They Will Not Replace Us, documentary in production, explores American anti-immigrant bias today and how those same forces kept America from stopping the Holocaust

Share Article

American anti-Semitism stopped Jewish refugees from coming to America during WWII and the frightening parallels to today's immigration crisis are featured in a new film by Bret Primack, They Will Not Replace Us

As America becomes a sanctuary for anti-immigrant resentment and xenophobic racism, a documentary in production explores how those same forces kept America from stopping the Holocaust. Documentarian Bret Primack’s new film is “They Will Not Replace Us,” about anti-Semitism’s effect on immigration during World War 2 and the frightening parallels to today’s national nightmare.

The catalyst for “They Will Not Replace Us” was last year’s Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, Bret Primack explains, because he was “disgusted by the rise in American hate crimes fueled by the Trump presidency. I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust and right before my eyes, it was starting again.”

Mr. Primack’s 1995 play, The Pariah, told the story of writer Ben Hecht and the Bergson Group’s efforts to awaken America during the early 40s, to the massacre in Germany. “When I first learned that many Americans knew nothing about was happening to the Jews, I was shocked. And that those who did know, Roosevelt, the Jews who ran Hollywood studios, and the New York Times, were largely silent.”

Further research revealed the extent of anti-Semitism in the US during the 30s and early 40s, and its effect on immigration quotas. “Many European Jews could have been saved,” Primack believes, “if they had been able to relocate, but no one wanted them in the US, or any other country.”

Immigration quotas were nothing new in America. Anti-immigrant sentiment gave birth to the Emergency Quota Act of 1921. The objective of this act was to temporarily limit the numbers of immigrants to the United States by imposing quotas based on country of birth. Today, nearly one hundred years later, it’s not the East European immigrants that are front and center, it is largely brown skinned people from Central America.

The chants of ‘go back to where you came from,’ and, ‘you’re not really an American,” have returned. Echoing Anti-Semitism tropes, Trump has demonized the Jews once again.

Accordingly, Primack believes, “It’s important these stories be told now so that they won’t be forgotten, especially as democracy and free speech are in jeopardy. Young people need to learn from history so they won’t repeat the same mistakes. They can and will make a difference. But first they need to know the truth about the dark forces that have always been at play in America. Those same dark forces that have enabled the Trump presidency.”

Accordingly, the film is the first part of an ongoing project that includes an educational outreach with screenings and Q&A sessions for students in schools across the United States.

Based in Tucson, Arizona, award winning filmmaker and writer Bret Primack spent most of his life as a music journalist and documentarian. In 2006, he launched the first Jazz channel on YouTube, Jazz Video Guy, which has garnered nearly thirty million views. He has also produced three feature length documentaries. “Passing The Torch,” his 2016 feature, is available on Amazon Prime.

But living in Tucson, Primack “came face to face with life and death immigration issues and knew these there were stories that needed to be told.” He has since produced films about Humane Borders, a group of activists who put water in the desert so migrants won’t die from dehydration; Clinica Amistad, about a clinic where a staff of volunteer doctors and nurses give free Health Care to undocumented people; and, We Are All Dreamers, a film about DACA students.

Primack is funding the film through crowdfunding, private contributions and grants. “I have a global following for my work,” he explains, “thanks to social media and I’ve crowdfunded two other documentary features. But with a larger budget the crowdfunding I’m doing now is just the start of process.”

They Will Not Replace Us is scheduled for a Spring, 2020 release.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Bret Primack

Primack
Visit website