The Story of the Jews

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

Satur­day, 8.30pm, SBS One Bri­tish his­to­rian Si­mon Schama has based this five-part se­ries on his two-vol­ume book of the same name. De­scribed by one critic as “an as­ton­ish­ing achieve­ment, a TV land­mark”, it takes us back 3000 years to the ori­gins of a tribal people and their bat­tle for land. In Over the

Rain­bow, the penul­ti­mate episode, he ex­plores the lost world of the shtetl, the Jewish towns and vil­lages scat­tered across east­ern Europe that gave birth to a uniquely Jewish cul­ture. Schama takes us to 1940, when the geno­ci­dal “fi­nal so­lu­tion” be­gan to grind the shtetl world into dust. “If you were to re­move from our col­lec­tive his­tory the con­tri­bu­tion Jews have made to hu­man cul­ture, our world would be al­most un­recog­nis­able,” he says.

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