Princess Martha of Norway

PBS Sundays: fresh glimpses of World War II

By now, TV viewers might figure they know every aspect of World War II. Or not.
How about the Swedish-born princess who became Norway’s best lobbyist? Or the bankers behind bars, performing Shakespeare? Or a Spanish diplomat, defying rules to help Jews flee from Nazis? Such stories show up in two PBS shows that debuted on Easter and continue on Sundays:
– “My Grandparents’ War” has British actors learn about their kin. It started with Helena Bonham Carter and now has Mark Rylance (April 11), Kristin Scott Thomas and Carey Mulligan.
– “Atlantic Crossing” traces Princess Martha, the niece of three kings (Norway, Denmark and her native Sweden) and the wife of her cousin, Crown Prince Olav of Norway. In the opener (shown here), they barely escaped the Nazi invasion; on April 11, a plan emerges: Olav will stay in London with his father (the king) and the government-in-exile; Martha will attempt a sea journey to the U.S. with their children. Read more…