIGHT BACK TO WHERE THEY WERE, AND, OF COURSE, WHATEVER SITUATION THEY WERE IN LEADS THEM RIGHT BACK TO PRISON.

I MEAN, THERE'S BRUCE WESTERN AT HARVARD HAS THESE THREE ITEMS THAT SOMEONE NEEDS TO BASICALLY OVERCOME IF THEY WANT TO ACTUALLY REMAIN FREE.

I THINK YOU NEED YOUR EDUCATION AND SKILLS IS ONE THING.

PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PART IS, TWO, THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

SOCIAL, POLITICAL, PROFESSIONAL NETWORK.

AND THE THIRD GOAL IS OBVIOUSLY TO REMOVE THE STIGMA OF INCARCERATION.

THAT'S THE EXTERNAL STIGMA SO THAT THE ISSUES OF THE BOX, YOU KNOW, DON'T RESTRICT YOU FROM GETTING A JOB.

THE INTERNAL STIGMA IS THE POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROME THAT YOU'RE SUFFERING FROM.

WHILE THAT IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT, I DO WANT TO CIRCLE BACK VERY QUICKLY ABOUT THE BOX.

FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW, SEVERAL STATES HAVE PROPOSED REMOVING THE HAVE YOU BEEN CONVICTED OF A FELONY BOX FROM JOB APPLICATIONS.

RIGHT.

HERE IN NEW YORK CITY THE CITY COUNCIL VOTED FOR IT.

HOW DO YOU SEE THAT WORKING AS A POSITIVE?

I THINK IT IS POSITIVE THAT IT'S BEEN RECOGNIZED.

BUT THE BIGGEST ISSUE IS THE EDUCATION OF THE HIRING MANAGER, YOU KNOW.

DOES THE PERSON WHO IS ACTUALLY HIRING YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT YOU'RE THE BEST QUALIFIED PERSON.

EVERY POSITION I'VE HAD UP UNTIL COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, THE BOX WAS THERE.

THE REASON WHY I WAS EMPLOYED WAS BECAUSE I WAS RECRUITED THROUGH MY SOCIAL NETWORK, THROUGH MY PROFESSIONAL NETWORK.

SO, I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT THERE IS SOME SORT OF EDUCATION THAT GOES ON FOR THE HIRING MANAGERS WITH REGARDS TO IS THIS PERSON ACTUALLY QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB.

SO THAT THERE IS SOME SORT OF A BLIND TEST THAT THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, LISTEN, FOREST FORBES, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO TELL US ABOUT THE BOOK AND, OF COURSE, ABOUT WHAT IT'S LIKE TO TRY AND REENTER INTO SOCIETY AFTER BEING IN PRISON.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

THANK YOU.

TREBLINKA, IS IT A WORD YOU KNOW?

IF YOU DON'T, YOU SHOULD.

AND YOU SHOULD NEVER FORGET IT.

TREBLINKA WAS AN EXTERMINATION CAMP BUILT BY THE NAZIS AND OPERATED FOR JUST 15 MONTHS.

BUT IN THAT TIME, AS MANY AS 1 MILLION PEOPLE WERE MURDERED IN ITS GAS CHAMBERS.

AT ITS PEAK BETWEEN 12 AND 15,000 PEOPLE WERE MURDERED EACH AND EVERY DAY.

THE DETAILS, HORRIFIC.

MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN SHAVED NAKED FORCED INTO GAS CHAMBERS THAT LOOKED LIKE SHOWERS, ORDERED TO RAISE THEIR ARMS UP SO THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF PEOPLE COULD FIT IN.

CHILDREN HAD THEIR HEADS BASH E-D.

ALL OF WHOM HAVE SINCE PASSED.

SAMUEL WAS THE LAST WITNESS TO TREBLINKA'S HORRORS.

HE DIED THIS PAST FEBRUARY, BUT NOT BEFORE BEARING WITNESS AND LEAVING HIS TESTIMONY TO WHAT HAPPENED INSIDE TREBLINKA'S GATES, ITS GAS CHAMBERS AND ITS CREMATORIUMS.

IT BEGS THE QUESTION.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ALL OF THE SURVIVORS, MOST OF THEM NOW IN THEIR 80s AND 90s HAVE ALL PASSED AND THERE ARE NO MORE FIRSTHAND WITNESSES TO THE GREATEST HORROR AND WORST GENOCIDE EVER TO OCCUR IN THE HISTORY OF MAN KIND?

