Der Spiegel on the TV Miniseries "Holocaust" (January 29, 1979)
In late January 1979, the four-part American TV miniseries "Holocaust" (1978) aired on West German public television. Prior to its broadcast, the NBC production had provoked strong misgivings; its most prominent critic, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, called it a “trivialization of the Holocaust” and a “soap opera.” Yet the West German public exhibited a surprising degree of interest in the miniseries: ratings as high as 41% suggested that more than 20 million viewers had watched at least one of the four episodes. Subtitled "The Story of the Weiss Family," the miniseries told the story of a fictional German-Jewish family. It affected viewers on an emotional level by personalizing the victims. "Holocaust" sparked public discussion in West Germany and intensified the public’s interest in obtaining information on the Nazi genocide. This Spiegel cover features two images from the series under the heading, "The Murder of the Jews moves the Germans."