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Nazi occupation recreated in Czech reality show

Dr. Emil Hacha, left, the former state president of the once existing Czechoslovakia, and Reich Fuehrer Adolf Hitler are shown in the reception hall of Hradcany Castle, Prague, March 16, 1939 as Hitler arrived to proclaim Germany's "protection" over the former republic.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

PRAGUE -- A new reality show in the Czech Republic has let a family of seven experience what it was like living under Nazi occupation during World War II.

The Czech public broadcaster said the family members, chosen from 400 applicants, were brought back in time to March 15, 1939 - the day Hitler's troops took over the country.

They were taken to a farm in the mountains in eastern Czech Republic, where they were filmed as they were forced to confront everyday realities of the occupation, such as hunger, persecution and Gestapo raids.

The goal was to show what common people had to get through at the time and historians and architects made sure their experience was as authentic as possible.

Critics have accused the show's producers, Czech Television, of trivializing the painful chapter in history. "People know what went on and how bad it was. What are they going to do next? Big Brother Auschwitz?" one online critic observed, according to the Telegraph. Wrote another: "The programme dishonours the memory of the people who had to live through those times."

The show "A vacation in the Protectorate" opens Saturday.