The Nazis: A Warning From History

The Nazis: A Warning From History

How could a cultured nation at Europe’s heart be responsible for acts so heinous, they have altered concepts of what man is capable of? This groundbreaking documentary series is the definitive history of the rise and fall of the Nazis. From the first stirrings of Hitler’s diabolical vision to the destruction of the Nazi war machine, unseen footage and eyewitnesses reveal the inner story of WWII.

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The Nazis: A Warning From History on BBC Select

With the help of film archive discoveries from Russia and interviews with eyewitnesses, many of whom were former members of the Nazi party and have never appeared on screen before, this fascinating history documentary series reveals how the Nazi party was born in the late 1920s and shows just why in January 1933 Germany’s President Hindenburg appointed a new popular chancellor who was openly committed to overthrowing German democracy: Adolf Hitler.

It continues to reveal how Hitler grew in power, solidified his position, developed the instruments of his brutal dictatorship such as the Gestapo and the SS, the reasoning behind the Nazi’s despicable philosophy of exterminating any ‘undesirables’ and finally what led to their ultimate downfall and destruction. Hitler’s personality was to dominate the Nazi party and change the course of global history. But eyewitnesses have very different recollections of him. Some saw him as a charismatic leader, while others felt a disturbance emanating from him.

This force of personality led to him consolidating power in Germany during the 1930s and soon becoming supreme leader of the nation. He enjoyed extraordinary popularity with ordinary Germans, who were happy to help the nefarious actions of the infamous Gestapo. Despite admitting admiration for the achievements of Great Britain and despising the actions of Stalin and the Soviet Union, Hitler soon found himself on the road to war with Winston Churchill and the British, allying with Russia. The documentary analyses why this took place.

Nearly one in five Poles died during World War Two. The Nazi invasion in 1939 ushered in one of the most brutal episodes of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen. The documentary destroys the myth that Poland’s Nazi leaders were acting under detailed ‘orders’ and that the country’s Nazi administration was a model of German efficiency. Instead, chaos ensued.

As Hitler waded deeper into global war, the film demonstrates how the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 was a crucial catalyst to the radicalization of the Nazi policy against Jews, political enemies and others viewed ‘undesirable’. With the help of archive discoveries and frank interviews with victims, bystanders and a former member of a Nazi killing squad, the decision-making process that led to one of the greatest crimes the world has ever seen, the Holocaust, is examined.

The documentary also investigates why the Germans continued to fight when it was obvious that the war was lost. Between July 1944 and May 1945 more Germans would perish than in the previous four years of the war put together. The film shows how fear and hatred of Bolshevism drove many Germans to fight to the bitter end. This l and mark documentary series offers the definitive story of Hitler, and the Nazis, rise and fall.

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