Ken Burns compares the resettlement of migrants to the rise of the Nazis

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has sparked outrage when he compared the relocation of frontier workers to idyllic Martha’s Vineyard to the rise of Nazi Germany before the horrors of the Holocaust.

The Brooklyn-born, longtime Democrat donor made the direct comparison Thursday while appearing on CNN to promote his new film, The US and the Holocaust.

Without hesitation, he agreed with host John Berman’s suggestion that the document addressed “some of the same issues” currently seen in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to send “two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.”

“It comes straight out of the authoritarian playbook,” Burns, 69, emphasized that DeSantis relocated around 50 border workers to the Massachusetts hotspot.

“What we find in all of our films is that the themes we have explored in the past are present today.

Ken Burns on CNN on Thursday.
Ken Burns told CNN that relocating frontier workers to Martha’s Vineyard “came straight out of the authoritarian script,” comparing it to his new document on the Holocaust.

“So if you look at the story we tell about America and the Holocaust, you understand that the time has come to save a democracy before it’s lost. We promise you,” he warned.

Burns, 69, sitting next to co-director Lynn Novick, insisted that sending immigrants to one of America’s swankiest vacation spots is indeed “the abstraction of human life.”

“It basically means you can take a human life that’s as valuable as yours or mine or Lynn’s and empower it to become a political pawn in someone’s authoritarian game,” he pointed out.

“That’s what’s disturbing about DeSantis — using people, arming people for political ends,” he claimed.

Ron DeSantis speaks in July.
“That’s what’s disturbing about DeSantis — using people, arming people for political purposes,” Burns told CNN.

“It’s like if someone in Florida who doesn’t agree with him — like The Walt Disney Company — is punishing him,” Burns continued.

“These are not the actions of a person participating in a democratic process of exchanging ideas.

“This is about punishing political enemies, putting on shows, political shows, political theater. And in this case, it’s about people’s lives.”

His comments quickly sparked outrage and mockery online, including memes showing an aerial view of the exclusive enclave that has long been home to left-leaning celebrities and Democratic politicians, including former President Barack Obama.

“This? This is Auschwitz?” asks memes next to the postcard-worthy scene.

A writer on Twitter also noted in disbelief, “Ron DeSantis is giving migrants free food, water and plane tickets to Martha’s Vineyard like the holocaust. WHAT?

Some of the new arrivals in Martha's Vineyard Thursday.
The arrival of a handful of frontier workers in the ritzy liberal enclave has sparked an apparent “humanitarian crisis”.

“He sent her to a place that’s like a bucket list to us little folks.” another person tweeted.

“You can’t compare vaccination records to pre-Holocaust times, but Ken Burns can compare sending illegal immigrants to a vacation island to the Holocaust.” A podcaster tweeted.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson also speared Burns during a monologue on his show late Thursday.

“The horrors! This is genocide!” he said sarcastically.

The frontiers arrive in Martha's Vineyard on Thursday.
The frontiers arrived in Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday.
Office of Governor DeSantis

He then insisted, “Martha’s Vineyard may be a modern day death camp, but it doesn’t look too bad compared to where illegal aliens usually go.”

He showed footage from this week of dozens of frontier workers in El Paso, Texas, and said it showed “chaos, violence and dirt” in the border towns “which are now completely overrun [President] Biden’s border policy.”

It followed Recordings from Martha’s Vineyard. “It might be hellish, but in a whole different way,” Carlson quipped of the left hotspot.

“Families eat together on balconies overlooking the water; women shopping in picturesque towns on their bicycles; couples walking on the promenade; sailing boats. It doesn’t look too bad,” he said.

Carlson also suggested putting the newcomers there in Obama’s house.

“There’s no reason Obama needs that much space – nobody needs that much space,” he said.

“Probably fit a dozen immigrant families and Barack Obama’s pool house in there, and another five or six in the pantry,” he joked.

“As [President] Biden often reminds us – illegal immigration is a gift,” he said. Ken Burns compares the resettlement of migrants to the rise of the Nazis


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