JOINING ME NOW TO DISCUSS THAT, SAMUEL AND TREBLINKA'S LEGACY, IS RABBI MARVIN HIER, THE FOUNDER AND DEAN OF THE SIMON WISE ENTHAT WILL CENTER OF TOLERANCE.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US, WE APPRECIATE IT.

LET ME ASK YOU THIS TO START WITH.

DESPITE THE SAG ERRING DEGREE OF DESTRUCTION COMING OUT OF TREBLINKA, IT'S OFTEN REFERRED TO AS THE FORGOTTEN CAMP.

WHY IS THAT AND HOW COULD THAT BE?

WELL, THE MAIN REASON THAT IT IS SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS THE FORGOTTEN CAMP IS BECAUSE IT WAS LOCATED NOT FAR AWAY FROM THE CAMP THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS, AND THAT'S AUSCHWITZ, WHICH WAS THE LARGEST EXTERMINATION CAMP WHERE MORE THAN 1 MILLION 500,000 PEOPLE WERE MURDERED IN THE GAS CHAMBERS.

SO, BECAUSE TREBLINKA IS CLOSE TO AUSCHWITZ, MOST PEOPLE REFER TO THE NUMBER ONE CAMP, WHICH IS AUSCHWITZ BERKINAW AND TREBLINKA DOESN'T GET THE ATTENTION IT SHOULD GET.

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW GHASTLY THESE NUMBERS ARE AND THE STATISTICS AND THESE EVENTS, IT ALSO RAISES THE QUESTION OF WHETHER PEOPLE WANT TO IN SOME WAY TO FORGET ABOUT IT.

I'LL GIVE YOU AN ILLUSTRATION.

OUR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER DAVE BROWN, HIS GRANDMOTHER PERISHED AT TREBLINKA.

HE SAID THE NAME TO THIS DAY STILL TERRIFIES HIM.

YOU WONDER IF THAT IS THE PART OF IT, THE EXTENT OF THE DESTRUCTION.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

ABSOLUTELY.

I WAS AT TREBLINKA, AND I VISITED THERE AND I COULD TELL YOU THE FEELINGS WERE OVERWHELMING.

I MEAN, YOU SEE WHAT WENT ON HERE.

AND ANOTHER THING THAT SHOULD BE SAID ABOUT TREBLINKA IS THAT WHEN THE SONDERKOMMANDO BROKE OUT AND TRIED TO REVOLT, THE NAZIS WERE AFRAID THE SECRET WOULD GET OUT.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE TREBLINKA REVOLT.

WE HEARD ABOUT THE UPRISING, THE SMALL STAND ABOUT THOSE WHO HAD BEEN WALLED INTO THE WAUSAU GHETTO AND SAID WE ARE NOT GOING TO GO WITHOUT FIGHTING HERE.

BUT THE TREBLINKA REVOLT IS SOMETHING THAT I DON'T THINK MANY PEOPLE HAVE HEARD ABOUT.

TELL US ABOUT THAT.

THE TREBLINKA REVOLT TOOK PLACE MAINLY BECAUSE THE SONDERKOMMANDO, THOSE WERE THE PEOPLE THAT THE NAZIS FORCED TO ASSIST IN THE EXTERMINATION.

THEY CARRIED --THEY'RE THE ONES WHO CARRIED THE CORPS AFTER THEY WERE EXTERMINATED.

THEY NOTICED THAT THE TRANSPORTS TRANSPORTING JEWS TO THE CAMP HAD ALMOST CEASED, SLOW DOWN.

WHAT COULD THAT MEAN?

AND THEY CALCULATED THAT IT MEANS THEY ARE PROBABLY GOING TO DISMANTLE THIS CAMP.

AND, SO, THEY SAID TO THEMSELVES, AND WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO WITH US?

AND THEY SAID THEY'RE PROBABLY GOING TO EXTERMINATE US.

THAT WAS THE MAIN MOTIVATION FOR THE REVOLT.

THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD BREAK OUT, AND THEY WERE ALL SLAUGHTERED.

HOW DID THE NAZIS THEN TRY TO DESTROY ALL EVIDENCE OF TREBLINKA?

OH, THEY DISMANTLED --FIRST OF ALL, THEY COVERED IT ALL WITH SAND AND THEY TRIED TO --YOU KNOW, THEY CUT DOWN THE TREES, AND THEY CAMOUFLAGED IT.

THEY DIDN'T KNOW THAT ONE OF THEIR OWN, EDWARD SCHULTE, COULDN'T TAKE IT.

AND HE WAS A PERSON WHO WAS ACTUALLY A MULTI-MILLION AIR.

