on 22 April 2013
There are in effect five television programmes on these three disks, and a mixed bag they are. The first programme on using surviving artefacts to try to make sense of the holocaust is excellent, developing a theme around which the illustrations and taking heads contribute to the viewer's understanding. As someone who has studied the holocaust for many years I still found this programme of considerable interest. There then are three very traditional programmes on Panzers, the Luftwaffe, and the U-boats, which are fine but predictable, and reminded me how much better the World At War series had covered the Nazis a generation ago. Finally there is a standalone programme on whether or not the German scientist Heisenberg was working against the Nazis when he stayed on in Nazi Germany (unlike most leading physicists), but the case is rather thin, and so this programme is more successful in comparing the Nazi and American attempts to gain a nuclear weapon (though with hardly any mention of the equivalent Soviet campaign). So, a mixed bag. I felt the package was worthwhile for just the holocaust programme, but any purchaser should be aware the overall title (Inside the Nazi Machine) is just a come-on. In reality this is a packaged series of very different kinds of programmes lumped together in one box. With a little forward planning I suspect these or very similar programmes could be seen on the History Channel anyway.