January 31, 2001

The Independent Television Service (ITVS) and debut the companion Web site to the documentary FROM SWASTIKA TO JIM CROW The television program will be broadcast nationally on PBS on February 1, 2001 at 10:00 p.m. (Check local listings at

FROM SWASTIKA TO JIM CROW tells the untold story of the German Jewish professors who were expelled from their homeland by the Nazis and found new lives and careers at historically all-Black colleges in the South. In many cases they formed lasting relationships with their students and had an important impact on the communities in which they lived. FROM SWASTIKA TO JIM CROW is the largely unknown story of two cultures, each sharing a burden of oppression, brought together by the tragic circumstances of war.

Web site highlights include:

Black Jewish Relations

From the days of slavery to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements and recent encounters and debates – take a look at the sometimes collaborative, sometimes volatile relations between Jews and Blacks from the 1930s to today.

Shared Oppression

Study the origins of racism and anti-Semitism, both in Europe with the rise of the Nazi regime and the persecution of Jews and in the United States where segregation of Blacks was prevalent, Jim Crow laws prevailed and the Ku Klux Klan activity was seen throughout the South. See some of the famous refugees that fled fascism in Europe and came to the U.S.

Black Colleges and Universities

Read about historically Black colleges and how they have evolved during the various stages of African American emancipation. Read descriptions of several principal Black colleges and find out who some of their better-known graduates have been.

Lessons Learned

Watch video clips and read corresponding text of moving stories of refugee scholars and Black students, how they persevered through turbulent times and learned a great deal from one another.


Discuss the program and issues raised: race relations, anti-Semitism and education. Join in a dialogue on ways to fight racial injustices.

Discussion Guide

Download a discussion guide for facilitators and educators.

The Film

Read an interview with the filmmakers, learn about their film background and issues behind the making of the program.


Use an extensive resource list including links, books and articles on Black history, Jewish/Black relations, anti-Semitism and other related issues.

Contact Information:

Jodi Epstein

ITVS 415-356-8383 x225