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TV highlights

PICK OF THE WEEK, Science and the Swastika C4, from March 19, 9-10pm.

After Nazi Women (reviewed February 23), C4 looks at Nazi science. The first part showed how German doctors could be seduced into support for National Socialist eugenics and a programme of forced sterilisation that was supposed to "purify" the race by eliminating inherited diseases and handicaps; many of those who took part must have known, however, that the policy was not only applied to those with genetically transmitted disabilities. Ironically, members of the Nazi Party were excused the intelligence tests applied to other slow learners. By the end of the 1930s, the policy was being extended to include euthanasia. As we learn in the second programme on Monday, the first gas chambers were built in German mental hospitals. If there is a lesson from this history, it is how easily scientists and doctors were persuaded to ignore their Hippocratic oaths and their own consciences, in some cases out of personal ambition. In the early days of Nazi rule, there were few academics who refused to take over jobs freed by the dismissal of Jewish professors.

SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT: My Brilliant Career C4, March 27, 4-4.50am.

This term's batch of programmes in an excellent set of short films on what to do with one's life are broadcast overnight next Tuesday. Careers described include arts (from author to museum attendant), sports, the police and fire services, accountancy and teaching - just in case anyone is not sure what that involves. It does give a rather more reliable account of wat teachers are meant to be doing than C4's new drama.

THE LIFE OF GURU NANAK: C4, March 30, 10-10.15am.

Animated World Faiths, a 10-part series for seven to 12-year-olds, ends next Friday with an account of Sikhism that won the Sandford St Martin Trust's Religious Education Award for Best Television Programme. This lovely puppet film from the Jiri Trnka Studio in Czechoslovakia conveys some of the poetry as well as the articles of the Sikh faith.

BEST OF THE REST: Little Women BBC2, March 29, 9-9.50pm.

Tweenagers like S Club 7 and Britney Spears ; shopping, parties and sleepovers; make-up and Armani. Tweenagers are a new breed of seven to 11-year-old girls, and if you are not aware of them or their tastes, manufacturers certainly are. Kate Townsend's film follows three sets of tweenagers through a typical day and discovers some of their interests, likes and dislikes, and emotional turmoils. Not for the faint-hearted post-tween.

Counterblast BBC2, March 29, 11.20pm-12 midnight

It shows television's confidence in its power over hearts and minds that BBC2 should allow David Burke to use the medium for this attack on it; and it suggests television's hidden anxiety about what he has to say that the channel has chosen to broadcast his polemic at midnight. Make up your own mind; or, as Burke would say: switch off and get a life?


Full education programme schedules can be found online at programmesspring2001.cfm

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