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Czech reality TV show recreates life under Nazi rule

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By John Glenday, Reporter

May 21, 2015 | 2 min read

A controversial Czech reality TV show is seeking to recreate Nazi rule within the confines of a Big Brother style house as part of a bid to demonstrate how life was lived during the brutal occupation.

Holiday in the Protectorate winds the clock back to the 1940s with a real-world family employed in their period surroundings to negotiate various scripted challenges, from mundane chores such as milking cows to enduring interrogations from the Gestapo.

Actors will play the part of Nazi soldiers and informers to keep the family on their toes as the camera roll, with the show set to last two months from its premiere on Saturday.

Explaining the concept programme director Zora Cejnkova said: “When starting the project, we knew that it may provoke a discussion on how far such a genre may go. I tried to show that period with utter seriousness and with respect for its tragic character.

“We are aware that it is controversial to return to so turbulent a period. However, we believe that it is correct to attempt to do this, providing that certain ethical rules and historical reality are observed.”

The concept is loosely based on The 1940s House by Channel 4 but has come under fire for demeaning the memory of those who lived through the actual occupation. One critic lamented, ‘What are they going to do next? Big Brother Auschwitz?’

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