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.
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.