On first viewing the promos for this series, I was determined not to watch it, fearing that...like so many German films in recent past...it would be filled with sensationalist and graphic wartime atrocities. When at the urging of a colleague I did give it a chance, I was pleasantly rewarded by its technical brilliance and occasional emotional depth. The medical scenes are nowhere as good as those of British or American hospital soaps, but they are in any case subordinate to a riveting drama framed by actual historical data from World War 2. The main characters are in fact based on real people, and the events more or less accurately in harmony with contemporary events.
As usual, subtitles are inferior to dubbing. Simultaneous verbal and visual effects are needed to avoid losing a great deal of dramatic impact. Many subtle or ironic phrases in German go flying right past translation, especially in a rapid fire interchange like many in this story.
Another minor fault is that, as in many fictional accounts of the war, too many small gratuitous references and characters from history keep popping up to impede the main narrative. But that in no way diminishes the central theme of ordinary people, non-combatants, coping with the traumatic impact of atrocities occurring all around them.
Are there other lessons to be learned from witnessing a sympathetic and righteous population taken over by a cult leader in challenging times? I think so.