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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
Astounding, original consciousness-raiser of the Nazi Holocaust. Brought to a new generation that had forgotten about it, the miniseries recreates one of the most horrific times in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sam Iam
The second disk part 4 does not play and I was a replacement or I'm giving a bad reviewPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Interesting movie from the 70s when TV was trying hard to compete with the new fangled Cabled TV!Published 1 month ago by Reader0111
Must see video! Should be required viewing in all schools! History like this should not be forgotten or repeated! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I had this on the Tape and this movie is wonderful it follows a family and a love between 2 people so very strong even in facing death.Published 1 month ago by grannyapple
i remember how this series touched me when it first aired on tv. i was about 17 years old. it's gripping, horrifying, and seems too awful to have really happened, but it did. Read morePublished 2 months ago by LL
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