Thirty years later, a look at how an American miniseries altered German perspectives on the Holocaust
Inga (Meryl Streep) watches her husband being taken to Auschwitz from Theresienstadt.
In April 1978, the miniseries Holocaust debuted on NBC. Starring Meryl Streep, James Woods, and Michael Moriarty, the program follows a fictional upper middle class German Jewish family as it is torn apart and ultimately destroyed. Some critics deplored it for its soap operatic veneer, but viewers were not deterred; 44 million of them watched the four-part program in the United States. Subsequently, it was broadcast throughout Europe and elsewhere.
German television eventually aired the program, but only when it was becoming something of an embarrassment that they hadn’t already done so. Expectations for its success were low, given Germans’ exhaustion with public discussions on the subject. But the miniseries proved to be wildly successful, and prompted a new kind of engagement with this dark chapter in German history.
Thirty years after Holocaust was shown in Germany, Eric Molinsky looks at its impact there.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.