September 2, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Lasting six tireless years, the Second World War involved over 30 countries. To commemorate this momentous event in world history, we’ve gathered a list of documentaries streaming on the PBS Video app and with KVIE Passport that chronicle the events of World War II through interviews, reenactments, and the personal stories of those that lived through it.


 Streaming for free on the PBS Video App:

American Experience: Tuxedo Park

American Experience: The Secret of Tuxedo Park

The Secret of Tuxedo Park tells a long-overlooked story of Alfred Lee Loomis, who helped alter the course of history in World War II. Using his connections, his money, and his brilliant scientific mind, the mysterious Wall Street tycoon and his team of scientists developed radar technology that would arguably play a more decisive role than any other weapon in the war. 


KVIE ARTS Showcase: Veterans

KVIE Arts Showcase: Celebrating Veterans with Art

Explore military service through art with the Unsung Heroes photography project, a singer who supports the troops, a military band, and more.


The War

The War – A Ken Burns Film 

This 7-part documentary examines the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four American towns, including Sacramento. The war touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America and demonstrated that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives.


ViewFinder: The Ito Sisters

ViewFinder:

The Ito Sisters: Explore the lives of three Nisei sisters from the Sacramento Delta, from their childhood on a farm to their internment during WWII and beyond.

Valentina – Mexican Americans in World War II: Examine the experiences of Mexican-Americans during the Second World War through interviews with veterans of all branches of our armed forces. Members of later generations also honor those who gave so much for our freedom. 

Warriors with Wings – Valley Air Bases in WWII: World War II forced Americans to endure more than they ever thought possible, not just on the battlefields overseas, but also here at home. Warriors with Wings: Valley Airbases in WWII sheds light on the history of the Mather, McClellan, and Travis air-force bases and their surrounding communities with personal accounts from historians, veterans, and civilians.


Frontline: Memory of the Camps

FRONTLINE: Memory of the Camps 

In the spring of 1945, Allied forces liberating Europe found evidence of atrocities which have tortured the world’s conscience ever since. As the troops entered the German concentration camps, they made a film record of what they saw. FRONTLINE found the unfinished film stored in a vault in London’s Imperial War Museum and broadcast it for the first time in 1985.


Streaming with KVIE Passport 

Secrets of the Dead: World War Speed 

Follow historian James Holland on his quest to understand how the use of amphetamines affected the course of World War II and unleashed the first pharmacological arms race.


The Queen at War

The Queen at War

Discover how the longest reigning monarch in British history was shaped by World War II. Princess Elizabeth’s experiences during the war mirrored those of the public and helped shape her into the Queen she is today.


GI Jews: Jewish American Solders of World War II

 GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II

This documentary tells the story of the 550,000 Jewish American men and women who fought in World War II. In their own words, veterans both famous (director Mel Brooks, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger) and unknown share their war experiences. Topics range from how they fought for their nation and people, struggled with antisemitism within their ranks, and emerged transformed.


Nova: Last B-24

NOVA: Last B-24

Dive to the bottom of the Adriatic Sea in search of the Tulsamerican, a B-24 bomber that crashed off the coast of Croatia during World War II. In 2010, divers located the plane. Now the Department of Defense, aided by the Croatian Navy and some of the world’s leading underwater archaeologists, sets to work investigating the wreckage.

What to Stream: Documentaries about World War II