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The series is set in Germany right about the time Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party are in power [the period covered is about 1935-45]. The series focusses on the trials of the Weiss family, a prominent Jewish family with the patriarch being a decorated war veteran, a grandmother, two sons, Dr Josef Weiss [Fritz Weaver] and his wife Berta [Rosemary Harris], a pharmacist Moses Weiss [Sam Wanamaker], and three grandchildren, an artist Karl [James Woods], a rebel Rudi [Joseph Bottoms], and young Anna.
The series begins with the celebration of the marriage between Karl [James Woods] and his Aryan wife Inga [Meryl Streep]. The Weiss portray the assimilated Jewish family, they are not particularly religious yet proud to be Jewish, and are at ease with their Gentile friends. Yet, dark clouds are starting to gather over them and the rest of Germany's Jews as the Nazi party's anti-semitic policies are about to be put into action. It begins with little things like Dr Josef Weiss not being able to treat his Aryan patients anymore and things get worse from that point on. Kristallnacht [Night of the Broken Glass] sees the destruction of Jewish property and businesses and worse is to come.
The series tries to portray the gradual persecution of the Jews before the escalation into the horror that became the Shoah. Dr Weiss is deported to Poland, where he ends up with his brother Moses in the Warsaw Ghetto.Read more ›
BACK IN 1978 WHEN IT AIRED ON NBC OVER 4 NIGHTS.THE AMAZON PRICE FOR THIS
ITEM IS GREAT AT ONLY $19.95 - BUT THE CONTENT IS NOT SO GREAT.PICTURE
AND SOUND IS O.K.-NO MORE.PRINTED IN SMALL LETTERS ON THE BACK OF THE
BOX IS THE DISCLAIMER "MAY BE EDITED FROM THE ORIGINAL NETWORK BROADCAST"
MAYBE IS RIGHT..THIS SET CLOCKS IN AT ABOUT 449 MINUTES WHICH IS 26-34
MINUTES LESS THE FULL RUNNING TIME.WHATS MORE THERE ARE NO FEATURES ON
THIS 3 DISC SET-NOT A SINGLE ONE.CBS VIDEO AND PARAMOUNT SHOULD BE ASHAMED
OF THEMSELVES..THE 30 YEAR "ANNIVERSARY EDITION" OF THIS MINISERIES WHICH
WAS TRULY A TELEVISION LANDMARK DESERVED MUCH,MUCH BETTER..
We follow two families from the rise to power of the Nazi party in German (circa 1934 or so) to the end of World War II. The Weiss family (a Jewish family) and the Dorf's, who portrays an SS family man's perspective.
As the film unfolds we are treated to the unjustness, apprehension and then horror to which the Jews of Europe were subjected -- thru the experiences of the family Weiss - their family slowly broken up and sent away, first to ghettos, then ultimately to the death camps.
On the other side, we see where a 'typical' SS man comes from. Erik Dorf is an unemployed lawyer whose wife is sickly (and under the care of Dr Josef Weiss) without even the liklihood of a job. Concerned with how to pay his debts, he ends up a lieutenant of the SS working directly for Heydrich.
What is most interesting to me in the story is the transformation of young Dorf from a conscientous young man with high hopes into an SS Major, a merciless killer. It provides an insight as to why so many were anxious to wear the black uniform of the SS. One has to ask the question, "What would I do if I were living in those times and in that situation? Would I speak out and end up in a labor camp with the outcasts, or would I follow society and try to survive the turmoil?".
Characterizations are good and wholly believable. There is much which tells of the dilemma some of the German aryan people must have felt. For instance, Inga Helms Weiss -- aryan wife of the Jewish Karl Weiss; 'Uncle' Kurt Dorf -- who tried to keep a handful of Jews from Auswitz's death chambers; and Father Lichtenberg -- a christian priest who spoke out for the Jews and their plight.Read more ›
I have only recently come across this mini-series after renting it from my videostore and only even heard of this when researching more on Meryl Streep after viewing her incredible performnce in "Sophie's Choice".
Admirers of Ms.Streep won't be dissapointed in her performance nor will they with the rest.
Spanning over a decade (1935-1945), "Holocaust" focuses on the Weiss Family of Berlin and all the terror that each individual faces during their darkest days.
The characters are endearing and audiences will easily empathise with the strife they face.
This docu-drama is an accurate and on several occasions, highly disturbing account of man's inhumanity to mankind.
It's won 8 out of 16 emmy awards (1 Emmy which Meryl Streep won) and deserves each one.
I believe that every jewish man and woman should see this film and anyone else who is interested in History's blackest decade.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I watched this years ago when it was on TV. I am watching it again with my young adult children. This mini series is a good portrayal of the Holocaust and the inhuman brutality of... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Book Mama
All high school students should watch this. James Woods and Meryl Streep were outstanding , hard to watch sometimes because of the injustice and suffering of the Jewish people but... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Catherine L. Franks
I saw the following comments written by a Polish Jew, Sigmund Gorson, about the movie. It addressess the problems that I see with the movie, namely the despicably false depictions... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stefan Komar
They just do not make them like this anymore. Not only is this a spectacular movie but it is extremely realistic and real. The characters are totally believable. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lanilai
|Topic||From this Discussion|
I did a calculation and if we assume the original 1978 TV mini-series showed 13 minutes of TV adverts per hour, then the missing 2 hours (the difference between the VHS/DVD running time and the TV broadcast time) is easily explained.
VHS/DVD running time: 7.5 hours (449 minutes on my copy). TV... Read More
Sep 24, 2008 by angel1801 | See all 4 posts
Dear Mr Fox,
I can't be absolutely positive about this point, but find herewith what I have found.
In DVD REVIEW, May 14, 2008, Guido Henkel wrote : Audio English DD Mono, Subtitles : None, Extras : none.
He adds : "Dialogues are always understandable but sound as if recorded though a tin... Read More
May 27, 2008 by PAUL | See all 15 posts
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