The Eichmann Show, Television Review.

Cast: Martin Freeman, Anthony LaPaglia, Vaidotas Martinaitis, Samuel West, Nicholas Woodeson, Rebecca Front, Andy Nyman, Ben Addis, Caroline Bartlett, Ed Birch, Zora Bishop, Dylan Edwards, Nathaniel Gleed, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Soloman Mousley, Anna-Louise Plowman, Ian Porter, Justin Salinger,

There are moments in history that have damned us as a species. No century, no civilisation, not one era is innocent of spilling bloodshed, but nothing perhaps can touch the 20th Century for the sheer desecration of humanity and the blood of so many children.

What sets it apart from the rest of time though is humanity’s ability to capture the atrocities caused on camera and on film; it also is responsible for seeing that justice is sought from the voices of survivors who otherwise may have been dismissed from history. As Roger Waters put it succinctly towards the end of the album, Amused To Death, the difference between what happened during the despicable events that saw millions of Jewish people exterminated because of their religion and the massacres that have seen many an indigenous race butchered in previous centuries comes down to the fact that “They died on T.V.”

With National Holocaust Rememberance Day only a short step away, it was perhaps fitting that one of the most iconic periods of time would be commemorated in the B.B.C. television film, The Eichmann Show. A piece of drama that, like such films as Conspiracy, should be shown to all school children, in very much the same way that schools now send pupils every year to Auschwitz to learn about the true horror of man’s inhumanity to man, so The Eichmann Show should stand as testament to the truth being heard when a Dictatorship, a regime, even perhaps seemingly a benign Government in future centuries, decides to carry out the most sickening, brutal, indefensible acts known to man. That thanks to the foresight, wisdom, dogmatic and truth seeking sought out by Leo Hurwitz and Milton Fruchtman, the trial of Adolph Eichmann for his crimes against humanity and his part in the mass extermination of  six million people was seen the world over.

Simon Block, who scripted The Eichmann Show, should be congratulated for his deftness and precision in bringing two very important men to life in the shape of Martin Freeman and Anthony LaPaglia to the screen. The building of the intense feelings of emotions that were running through each scene where astonishing and it should also be noted for its realism in the true life event of capturing the testimony of one of the most evil men of the 20th Century.

With great contributions from Nicholas Woodeson, Rebecca Front and Vaidotos Martinaitis, who gave a chilling representation of Adolph Eichmann, The Eichmann Show is one in which memory should be preserved, if nothing else but to warn the future that it is being recorded and judged.

The birth of the television documentary series, the seeking of truth and justice, it’s enough to believe that somewhere history will not be repeated.

Ian D. Hall