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Robert De Niro,
"Holocaust" 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 sub-plot 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 SS. Written by
Anthony Hughes <email@example.com>
So many people watched this mini-series in New York City when first broadcast, that when commercials were on, the local water pressure dropped due to so many people using their toilets at once. See more »
While the Holocaust has been treated in many excellent films and television shows, the 1978 TV mini-series "Holocaust" remains one of the finest. This was the second mini-series ever produced for television, and like it's predecessor, "Roots," the producers attempted to create something that would rival the best that Hollywood could produce for the movies, with the added ability of telling much more of the story by virtue of having much more time to do it in. Thus, the 1978 television mini series "Holocaust" is as well-produced, written and acted as Spielberg's extraordinary film "Schindler's List."
Particularly good performances are given by Meryl Streep as the aristocratic German wife to a Jewish artist, Karl Weiss, played by James Woods. (Did you know that Woods can be as good as a good-guy as he can as a bad-guy?) Karl Weiss is the eldest son of a prominent Berliner Jewish family. We follow him into the concentration camps, including Treblinka (the "show" camp) and eventually to Auschwitz (Oswiecim). Streep follows, sacrificing everything to try to stay with him, or at least near him, and to keep him alive.
Grandpa Weiss is a Jewish German patriot who fought for the Kaiser during WWI and is proud of it, and never can come to terms with the betrayal of his fellow patriots. Fritz Weaver is Papa Weiss, whose story takes us through the siege of the Warsaw Ghetto as he attempts to create some kind of order and safety in the midst of chaos and doom.
David Warner is remarkably sinister and urbane as Reinhard Heydrich, who came up with the legal gobbledygook to create the "Final Solution." Michael Moriarity plays Heinrich's assistant Erik Dorff, a former student and friend of the Weiss family. Moriarty chillingly portrays the seductive nature of National Socialism for the intellectual: He is given the choice of becoming a Nazi, and later Heinrich's assistant, or becoming cannon fodder on the Russian Front. He chooses the former, and goes about his task of carrying out the annihilation of the Jews, including his former good friends the Weiss', with cool logical efficiency. This may be Moriarty's finest hour as an actor.
Other actors of note include the actor's actor Ian Holm, former Brittish grand dame of the theater Rosemary Harris, Joseph Bottoms, Sam Wanamaker and Tovah Feldshuh.
This is entertaining history at its very best. Don't miss it.
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