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Holocaust (TV Mini Series 1978) Poster

(1978)

Trivia

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The term "Holocaust" didn't exist in the German language until the 1980s. Due to the great success of this mini-series, it became common knowledge, and was chosen as "word of the year 1979" by the "Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache" (Society for German Language).
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When this was aired on German television, it included the "Krystallnacht" scene, where people were smashing the windows of synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses. When that segment was shown, police station switchboards were flooded with confessional calls from people who had participated in the actual event, calling to confess their participation. The Statute of Limitations had run, however, and no action could be taken despite their confessions. Subsequently, the West German Government altered the relevant laws to extend the time limits, to enable the prosecution of such perpetrators.
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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.
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Meryl Streep only took this role for the money, which went towards her then boyfriend John Cazale's cancer treatment.
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Because there was no Emmy category of Outstanding Supporting Actor or Actress in a Limited Series at the time, David Warner, Sam Wanamaker, Tovah Feldshuh, and Blanche Baker had to be nominated in the category Outstanding Supporting Actor/Actress in a Continuing Series, although this was, actually, a mini-series.
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When broadcast in West Germany, it was shown simultaneously on all the regional broadcasting stations of ARD, the so called "Third Programs". It was watched by more than twenty million people and resulted in broad public discussion about genocide.
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All photographs and slides shown in this mini-series (except those of cast members) were pictures taken during the era of Nazi rule, and showed victims of Nazi crimes against humanity.
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The series cast includes one Oscar winner: Meryl Streep; and four Oscar nominees: James Woods, Ian Holm, Nigel Hawthorne and Rosemary Harris.
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Robert Stephens recorded in his autobiography that when David Warner, whose father was Jewish, finished filming the scenes where Heydrich watches movie footage and images of Nazi executions and atrocities, he fled the set in tears.
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Trevor Howard was offered the role of Heinrich Palitz.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Some Holocaust survivors have criticized the portrayal of Dr. Weiss after he becomes a prisoner of Auschwitz, because his character is portrayed as working on road gangs and paving crews. Jewish doctors in Auschwitz were almost always assigned to the camp infirmary and placed in the moral dilemma of serving under German doctors. These Jewish doctors endured an "agony of conscience" as they were ordered to help prevent the spread of disease from Jewish inmates to German captors, and also participate in medical experiments and, in some cases, even selections for the gas chambers.
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