HE WAS DISABLED.

HE SAW WHAT THE NAZIS THOUGHT ABOUT DISABLED PEOPLE.

HE KNEW ABOUT THE EUTHANASIA, AND HE WAS PRIVY TO THE SECRET BECAUSE HENLAW HAD USED HIS CONFERENCE CENTER WHEN HE WITNESSED THE FIRST GASSING.

AND WHEN HENLAW HAD TOO MUCH TO DRINK, HE SPILLED THE BEANS.

AND WHEN SCHULTE FOUND OUT ABOUT IT, HE TOOK A TRAIN TO SWITZERLAND AND INFORMED THE ALLIES THROUGH THE JEWISH COMMUNITY --THAT WAS THE FAMOUS READ IN THE TELEGRAM, AND THE INFORMATION CAME DIRECTLY FROM SCHULTE WHO SAID THE NAZIS ARE GOING TO GAS ALL OF EUROPE'S JEWS.

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

AND THE WORLD DIDN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

LET ME GO BACK TO SOMETHING THAT I MENTIONED IN THE INTRODUCTION.

WITH THE PASSAGE OF EACH DAY, WE ARE LOSING MORE AND MORE OF THESE CAMP'S SURVIVORS.

WE LOSE THEIR ABILITY TO BEAR WITNESS TO THESE EXPERIENCES.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THESE MEMORIES, THESE RECOLLECTIONS WHEN WE NO LONGER HAVE SURVIVORS TO TALK WITH US?

WELL, THERE'S NOTHING LIKE LISTENING TO A PERSONAL FIRST WITNESS ACCOUNT OF A SURVIVOR.

AND WHEN THEY'RE ALL GONE, WE WILL NOT HAVE THAT VERY IMPORTANT TOOL.

HOWEVER, THOUSANDS, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF SURVIVORS' STORIES HAVE BEEN VIDEOTAPED AND RECORDED BY ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE SHILLER FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

WE DESPERATELY NEED THEIR TESTIMONY.

LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR WORLD.

LOOK AT THE ANTI-SEMITISM.

YOU KNOW HITLER, WHEN HE WROTE HIS FINAL TESTAMENT BEFORE HE COMMITTED SUICIDE, AND IN HIS FINAL TESTAMENT, HE SAID, IN A FEW CENTURIES MY IDEOLOGY WILL RETURN TO THE WORLD, MEANING THE THOUSAND-YEAR REICH AND HIS ANTI-SEMITISM, HIS CONCEPT OF WHAT HE THOUGHT OF THE JEWS.

SAID WOULD TAKE A FEW CENTURIES, BUT IT'S ONLY 70 YEARS, AND THERE ISN'T A PLACE ON THE PLANET THAT HAS NOT EXPERIENCED AN INCREASE OF ANTI-SEMITISM.

IN EUROPE, IN EVERY COUNTRY IN EUROPE.

OF COURSE, IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AND IN OTHER AREAS.

SO, WE NEED THE TESTIMONY OF THE FIRSTHAND WITNESSES OF THE SURVIVORS TO TELL US, LOOK WHAT MAN KIND IS CAPABLE OF DOING.

THERE IS MUCH TO REMEMBER.

RABBI MARVIN HIER, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WE APPRECIATE YOUR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS WITH US.

THANK YOU AND YOU BE WELL.

THANK YOU.

IT WAS CALLED THE WAR TO MAKE THE WORLD SAFER DEMOCRACY.

BUT WITH AMERICA'S ENTRY INTO WORLD WAR I, 100 YEARS AGO THERE WERE MANY CHALLENGES TO FACE, BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD.

IN THE SPRING OF 1917, THE UNITED STATES WAS TOTALLY UNPREPARED FOR WAR.

ITS ARMY RANKED 17th IN THE WORLD AND AT HOME CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE REMAINED DEEPLY DIVIDED ABOUT EVEN ENTERING THE FRAY.

SO, AMERICA HAD ITS FIRST DRAFT AND EMBARKED ON AN UNPRECEDENTED PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN TO HELP PATRIOTISM SWEEP THE NATION.

FOR THOSE WHO RESISTED THE PATRIOTIC FEVER, THE CONSEQUENCES OF JUST ABOUT ANY FORM OF DISSENT AGAINST THE WAR COULD INDEED BE SEVERE.

IT'S ALL PART OF THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF PBS'S AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, THE GREAT WAR, IT TELLS THE STORY OF WORLD WAR I THROUGH THE VOICES OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO EXPERIENCED IT.

LET'S TAKE A QUICK LOOK.

