Holocaust, This mini-series follows each member of the Jewish Family Weiss throughout Hitler’s reign in Germany. One by one, the family members suffer the horrible fate of extermination under Anti-Semetic Nazi Law until only one son remains at the end of World War II. A subplot follows the story of Eric Dorf, a young German lawyer with a good heart who is changed into a mass murderer by membership in the S.S.
NBC’s Holocaust is perhaps the finest miniseries I’ve seen on television. I purchased the two VHS set several years ago and watch it at least once a year over several nights. Holocaust features a large, excellent cast, which make up for emotion which they lack in depth. Sadly, the stories are all too familiar and have presented in one form or another, but what makes this series stand out is the fact that it was able to compress time and feature some of the best known events of the holocaust, such as Babi Yar, Sobibor and Warsaw Ghetto, seamlessly. The dual story lines tracking the Jewish Weiss family and the German Dorff family intertwine believably, and the graphic violence is appropriate for this production. Michael Moriarty was excellent as the meek lawyer who became a cold calculator and Rosemary Harris was memorable as the proud but stubborn Berta Weiss. Meryl Streep and James Woods also are noteworthy, and it’s a delight to see both actors in early roles. I recall when Holocaust debuted it became a media event and school project, with study guides for classroom discussion. I wonder if some of the material was appropriate for some young audiences.