Jan 02
2019

In January 1979, the “Holocaust” miniseries was broadcast for the first time in West Germany. The series – the first of its kind to cover the genocide during World War II to widespread public attention – was watched by 20 million people, or 50 percent of West Germany’s population. With an estimated viewership of up to 15 million households, the series turned out to be extremely popular during its initial airing, leading to an increased public interest in the crimes committed during the Nazi era. After each part of Holocaust was aired, there followed a companion show wherein a panel of historians answered questions from people phoning in. The historians’ panels were overwhelmed with thousands of phone calls from shocked and outraged Germans. By this time, “Holocaust” was already a critical success, earning 15 Primetime Emmy nominations with 8 wins, including for Outstanding Limited Series and for Meryl Streep’s performance as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series. To honor the series’ legacy, numerous German television stations will broadcast re-runs of “Holocaust” throughout January. The re-runs will be accompanied by a new documentary on the making of the series. Director Marvin J. Chomsky will be interviewed for the program alongside actors Michael Moriarty, Rosemary Harris and Blanche Baker. The documentary will be first aired on January 14, 2019, at 22.10pm on WDR. It will be also shown on NDR and SWR throughout January. If you haven’t seen the miniseries yet, here’s your chance to see a piece of television history. Edit: The documentary can be now watched on-demand in Germany. Unfortunately, while it’s a fantastic programme on the making of “Holocaust”, it features nothing on Meryl Streep except for a couple of scenes from the series.