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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air -

Gen­er­a­tion War

Sun­day, 8.30pm, SBS One

THIS three-part minis­eries proved con­tro­ver­sial when it was shown in Poland last year. While Ger­man crit­ics gen­er­ally ap­plauded it, many Pol­ish re­view­ers were up­set by in­fer­ences the Pol­ish Re­sis­tance was an­ti­Semitic. The pro­gram, with sub­ti­tles here, cer­tainly started a lively de­bate. Let­ters of com­plaint from var­i­ous coun­tries’ Pol­ish am­bas­sadors were sent to the broad­cast­ers and a demon­stra­tion against the se­ries in Lon­don showed how strongly peo­ple felt about per­ceived mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions. Some amend­ments were made as a re­sult. Set in Ber­lin in 1941, the story fol­lows five Ger­man friends, aged about 20, forced to nav­i­gate the un­con­scionable moral com­pro­mises of life with Nazism and World War II. Wil­helm, an of­fi­cer and a hero, and his younger brother Fried­helm serve in the same pla­toon on the East­ern Front; Char­lotte vol­un­teers as a nurse in a mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal; Greta is an am­bi­tious singer who is hav­ing an af­fair with an SS of­fi­cer — and Vik­tor, her se­cret Jewish lover who joins the Pol­ish par­ti­sans. They get to­gether on the eve of Op­er­a­tion Bar­barossa, Ger­many’s invasion of the Soviet Union; they prom­ise to meet again the fol­low­ing Christ­mas, but of course their lives will never be the same. The se­ries ends in 1946, when the friends meet again in Ber­lin in their favourite pub, now an empty ruin.

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