Worst Idea Ever? Nazi Occupation-Themed Reality Show To Air In Czech Republic
In what appears to be an earnest - but entirely tone-deaf - effort to raise awareness of the tragedy of Nazi rule, Czech TV will air a series that takes a modern family and places them in 1939-1945 Czechoslovakia where, according to ABC News, they will "struggle with a range of normal tasks" from harvesting crops to fortifying an air-raid shelter to food rationing to avoiding Nazi informants and the Gestapo.
The eight one hour-long episodes will be titled "Holiday in the Protectorate" and is overseen by the "war cabinet" which consistent of two historians, a psychologist, and an architect who are supposedly charged with making the show as "realistic" as possible.
According to Tablet Magazine the winner will get a "valuable prize" but it's unclear what.
"What are they going to do next", asked one critic, "Big Brother Auschwitz?" Another problem, as ABC News points out, is the lack of actual risk necessarily trivializes the real experience:
“The point about the World War II period is that there was always a possibility of violent death for everyone, something that is impossible to replicate artificially," said Jan Kral, a car designer. "'Holiday in the Protectorate' recreated some inconveniences of the Nazi occupation, but the real fear was death. The show replicates wartime living the way a Formula One computer game replicates being Michael Shumacher -- you get everything except the risk."
In related news, American ally Ukraine just made it a crime to criticize Holocaust collaborators. Via The New Republic:
All [the new laws have] to say about Nazism is that its racial theories drove certain groups out of their professions. It makes no mention of the mass murder of Jews, let alone the participation of Ukrainians in these atrocities.
So there we have it. One country turns the Nazi regime into reality TV fodder, and the other attempts to remove their own fascist baggage from the history books entirely. Perhaps we should leave history to the historians and theater to TV producers and politicians.