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February 02, 1979 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-02-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

`Holocaust' TV Show Overwhelms German

television in Germany," on_e happen?"
official told me.
The Oberammergau
More than 20,000 Town Council has sent
people called the WDR around a questionnaire
television offices follow- to all the villagers invit-
ing the first installment, ing them to sign up for the
and two-thirds of the cal-
1980 Passion Play. In
lers were in favor of light of the shocked feel-
"Holocaust" being tele- ing in the village in the
vised in Germany. Many wake of 'Holocaust'
of the viewers told the TV many are refusing to
station authorities that answer the question-
they could not go on naire, and it is now being
watching it, and some extended for another
said that they could not eight days.
sleep and had to take val-
Several hundred of the
ium or sleeping pills, so younger villagers identified
powerful wag- the prog- with the Rosner text have
ram's impact.
indicated that they will re-
One authority told me, fuse to act in the Daisen-
"The experience with the berger version of the Pas-
program already has been sion Play which has been
quite extraordinary. No- condemned by Christian
body, even the most sym-
and Jewish authorities
pathetic in the TV industry, alike as "structurally anti-
expected such an emotional Semitic." -
reaction. It has staggered
There were a good
everybody."
number of negative and
The effect has even hostile reactions of Ger-
spread to East Germany mans who asked, "Why
where, according to reports, reopen old wounds? We
many living beyond the should forget all this. It is
West German regional enough time already."
broadcasting range are de-
Heinz Galinski, head of
manding to see the series. the Jewish community in
According to reports, among West Berlin, said, "The
the East Germane whO had reaction of the Jewish com-
seen the program and called munity throughout West
to express their reactions, Germany had been posi-
positive comments out- tive," adding that he had re-
numbered negative com- _ ceived many calls from Jews
ments 6-2.
and non-Jews alike. There
I spoke with several are about 27,000 Jews in
people in the village of West Germany today, a
Oberammergau who are in- tragic remnant of the more
volved in an effort to revise than 500,000 Jews who
the anti-Semitic version of lived in pre-war Germany.
the Oberammergau Passion
Galinski said the -"tim-
Play scheduled for produc-
ing of the showing was
tion in April 1980. Hans
perfect. It comes at a time
Schwaighofer, director of when there is talk again
the Rosner text of the Pas-

of the Auschwitz lie," a
sion Play, told me: "Practi-
reference to the Nazi ef-
cally everybody in fort to revise history and
Oberammergau has
claim that the genocide of
watched the first two in- _Jews never took place,
stallments of 'Holocaust.'
Bar Mitzva Wedding
"when some students are
The impact has been tre-
making jokes again-
Stationery Etc.
mendous. There is a feeling
about Jews, when the
of shock throughout much of statute of limitations on
Oberammergau. Many
Nazi war crimes of mur-
people are walking around
der is an issue and at a
the streets of the village
time when everybody
Call Barbara
saying, 'God's sake!' and
seems to be preaching let
shaking their heads in dis-
us forget.' "
belief. How did we let that
Perhaps the most sig-
nificant response of all to
"Holocaust" was that of
Chancellor Helmut
Schmidt. In a debate in the
lower house of the West
German Parliament last
Monday, Chancellor Hel-
"Best Deal In Town"
mut Schmidt commended
WILSON-CRISSMAN CADILLAC
the "Holocaust" series, said
CALL BUS. MI 4-1930
RES. 642-6836
the film is a "must" in con-
1350 N. WOODWARD, BIRMINGHAM
nection with the current
controversy over extending
the legal time limit under
which Nazi war criminals
can be prosecuted.
He added that the series
encouraged
critical and
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moral reflection which "is
important in view of the de-
HAND CRAFTED TOOLED $7 & $9
cision
each of us must make
LEATHER BELTS
for himself in the course of
DRESS LEATHER BELTS
$6
this year on the statute of
limitations."
Based on the impact al-
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ready registered, the
American Jewish Commit-
PEARL SCISSORS NOW OTHERS AT $5, $8 AND $10
tee now plans to carry out a
"THE BUCKLE LAP- IN STOCK HANDBAGS AND WALLETS!
systematic study of ye-
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then an intensive follow-up

By MARC TANENBAUM

(Editor's note: Rabbi
Tanenbaum, national
inter-religious affairs di-
rector of the Ainerican
Jewish Committee, was
script consultant to the
NBC-TV "Holocaust"
series.)
NEW YORK (JTA) No-
thing -- no book, no TV
documentary, no film, no
lecture — has touched the
soul of modern Germany on
the moral watershed
tragedy of the Nazi
Holocaust as has the
NBC-TV series,
"Holocaust." That dramatic
but factual conclusion has
emerged from a series of
overseas telephone calls
that I had with public offi-
cials in West Germany, and
in particular, with leaders
in the village of Oberam-
mergau, last Thursday fol-
lowing the viewing of the
third installment of
"Holocaust."
According to reports from
West Germany in major
American newspapers, an
estimated 14 million people,
or 39 percent of the 34 mill-
ion people in the viewing
audience, watched the third
of the four installments last
Thurday night.
The German officials I
spoke with said that the fi-
gures reported in the
American newspapers were
underestimated, and that,
in fact, some 20 million
people had seen the second
installment. That means
that one in three potential
regional viewers were ex-
posed to the "Holocaust" ac-
count. "That audience broke
every record for regional

•Ii1

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ANDY BLAU

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educational program in
German religious and secu-
lar school systems.
I have no hesitation in
saying that if this
"Holocaust" series had
achieved nothing other
than the impact that it has
already had in Germany, it
more than justified all the
investment of time and
energy in helping bring its
message before millions of
Germans who might other-
wise have avoided facing
the tragedy of the
Holocaust.

Israeli System
Is Warming
Denver Buses

BNAI BRAK, Israel —
The success of Israeli
equipment in one of Ameri-
ca's largest solar energy
projects has led to the con-
struction of two new bus
terminals in Colorado
heated by solar collectors
manufactured in Israel.
Termed one of the most
innovative solar installa-
tions in the U.S. when
started last year, the Col-
orado Regional Transporta-
tion District's $10 million
bus maintenance terminal
in Denver achieved a saving
of approximately 1,000 bar-
rels of heating oil in 1978.
The system consists of 1,390
solar collectors from
Miromit Ltd., Israel, instal-
led by its associate com-
pany, American
Heliothermal Corp. of De-
nver.
The terminals serve 622
buses.

Israel has developed and
uses two different water de-
salination processes.

THE

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MARCH 11, 1979

I

Friday, February 2, 1919 23

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