ON AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

THE STAKES COULD NOT HAVE BEEN HIGHER.

THE UNITED STATES HAD TO RAISE FROM NOTHING AN ARMY OF MILLIONS.

THE ENLISTED MEN SPEAK 42 DIFFERENT LANGUAGE NOT COUNTING ENGLISH.

YOU LET THE GERMANS ADVANCE OR DO YOU START THROWING THEM INTO BATTLE BEFORE YOU FEEL THEY'RE READY.

THE GREAT WAR, AN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

EPISODE TWO OF THE GREAT WAR AIRS TONIGHT ON 13 AND CHARTS AMERICA'S ENTRY INTO THE CONFLICT, EXAMINES THE BREATH TAKING SPEED OF OUR MOBILIZATION AND ANALYZES THE PROFOUND TRANSFORMATION WE UNDERTOOK AS A COUNTRY TO PLAY A CENTRAL ROLE IN THIS WAR TO END ALL WARS.

JOINING ME NOW IS AMANDA POLLACK WHO IS THE SERIES PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR OF EPISODE 2.

AMANDA, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

NICE TO BE HERE.

YOU AND I WERE TALKING OFF CAMERA ABOUT THE FACT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH OUT THERE ABOUT LITERATURE OF WORLD WAR I.

CERTAINLY NOT NOVELS AND THE TYPES OF THINGS YOU MIGHT EXPECT FOR AN EVENT THAT WAS SUCH AT THE CORE OF WHO WE WERE AT THE TIME.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT WORLD WAR I IS THAT I THINK IN THE COURSE OF OUR HISTORY IN AMERICA, IT HAS NOT REALLY CAPTURED THE IMAGINATION OF THIS COUNTRY.

IT ISN'T A WAR THAT PEOPLE TEND TO REMEMBER HERE OR TALK ABOUT A LOT, UNLIKE WORLD WAR II.

AND OBVIOUSLY WORLD WAR II SORT OF ECLIPSED IT, BUT I ALSO THINK THAT THE NARRATIVE OF WORLD WAR I IS COMPLICATED.

IT'S HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHY THE WAR EVEN BEGAN.

IT FEELS LIKE SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED FAR AWAY, A LONG TIME AGO.

THE FOOTAGE IS SORT OF CLOUDY AND BLACK AND WHITE, AND IT ISN'T SOMETHING THAT AMERICANS HAVE REALLY SORT OF TAKEN ON AS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THEIR HISTORY.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT US GETTING INTO THE WAR AND YOU SAW A LOT OF THIS IN PART ONE, THE NOTION THAT FOR THE NEARLY THREE YEARS AMERICA WAS SAYING WE DON'T WANT ANY PART OF THIS, WE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHY YOU'RE FIGHTING OVER THERE, WE DON'T WANT TO BE DRAWN INTO IT, THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN WE ARE.

PRESIDENT WILSON AND CONGRESS SAY, NOW WE'RE IN THIS.

YOU TALK IN THIS SECTION 2, IF YOU WILL, ABOUT THE EFFORT TO SELL THE WAR TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT THAT ENTAILS.

TO ME, THE SORT OF CHALLENGE OF THE SECOND EPISODE OF THE FILM WAS HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS TURN?

WE'VE BEEN FOR SO LONG RESISTING THE WAR EFFORT SAYING, THIS IS NOT OUR WAR, AND NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS GOING TO WAR.

AND TO ME, ACTUALLY, THE STORY --THE REASON WHY THIS STORY IS SO RELEVANT TO US STILL TO THIS DAY AND WHY I THINK PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO BE TAKING NOTICE OF IT 100 YEARS LATER IS BECAUSE IT REALLY TRANSFORMED THE WAY THAT AMERICA LOOKED AT ITSELF.

AND AT THAT MOMENT WHERE WE HAD TO DECIDE HOW ARE WE GOING TO MAKE THIS OUR WAR AND WHY SHOULD WE BE HERE.

WILSON AND THE WILSON ADMINISTRATION REALLY HAD TO COMMUNICATE TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WHY THEY NEEDED TO CARE.

AND THIS WAS NOT AN EASY THING BECAUSE WE HADN'T BEEN ATTACKED.

THERE WAS NOTHING HAPPENING ON OUR TERRITORY, AND YET WE WERE FIGHTING THIS WAR FOR AN IDEA.

AND HOW DO YOU GET A COUNTRY BEHIND THAT?

