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Over the Rainbow

   2013    Culture
With optional Hebrew subtitles. Simon Schama's history of the Jewish experience plunges into the lost world of the shtetl, the Jewish towns and villages sewn across the hinterlands of Eastern Europe which became the seedbed of a uniquely Jewish culture. Shtetl culture would make its mark on the modern world, from the revolutionary politics of the Soviet Union to the mass culture of Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood. It was also the birthplaces of Hasidism, the most visible, iconic and, arguably, most misunderstood expression of Jewish faith and fervour. This chapter of the story travels from the forests of Lithuania, where Simon's own family logged wood and fought wolves, to the streets of the Lower East Side where the sons of shtetl immigrants wrote the American songbook. With grim inevitability, the story returns to Eastern Europe in 1940 - where the genocidal mechanisms of the 'final solution' were beginning to grind the shtetl world into dust and ash.
Series: The Story of the Jews

Dzerzhinsky and Company

   2018    History
For the past century, Russian history has also been the history of its security services. They were used by the Soviet state to crush dissent. Millions suffered at their hands. Mass executions, secret wars, spies capable of stealing the atomic bomb, poisoning scandals all add up to the most extraordinary and dangerous security network the world has ever known. But even today, the security network is arguably stronger than ever. This is the History of the KGB, told through its veterans and its victims.
Founded in 1917, Cheka was the predecessor organization of the KGB. Set up as a 'temporary' measure by Lenin, unknown number of Soviet citizens would die at the hands of the secret services as internal dissents in the 1920s. An inglorious chapter is the "Great Terror" phase, when millions of Soviet citizens were convicted and executed in mock trials under Stalin's rule in the 1930s. Outside the Soviet Union, during the WWII they were busy infiltrating German High Command, British Intelligence and America's Manhattan Project. The Cold War had begun in earnest.
Series: KGB: The Sword and the Shield
Generation Iron

Generation Iron

2018  History
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The Sky at Night

2020  Science
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Speed

2019  Technology
Chimp Empire

Chimp Empire

2023  Nature
Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland

2019  Culture