I watched the third episode of the latest Ken Burns’ documentary, and I understand why he said it is the most important documentary he ever made.

As history, it is powerful. And it is even more powerful because there are so many echoes of present events in our own country.

In three episodes, we see one of the most cultured countries in the world fall under the spell of a charismatic madman. We see the German people march to his tune, cheer him, fall in line, then become brutes as they carry out his mission to exterminate the Jews of Europe and to capture the Continent.

We see heroic Americans trying to rescue desperate refugees. And we meet the anti-Semites in the State Department who wanted to keep refugees out and leave them to their fate. and we are reminded again and again that the American public did not want the Jewish refugees.

We learn about the indifference and decided anti-Semitism in other countries, including our own. We learn about Hitler’s admiration for our brutal treatment of indigenous peoples, killing them and then isolating them on reservations. Hitler also admired our harsh treatment and segregation of Black people.

Inevitably, in the third episode, there are graphic videos of the death camps. There are piles of naked bodies. And there are emaciated men and women who survived, barely, their eyes empty.

In the closing minutes, the parallels to the present are presented. Scenes of racism, Young white men in Charlottesville chanting “The Jews will not replace us.” The mob storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, one of them wearing a T-shirt saying “Camp Auschwitz.” Having just witnessed scenes from the death camps, the T-shirt was not just tasteless but horrifying.

This series should be shown to high school students in every school in the U.S.