Monday, July 13, 2009

Unearthing Hitler's Hidden Holocaust: National Geographic Channel Sheds Light on One of the Darkest and Least-Known Chapters of Nazi Terror

/PRNewswire / -- Stripped naked, lined up at the edge of a ditch and gunned down. Village by village, family by family, bullet by bullet. Before the gas chambers and ovens of the notorious death camps, this was the barbaric protocol used by the Nazis to murder an estimated 1.5 million Jewish men, women and children at hundreds of Eastern European sites during World War II. Many of these mass graves still remain unknown, but through careful investigation many are just now yielding their all too terrible secrets.

On Sunday, August 2, 2009, the National Geographic Channel journeys back to Nazi Europe to tell the story of Hitler's Hidden Holocaust -- the killing frenzy of Hitler's extermination brigades, known as the Einsatzgruppen or "action groups." Woven together with harrowing testimonials from survivors, witnesses and experts, this one-hour special presents in chilling detail -- with photographic evidence and rare video footage -- how Nazi soldiers planned, documented and committed these horrific crimes. It was the same routine: Go into a town, round up Jewish families, take them to a ditch and shoot them, often in front of curious spectators.

Hitler's Hidden Holocaust brings this gruesome chapter to light by returning to some of the known killing sites across Eastern Europe -- communities where the faces and stories of the victims miraculously survived through photos and film. "It's hard to look at these things, and that's why we must look at these things. They unleash within us a feeling of shame -- shame not because we were the perpetrators but shame because we're a member of the same species," says Professor Michael Berenbaum of American Jewish University.

Featured interviewees include: Father Patrick Desbois, Yahad-In Unum; Dr. David Marwell, Museum of Jewish Heritage; Dr. Peter Black, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; Richard Rhodes, author of "Masters of Death"; Ben Ferencz, lead prosecutor of 1947 Einsatzgruppen trials; among others.

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