AND --

THE FIRST TIME EVER, REALLY IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, A CONFLICT THIS SIZE, AS YOU SAID BASED UPON AN IDEA WHEN NO ONE HAD EVER TACKLED --WE WERE NOT A EUROPEAN NATION FIGHTING FOR OUR OWN SECURITY AND THEY HAD TO SELL THAT.

YES, AND THEY USED EXTREMELY SOPHISTICATED TECHNIQUES.

AND ONE OF THE VERY FIRST THINGS THAT WILSON DID WHEN WE ENTERED THE WAR WAS HE INVOLVED GEORGE CREEL WHO HAD ACTUALLY WORKED WITH WILSON ON HIS 1916 CAMPAIGN AND HAD HELPED HIM OUT WITH THE SLOGAN, HE KEPT US OUT OF WAR.

AND THEN --

WHICH HELPED HIM GET REELECTED.

WHICH HELPED GET HIM REELECTED IN 1916.

IN 1917 HE NEEDED TO TURN THAT AROUND AND CREEL WAS THE MAN TO DO IT.

CREEL WAS A BRILLIANT PUBLIC RELATIONS --

IT'S HANDLED TO WELL IN THIS FILM WHEN YOU WATCH IT.

YOU LOOK AT PARALLELS.

SPEAKING OF PARALLELS TODAY, IN THE FILM YOU TALK ABOUT DISSENTERS AND GENERAL AMERICANS AND HOW THEY WERE ALL TREATED.

WAS THAT AT ALL A SURPRISE TO YOU TO DISCOVER THAT?

THAT WAS A BIG SURPRISE.

THERE WERE CERTAINLY PROPAGANDA EFFORTS TO BRING PEOPLE ON BOARD, WIN PEOPLE'S HEARTS AND MINDS.

THE OTHER THING WAS SORT OF THE IRON FIST OF, OF THE MOVEMENT AGAINST DISSENT AND THERE WAS THE ESPIONAGE ACT.

THERE WAS THE SEDITION ACT.

THERE WERE ARRESTS OF GERMAN AMERICANS.

INTERNMENT CAMPS, GERMAN AMERICANS WERE INTERNED.

THEY HAD TO REGISTER AS ENEMY ALIENS.

AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE DOCUMENTS OF THE TIME, IT'S REALLY CHILLING TO SEE THAT THESE AMERICANS, GERMAN AMERICANS WHO HAD BEEN IN THE COUNTRY FOR DECADES --

GENERATIONS SOME OF THEM.

FOR GENERATIONS HAD TO REGISTER AS ENEMY ALIENS.

JUST WAS THEY WERE GERMAN.

JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE GERMAN.

WE OFTEN TALK ABOUT FILM MAKERS AND WHY AND HOW YOU TAKE US ON A JOURNEY, BUT YOU'RE ON A JOURNEY OF YOUR OWN HERE.

SO, AT THE END OF THAT JOURNEY, WHAT STRUCK YOU MOST?

TELL ME SOMETHING YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT YOU DISCOVERED DURING THE COURSE OF PREPARING THIS DOCUMENTARY.

YOU KNOW, SO MUCH OF THE LANGUAGE AROUND THIS WAR HAS SO MUCH IDEALISM TO IT, AND THE WAR TO MAKE THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY AND THE IDEALS THAT WILSON WAS FIGHTING FOR.

BUT WHAT YOU SEE WHEN YOU REALLY LEARN THIS STORY IS HOW FRAGILE OUR DEMOCRACY REALLY IS.

AND THE MANY THINGS THAT WERE HAPPENING WITH AFRICAN AMERICANS, WITH WOMEN, WITH IMMIGRANTS, THE ENCROACHMENTS ON CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE REALLY DEVASTATING AT THE TIME.

AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT WE CAN'T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED.

I THINK PEOPLE WILL BE ASTONISHED WHEN THEY LEARN THE EXTENT OF THAT.

WE KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WORLD WAR I AND SORT OF THE DOUGHBOYS MARCHING IN, LAFAYETTE, WE'RE HERE, THAT TYPE OF THING.

YEAH.

BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THE EXTENT OF WHAT WAS GOING ON AT HOME.

AMANDA POLLACK, IT'S MARVELOUS FILM.

THE FOOTAGE IS SO ENGAGING.

THE STORYTELLING IS GREAT.

I'M SURE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LOVE IT.

THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SOME TIME WITH US.

THANK YOU.

YOU BE WELL.

IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE.

REMINDER GREAT EPISODE IS TONIGHT ON CHANNEL 13.

WATCH EPISODE 3 TOMORROW ALSO AT 9:00 ON 13.

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