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Reality TV: Nazi-Occupation Style

Czech family must survive for two months under re-created WWII conditions, complete with Gestapo

Jonathan Zalman
May 21, 2015

Sometimes, life provides a person with sheer clarity, such as the understanding that reality TV has, in fact, become the nadir of entertainment; it’s the very subway floor of human creation. But now, mankind has reached a new low: a Czech reality show, which will premiere on May 23, will feature a family trying to live under Nazi occupation for two months. The Telegraph reports:

Called “Holiday in the Protectorate,” in reference to the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the puppet state set up in the Czech lands following the Nazi dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1939, the show places the family of three generations on a farm decked out in furniture from 76 years ago.

There they will have to deal with food shortages, Gestapo informers and intimidation by German soldiers, all played by actors, while period clothing and the use of rare original currency add to the wartime atmosphere.

So what’s in it for the real-life family if they can survive? A valuable prize.

According to, one viewer replied, “What’s next? Big Brother Auschwitz?”

The show’s director, Zora Cejnkova, anticipated criticism. “We believe that it is correct to attempt to do this, providing that certain ethical rules and historical reality are observed,” she said. “I tried to show that period with utter seriousness and with respect for its tragic character.”

(Click here to visit the show’s website (in Czech), which includes video.)

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.