ROME (Feb. 6)
The NBC-TV film “Holocaust” is being dubbed into Italian but will not be aired in Italy until the end of the year. However, it has already generated tremendous interest and is the subject of much commentary in Italian newspapers and periodicals, largely because of the extraordinary and unexpected emotional impact the American series made when it was broadcast in West Germany a few weeks ago.
The film has been criticized here as it was in West Germany and even in the U.S. for its slick “Hollywood style.” However, Italian commentators have noted that this particular quality, which many find objectionable on artistic grounds, succeeded in producing a “gut reaction” in the mass German audience that years of exposure to documentaries on the Holocaust failed to do.
The stark realities of Nazi crimes depicted by the documentaries did not move the German population but the fictionalized reality did and proved to be the most effective way to promote national self-examination, the commentators said.
Italian newspapers have stressed the “almost total lack of information on World War II in the German school system” One correspondent wrote, “Unbelievable but true, history according to German textbooks stops with the end of World war I.” In contrast to West Germany, Italy has been Inundated with information on World War II for the past 30 years, thanks to the activities of the political left and the emphasis in past war literature on the theme of Italian resistance to Nazism and Fascism.