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Episode 01: The Gathering Darkness (1935-1940)
NBC  ·  90 minutes  ·  Original Broadcast: April 16, 1978

Directed by: Marvin J. Chomsky  |  Written by: Gerald Green

Official synopsis: In 1935 Berlin, the Weisses celebrate son Karl’s marriage to Inga Helms. When Erik Dorf is unable to find work as a lawyer, wife Marta urges him to apply for a Nazi government job. Erik Dorf warns Dr. Weiss he should leave Germany. Karl is arrested and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp, and Dr. Weiss is deported to Poland. Erik Dorf continues to advance in the Nazi hierarchy.

Episode Recap
Please note that recaps feature spoilers on the individual episode.

Karl and Inga celebrate their wedding in Berlin. Erik Dorf gets a job in the SS as right-hand man to top-level Nazi Reinhard Heydrich (David Warner). Dorf warns Dr. Weiss to leave Germany. Berta is adamant about staying. During Kristallnacht, Berta’s father is attacked. Dorf impresses Heydrich by orchestrating the pogrom and gets promoted. Karl is arrested and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp. As a Polish citizen, Dr. Weiss is deported to Warsaw. The Weiss home is seized by a Nazi. Berta and the children move in with Inga’s Nazi-supporting family. Rudi runs away.

Dorf rises within Nazi society as he helps Heydrich plan the transport of Jews to occupied Poland. In Warsaw, Dr. Weiss serves as an Elder in the Judenrat (Jewish council) and works as a doctor serving the Jewish community. On New Year’s Eve, a distraught Anna runs away and is soon raped by SA stormtroopers in the street. Catatonic afterwards, she is committed to the Hadamar killing centre, where she and others suffering mental illness are gassed under the Nazi Action T4. Rudi reaches German-occupied Prague. He falls in love with Helena (Tovah Feldshuh). They decide to run away together.

Guest Cast: Blanche Baker (Anna Weiss), Marius Goring (Heinrich Palitz), George Rose (Lowy), David Warner (Heydrich), John Bailey (Hans Frank), Michael Beck (Hans Helms), Werner Kreindl (Herr Helms), Nora Minor (Frau Palitz), Llewellyn Rees (Fr. Lichtenberg), Nina Sandt (Frau Helms), Cyril Shaps (Weinberg), Jim Ambach (Peter Dorf), Hubert Berger (Dr. Heintzen), Gottfried Blahovsky (Immigration Man), Martin Brandt (Rabbi Karsh), Otto Clemens (Buchenwald Sergeant), Harry Hornisch (Gestapo Policeman), Karl Hoess (Buchenwald Prisoner), Götz von Langheim (Berlin Doctor), Miriam Mahler (Woman with Infant), Peter Neusser (Border Guard), Walter Scheuer (Prague Policeman), Erwin Steinhauer (Buchenwald Typist), Bruno Thost (Kapo Melnick), Joe Trummer (Czech Jew), Peter Weihs (Sacristan)