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VHS Tape
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Originally a made-for-TV miniseries (that won a slew of Emmy Awards), this film follows parallel stories: those of a Jewish family in Germany from 1935 to 1945 and a German (Michael Moriarty) who rises in the Nazi ranks until he is overseeing the death camps. Genuinely haunting and truly sorrowful, this series was many people's first introduction to the impact that Hitler's Final Solution had on everyday Germans. Of course, it helps that director Marvin Chomsky had a cast that included Fritz Weaver, James Woods, Meryl Streep (who won an Emmy for her performance), and Ian Holm. Still, it is powerful storytelling in its own right. --Marshall Fine

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Films About the Holocaust Jan. 3 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw this miniseries at the age of 14. As a young, black female, I had heard only bits and pieces about the Holocaust and really didn't understand the Nazi atrocities. That all changed after watching 8 hours of this miniseries. From that moment on, I developed an overwhelming sense of empathy for Jewish people and hatred of Nazism. My own race had suffered horribly during slavery but I had never heard of nor seen anything like the cruelty of Nazi Germany.
It is now 2004. I am watching a rebroadcast of the Holocaust. After all these years, it still ellicits strong emotions from me - tears, anger and fear. Yes, fear. Fear because something like this may happen again. Fear because antisemitism is growing throughout the world. Fear because people are trying to deny the truth of the holocaust.
This miniseries gives me hope though. Hope that people will never forget and never want to be a party to such inhumanity, cruelty and horror. The strong performances, historical accuracy, and excellent writing make this miniseries not only a great piece of filmmaking but also a piece of evidence that hopefully will keep any human being from treating another like a piece of garbage.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener! May 21 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Merryl Streep is of course really great. But the movie shows the saga of not only a Jewish family but goes to great lengths to demonstrate the intimate feelings of the victims. The stories and characters are unforgetable. It is historically accurate too! The video also portrays the life of a Nazi leader who was "just a guy looking for a job" during the Depression and ends up being responsible for the murders of millions of people. This is an eye-opener!!!!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised Aug. 19 2008
By Poetkitty TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Seeing this on TV as a teen, I was curious to view it 30 years later. I was prepared for a dated, corny, watered-down version of what occurred during that terrible time in history. I was more than pleasantly surprised! Joseph Bottoms' acting aside, the rest of the cast ran from good to stellar. There is a wonderful juxtaposition of the Weiss and Dorf families, which is unique to this story. This is subtle and grand, public and personal, and while we are horrified, it also makes us think. A relevant and worthwhile DVD to add to your collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Sorrowful, But... June 8 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I was a kid when I saw the mini-series on TV in Italy. I remember sitting on the couch with my entire family since my mother wanted us to see what happened to the Jews during WWII in Nazi Germany. Back then, what I saw made an everlasting impression and got me hooked on everything that was Jewish. Since then, I've been reading books and watching movies and documentaries on the Children of Abraham... Anyway, after more than twenty years, I rented this TV movie to bring back the memories of the old times. The movie is moving and compelling. The only criticism that I have is that it uses the broad term Christianity when it's actually specifically referring to Catholicism; also, in a couple of scenes it looks like an apologetic portrayal of Catholicism as the last bastion against the Nazi horror, when it is common knowledge that the Catholic church had at last a dubious role in the handling of the matter of the Jews during that period. Other than that, the movie is truly poignant and well acted by the protagonists. Perhaps, the most incredible thing is how those monsters could coldly murders millions of innocent people and then go back to their families at Christmas, sing "Silent Night," and boldly proclaim to their children that they were defending the civilization of Western Europe from the threat of the Jews, the killers of Christ, like they themselves, with their folly, were not killing the spirit of Christ not one, but six million times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME I SAW IT! July 23 2010
I remember watching this mini series back in 1979, believe it or not on my honeymoon. Watching it again recently, I thoroughly enjoyed it as much as the first time I saw it. A very powerful story about the plight of a Jewish Berlin family during the darkest times of the twentieth century. This graphic depiction of the Holocaust will endure as a reminder of how evil & unfeeling man can be, and hopefully will serve as a warning for generations to come to ensure events like this never happen again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia Dec 11 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this out of nostalgia after seeing it back in the day. Lots of great up and coming stars and great historical drama.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing July 25 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
a young Meryl Streep/James Woods/Tovah Fedelshua and an amazing job by Michael Moriarty. A poignant and riveting film; perhaps not exactly accurate as reviewed by some; but i found it outstanding
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