Historical Social Research

30.4 - TV-Serie „Holocaust”

Focus

More about this Special Issue

HSR Vol. 30 (2005) No. 4: Focus: TV-Serie „Holocaust”

Christoph Classen (Ed.): Die amerikanische TV-Serie "Holocaust" Rückblick auf eine "betroffene Nation." Beiträge und Materialien

Although there had been earlier promises to come to terms with the Nazi past in West Germany after 1945, the casting of the TV mini-series “Holocaust” in January 1979 has been considered a real breakthrough. The mini-series had been produced in the United States under the rules of a commercial TV system. It tells the story of the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, taking two families as an example: one Jewish and one “Aryan.” The series had already provoked discussions before it was shown, and did so even more afterwards. For several reasons, the mini-series created a media event, especially because of the number of viewers who tuned in. Obviously no other report or program referring to the Holocaust had reached so many people in Germany until then and moved them so deeply. The broadcasting of “Holocaust” in March 1979 highlights a crucial step in the process of globalizing the memory of the Holocaust as Holocaust commemoration becomes universally relevant. This was not only due to the TV series but particularly when the media concentrated their attention on the topic of Nazi politics of extermination.