God on Trial is available for online viewing
Nov. 10-16 2008
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Chapter 1: Introduction, 2:23
Masterpiece contemporary host Matthew Goode introduces God on Trial.
Chapter 2: The Camp, 8:39
The prisoners undergo a "selection" as a doctor determines who will be sent to the gas chamber. When the prisoners return to their block house, new prisoners arrive. Moche angrily declares that God should be put on trial.
Chapter 3: Establishing the Court, 4:16
Schmidt, a rabbi, sets up a rabbinical court, which requires three judges. Baumgarten agrees to be the Head of the Court. Schmidt takes on the role of Father of the Court. And Mordechai, Kuhn's son, insists on being the Dayan, the questioner.
Chapter 4: Breach of Contract, 7:57
As the trial begins, the prisoners decide on the charge against God: he is in breach of contract and has failed to fulfill his covenant with the Jewish people. Kuhn steps forward to defend God, arguing that Auschwitz is a test of their faith.
Chapter 5: It's Not Personal, 7:23
Baumgarten and Schmidt debate God's punishments, and Schmidt's notion that the Holocaust could be a purification, demanding a sacrifice of the best Jews. Schmidt calls on Idek to support his views with historical examples.
Chapter 6: The Block Altester, 5:14
Mordechai calls the Block Altester to the stand, who tells the horrified prisoners that his only concern is to survive and that he does so by keeping the Jewish prisoners in line.
Chapter 7: Free Will, 5:45
Mordechai and Schmidt wonder if God is all powerful, why God doesn't help people. Schmidt explains the concept of free will, and Idek adds that man always has a choice. An angry Moche prods Lieble to tell the story of his shocking choice.
Chapter 8: God is Here, 7:11
Lieble has kept his faith in God, and feels God's presence at the camp. As Lieble recites a prayer about the mystery of God, Nazi officers and a doctor arrive. The officers round up the new prisoners to be examined.
Chapter 9: Unknowable God, Uncertain Survival, 4:59
Schmidt sums up the trial so far by suggesting the mind of God is unknowable, and all they can do is trust. Baumgarten disagrees — they need to determine if God has broken the covenant. Idek struggles to recite a passage from the Bible.
Chapter 10: The Illusion of God, 7:18
Jacques declares that God is an illusion used by rulers to exercise power. He says that the Jewish people mistakenly believed that they were the chosen people.
Chapter 11: Men of Reason, 4:23
Jacques tells the court that the Jewish people were wrong and acted as babies — God loves everyone. He urges them all to be men and use their reason.
Chapter 12: The Judges Confer, 4:05
Baumgarten offers a personal revelation. Baumgarten urges the others to keep their God because the Nazis have taken away everything else.
Chapter 13: The Verdict, 10:28
Akiba, the silent, mystical rabbi, suddenly speaks. Akiba launches into a series of questions that explore God's actions from the escape from Egypt to the present day.
Chapter 14: "Now, We Pray", 6:24
Nazi officers arrive to call out the numbers of those selected for the gas chamber. One who has been called desperately asks the rabbi Akiba, "What shall we do now that God is guilty?" The rabbi replies, "Now, we pray."