A miniseries made in 1978. It tells the story of two families. The Weiss family, a Jewish family consisting of patriarch Josef Weiss, his wife Bertha, and three children Anna, Rudi, and Karl, as well as Karl's German wife Inga. The other family is the Dorf family, consisting of Erik, Marta, Peter, and Laura. Erik Dorf joins the SS due to economic problems, and goaded on by his ambitious wife Marta, rises through the ranks to help plan out the holocaust. It takes place over a span of 10 years, from 1935 to 1945.
All There in the Manual: Gerald Green, the writer and the screenwriter for the mini, later wrote a tie-in novel where we learn what happened to the characters after the film's end:
Rudi is researching what's happened to his family and reading Dorf's diary, he and Uncle Kurt have maintained a correspondence, Kurt Dorf was honored by the Yad Vashem as a righteous Gentile, and Rudi has re-married and has two young sons while residing in Israel.
Inga and little Josef have moved to England and maintained contact with Rudi.
Anyone Can Die: Oh so much, only a few of the main characters remain alive at the end of the series. And it's obvious that no one, not even children are safe.
Awful Truth: Uncle Kurt Dorf informs Erik's family that their father was a murderer and that he was captured by Americans and committed suicide.
Bittersweet Ending: Everyone's families have been torn apart by the war, yet Rudi and Inga face a brighter future ahead of them.
Dorf's Uncle Kurt is this to a lesser extent, as he works in the camp trying to keep as much Jewish people alive.
Book Dumb: Rudi, he's not great at school, but he is a cunning member of the Resistance.
Break the Cutie: Poor Anna. We first see her happily playing at the wedding of her brother Karl to Inga, then she was just a cheerful girl concentrating on her schoolwork and playing the piano with her Mother, later the stress of her father being moved to Poland and Rudi running away gets to her and she is later raped by policemen. Her sister-in-law tries to get her psychiatric help, only for Anna be sent to her death in Hadamar.
Berta was the comfortable and wealthy wife of a doctor who cared for her family and played the piano while entertaining the optimistic belief that the Nazi's hatred of the Jews will blow over in a while; later she deals with her husband being deported, her parents dying, her oldest son being taken to Buchenwald, her other son running away, and her daughter dying. All this before she faces her inevitable death.
Karl was an ambitious and sensitive artist that loved his wife/muse, he soon gets tortured, his hands damaged, finds that his parents died, and only made it to the liberation of the camp.
Dead Guy Junior: Karl and Ingas' son is named after Josef, the boy's grandfather.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Dorf demands to know why Josef hasn't fled Germany (this while he was reprimanding him for treating Gentile patients) since the Weiss family is wealthy enough, Josef merely tells him that if all the Jewish doctors fled, there wouldn't be anyone to treat the very old and poor.
Mueller cannot comprehend why Marta wouldn't just divorce Karl
Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Marta Dorf is noted by their former doctor Josef and many of the Nazis that associate with her husband as a beautiful woman, yet she did push her husband into the Nazi Party.
Grandpa the Veteran: Berta's Father proudly proclaimed in the beginning that he served in the infantry under the Kaiser, even has the Iron Cross.
Happily Married: Josef and Berta Weiss along with their son, Karl and Inga.
Erik and Marta are this to a lesser extent.
It isn't for long, but Rudi and his girlfriend Helena became this.
Heel Realization/Villainous BSOD: Dorf experiences this in the final episode. After his excuses are torn up he looks at the atrocities he helped to create and finally realizes that he has become a monster.
Ill Girl: Marta Dorf, but without the totally saintly qualities.
Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Karl, the sensitive artist, is the sensitive guy to the more rebellious Rudi's Manly Man. Both have a passionate nature in common.
Skewed Priorities: Dorf of all people calls out Marta for being more concerned about his leadership and position than for the fact he's having women and children killed.
Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Dorf initially works for Heydrich because he can't find anything else, and he seems reluctant to commit to Nazi ideology. He gradually becomes one of the architects of the Final Solution.
This is more obvious with Josef and his brother, Moses, since Josef was considered more intelligent than his brother, who inherited the family pharmacy.
You Are Worth Hell: Inga, a German Christian whose family is aligned with the Nazis, gives up her freedom to be together with her Jewish husband Karl in a concentration camp even after being warned that it would be "unpleasant" and this was after she was essentially raped just so she can have a written correspondence with her husband.