With the second season of World on Fire on Masterpiece approaching, take a look at the many dramas, historical documentaries, and science programs that examine World War II and the Holocaust from a variety of perspectives.

From heart-wrenching dramas spanning the U.K. and mainland Europe to history programs such as Ken Burns’ epic The War to a scientific approach to this history with NOVA, there’s something for everyone to stream – all of which are available on the PBS App and with PBS KVIE Passport.


Atlantic Crossing on Masterpiece


Delve into a lesser-known part of World War II history – the connection between Franklin Roosevelt and Norwegian Crown Princess Martha. Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) stars as Roosevelt opposite Swedish actress Sofia Helin (The Bridge) as Martha, who flees the Nazis with her three young children and lives under Roosevelt’s protection. The unique series explores the Norwegian Crown Princess’s influence in world politics during the war, including the U.S.’ decision to enter the war. In English and Norwegian with English subtitles.

How to Watch: Stream all episode now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE Passport.

Home Fires on Masterpiece

Experience life on the home front in the rural Cheshire village of Great Paxford. With World War II imminent, two powerful women struggle to put aside their differences in The Women’s Institute and join forces amidst the chaos and uncertainty of wartime. Home Fires on Masterpiece is a heartwarming story of courage, friendship, and holding onto light in our darkest moments. Ruth Gemmell (Bridgerton), Francesca Annis (Flesh and Blood on Masterpiece, Cranford), and Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey on Masterpiece) lead an ensemble cast over two seasons.

How to Watch: Stream both seasons now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE PassportWatch a preview.

The Windermere Children


In this powerful drama based on little-known history, follow child survivors of the Holocaust who are brought to an estate near England’s Lake Windermere to recuperate with the help of volunteer therapists. Without their families, they find kinship in each other and form bonds that give them hope for the future.

How to Watch: Stream now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE Passport.  Hear stories from the survivors themselves in the accompanying special The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words.

World on Fire on Masterpiece


Spanning the first year of World War II, this emotionally gripping series follows the fates of ordinary people across Manchester, Warsaw, Berlin, and Paris. An English translator in Warsaw attempts to save his Polish lover, without the knowledge of his sweetheart back in Manchester. An American war correspondent makes a discovery at the Polish-German border and runs up against censorship in Germany. Despite each character’s differences of background, country, and their role in the war, they all must grapple with the unthinkable: a world in flames.

How to Watch: Stream all episodes of season 1 now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE PassportWatch a preview for season 2, premiering October 15.


Want to watch even more dramas? Check out Land Girls, Our Miracle Years, and The Time in Between.



Harbor from the Holocaust


Examine the unknown story of the nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees that fled Nazi-occupied Europe to the Chinese port city of Shanghai. Exploring the extraordinary relationship of these refugees and their adopted city, even through the years of Japanese occupation and the Chinese civil war that followed, Harbor from the Holocaust takes a captivating look at how this remarkable influx happened.

How to Watch: Stream now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE Passport.

My Grandparents War


Follow major celebrities as they re-trace the footsteps of their grandparents and learn how World War II changed the lives of their families. Helena Bonham Carter explores the heroism of both sets of her grandparents. Mark Rylance discovers his grandfather’s extraordinary story as a Japanese prisoner. Kristin Scott Thomas learns how her grandfather, a Royal Navy officer, saved thousands at Dunkirk. Carey Mulligan travels to Japan to learn about her grandfather’s experience as a British naval officer.

And in season 2, Keira Knightley, Kit Harrington, and Toby Jones and singer Emili Sandé each explore their family’s grandparents’ unique stories during the events that changed their lives forever.

How to Watch: Stream both seasons now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE Passport.

Rise of the Nazis


How did a nation like Germany allow, and even welcome, the destructive and disturbing ideas of Nazism to take hold? In 1930, Germany is a liberal democracy. Just four years later, democracy is dead, Germany’s leader is a dictator, and the government is in the hands of the Nazis. In this series that is part historical examination, part re-creation drama, take a riveting look at Adolf Hitler’s ascent to Führer of the Third Reich and the Nazi’s rise to power – and the story of resistance and destruction that followed.

How to Watch: Stream both seasons now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE Passport.

The U.S. and the Holocaust 


Take a look at the Holocaust from a different perspective in this 3-part documentary from Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein. Explore how the U.S. responded to one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of the 20th century and how it challenged the very ideals of our democracy. The series examines what the U.S. government and American people knew and did as the catastrophe unfolded in Europe and raises the questions that remain essential today: What is America’s role as a land of immigrants? What are the responsibilities of a nation to intervene in humanitarian crises?

How to Watch: Stream all episodes now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE Passport.

The War


This 7-part documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns. Exploring the most intimate human dimensions in a worldwide catastrophe that touched the lives of every family in America, The War demonstrates that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives. The series honors the bravery, endurance, and sacrifice of the generation of Americans who lived through what will always be known simply as “The War.”

How to Watch: Stream all episodes now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE Passport.

ViewFinder: Before They Take Us Away


Chronicle the lives of Japanese Americans who self-evacuated from the West Coast in the wake of forced incarceration during World War II. As the U.S. government prepared to forcibly remove and incarcerate Japanese Americans, a small number took fate into their own hands and fled, becoming refugees in their own country. Hear the untold stories of these “self-evacuees” who spent the war years outside the camps – as they struggled to rebuild their lives and overcome poverty, isolation, hostility, and racial violence.

How to Watch: Stream now on the PBS App.

ViewFinder: Valentía – Mexican Americans in World War II 


Examine the experiences of Mexican Americans during the Second World War through interviews with veterans of all branches of our armed forces. Members of later generations also honor those who gave so much for our freedom.

How to Watch: Stream now on the PBS App.


Want to watch even more history shows? Check out How Saba Kept Singing, Her War, Her Story: World War II, and The Queen at War.


NOVA: Great Escape at Dunkirk


Join archaeologists and divers recovering remains of ships and planes lost during World War II’s epic Dunkirk operation – and discover how this new evidence helped save Allied forces from defeat. As France fell to the German armies in May 1940, 400,000 Allied troops were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk. Their annihilation seemed certain – a disaster that could have led to Britain’s surrender. But then, in a last-minute rescue, Royal Navy ships and a flotilla of tiny civilian boats evacuated hundreds of thousands of soldiers to safety across the Channel – the legendary “miracle of Dunkirk.”

How to Watch: Stream now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE Passport.

NOVA: Bombing Hitler’s Supergun

Spring 1943. World War II is slowly beginning to turn in favor of the Allied forces. But, growing desperate, Hitler hatches plans for a diabolical weapon: a bank of “superguns” housed in a massive underground complex in Nazi-occupied northern France. Together the guns would be able to pump 300 heavy high explosive shells into downtown London every hour – a target 100 miles away.

How to Watch:  Stream now on the PBS App with PBS KVIE Passport.


Want to watch even more science shows? Check out NOVA: Zeppelin Terror Attack.


UPDATED: Best World War II Dramas, Documentaries & More to Stream