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Martin Freeman and Anthony LaPaglia to star in BBC Holocaust drama

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Story by Jack Foley

MARTIN Freeman and Anthony LaPaglia are to star in a new BBC drama to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The Eichmann Show will tell the story of the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann, known as the architect of the Holocaust. It will revisit the trial, which was televised around the world, becoming a watershed moment in the global understanding of the Holocaust.

Freeman, best known for his roles in BBC drama Sherlock and The Hobbit movies, will play Milton Fruchtman, who produced the TV coverage of the trial, while LaPaglia, best known for starring in US TV drama Without A Trace, will play director Leo Hurwitz.

The feature-length drama is one of a raft of programmes due to be broadcast by the BBC to mark the anniversary.

On the actual anniversary itself (January 27, 2015), BBC 2 will broadcast a live Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration event, while concentration camp survivors will also appear in a series of documentaries.

One such documentary, A Story Of Remembrance will hear from three woman as they recount their experiences and those of their families, while Holocaust: Freddie Knoller’s War will trace the story of 93-year-old Holocaust survivor Freddie Knoller.

Touched By Auschwitz, meanwhile, will examine the lasting legacy of the camp on the lives of six former camp prisoners.

BBC Four will also repeat 1985’s landmark Holocaust documentary series, Shoah.

BBC director of television Danny Cohen commented: “The liberation of the camps is a very significant anniversary which the BBC will mark with a range of thought-provoking programmes.”

While Olivia Marks-Woldman, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chief executive, said: “We are delighted that the BBC will be ensuring that Holocaust Memorial Day is marked by the widest possible audience.

“On January 27, we honour the survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and challenge ourselves to learn important lessons from their experiences in order to create a safer, better future.”

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