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This four-tape set by the same British producers responsible for the classic World at War series chronicles the Nazi obsession with killing all of Europe's Jews. Making intelligent use of archival photographs, newsreel footage, and extensive footage shot by the Nazis themselves, the series begins by tracing the roots of Nazism back to Germany's humiliation at the end of World War I. The rise of Hitler and the SS, his elite guard that evolved into being the enforcers of racial doctrine, is cogently presented in the first episode. The successive tapes each focus on a particular time period, as the Nazi determination to eliminate Jews built momentum, proceeding from a program of persecution to resettlement to outright mass murder. Holocaust survivors speak on camera in interviews, as do German civilians and former members of the SS. The film footage shown is often quite grisly, and some will find it difficult viewing, but the producers deserve credit for seeking out material, especially films shot by the Nazis themselves, that accurately depicts the horrors that took place. Indeed, without the strong visual component of the production, some of the chilling stories told by the survivors on film may be thought too horrible to be true. This is a remarkably straightforward look at one of the absolute horrors of history. --Robert J. McNamara
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