World War II documentary films - Secret weapons, Last Nazis and their relatives talking...
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Hitler Movies, WW2-era Footage, WW2 Movies, Nazi Movies, WW2 doc series, Nazi documentaries.
Desert War: Two-part documentary film about the conflict in North Africa during World War II
As Anzac Day approaches, documentary maker Steve Westh, hopes more people will look beyond the parades and ceremonies to their elderly relatives and neighbours, whose experiences of war too often remain untold. In making Desert War, his latest two-part film about the conflict in North Africa during World War II, Westh met with men from both sides of the trenches of Tobruk and El Alamein. Gathering stories which paint a vivid picture of the soldiers` ordeals.
Documentary film: Hitler`s Children - The troubled Nazi descendants
The names of Himmler, Goering, Goeth and Hoess evoke the horrors of Nazi Germany, but what is it like to live with the legacy of those surnames? When he was a child Rainer Hoess was shown a family heirloom. His mother lifting the lid of the fireproof chest with a large swastika on the lid, revealing bundles of family photos. The pictures show a pool with a slide and a sand pit - an idyllic family setting - but one that was separated from the gas chambers of Auschwitz by just a few yards. His grandfather Rudolf Hoess was the first commandant of Auschwitz. His father grew up in a villa adjoining the camp, where he and his siblings played with toys built by prisoners.
Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)
Documentary film "Nazi Titanic: Revealed" tells the story of the big budget Nazi film which was never shown in the Third Reich
It`s the most bizarre telling of the Titanic story – a big budget Nazi film by propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Titanic, conceived in 1940, depicted Britain as a society ruled by greedy plutocrats. Now the story of its making has come to light with a new documentary film, "Nazi Titanic: Revealed". But like the doomed liner, the film itself met a calamitous end. Never shown in Nazi Germany, its director was found hanged by his own braces, most likely murdered by the Gestapo. And the ship that took the role of the Titanic, the Cap Arcona, was later sunk with 5,000 concentration camp prisoners on board.
Documentary film: Elusive Justice: The Hunt for Nazi War Criminals
"Elusive Justice," a fascinating and sometimes depressing documentary film on the fate of Nazi criminals after World War II, raises unavoidable questions about our whole concept of justice and revenge. The premise is that only "a sliver" of Germans who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity were ever held to account for it. Many Nazis who slaughtered civilians, or took an active managerial role in carrying out the Holocaust, slipped away after the war and lived long lives under assumed names in faraway places like Argentina and the United States.
Documentary film: The Most Courageous Raid of WWII - The raiders who took on 10,000 Nazis in a canoe
On a cold night in December 1942, a British submarine, HMS Tuna, surfaced off the mouth of the Gironde estuary in France. 10 Royal Marines under Major Herbert Hasler disembarked in 5 canoes and paddled off into the darkness: this was the start of Operation Frankton. The mission was next to impossible. After navigating the tidal waters of the Bay of Biscay, Hasler`s men were to enter by stealth the most heavily defended estuary in Europe, to dodge searchlights, machine-gun posts and armed river patrols, paddle 75 miles upstream to the port of Bordeaux, and plant limpet mines on enemy blockade runners.
Documentary film: Strawberries with the Fuhrer -- Waffen SS General`s daughter had tea with Hitler
Film-maker Amy O`Connor`s 30-minute documentary film "Strawberries with the Fuhrer" has a salutary tale to tell. Helga Tiscenko grew up only vaguely aware that her father was a powerful man. Her Papa was in fact a general in the Waffen SS, exactly the sort of man who might be expected to proudly introduce his pretty 9-year-old daughter to Adolf Hitler. And so, young Helga met Hitler, presented him with a bouquet of his favourite forget-me-nots, and was invited to stay for afternoon tea.
Documentary film "The Third Reich - The Rise And Fall" now available on DVD
"This is not the story of how Adolf Hitler seized power in Germany. This is the story of how and why the German people gave it to him," explains the narrator at the beginning of the new two-DVD set "The Third Reich - The Rise And Fall". This documentary film consists of almost exclusively from home movies and private diaries and journals. Most of the footage is German in origin, filmed by ordinary citizens witnessing extraordinary events. Some of the later material was filmed by Russians as they were advancing on Berlin.
Documentary film "Garbo the Spy" recounts the life of WWII double agent Juan Pujol Garcia
Double agent Juan Pujol Garcia - known by the British codename Garbo and the German codename Arabel - was one of the most important figures of the Second World War. He had a key role in the Operation Fortitude, deceiving the Nazis about the date and location of the D-Day invasion. Skillfully playing both sides - at one point he had 27 made-up agents in his spy network - he was awarded an honorary knighthood by the British and the Iron Cross by the Nazis. After the war Garcia faked his own death and moved to Venezuela. But how do you make a documentary film about such an elusive figure?
Documentary film "The Wereth Eleven" retraces the steps of the 11 black GIs who were executed by the Nazis
Docudrama "The Wereth Eleven" retraces the journey of the 11 soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion who escaped The German 18th Volksgrenadier Division after their unit was overrun during the Battle of the Bulge. Their 10-mile adventure from their battery position to Wereth, Belgium led them to refuge with a Belgian family - until a Nazi sympathizer betrayed them to an SS Patrol. The GIs surrendered, but were taken to a field, where they were tortured, maimed, and shot on Dec. 17, 1944.
Staff Sergeant George Shomo, a member of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, recalled: "As a black soldier in the United States Army, you weren`t as good as a dog. We fired until we ran out of ammunition. It`s hard when a man`s got a rifle coming at you and all you got is a trench knife."
Documentary film "Witness, Collaborator or Perpetrator" shows Holocaust through non-Jewish eyes
Documentary film "Witness, Collaborator or Perpetrator?" offers a rare view from non-Jewish Holocaust observers who witnessed crimes against Jewish people by the Nazis. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has been collecting testimonials both from individuals who witnessed the Holocaust in their backyards and from those who collaborated with the Nazis.
"The researchers have interviewed over 1,300 individuals in 15 countries. This is very different from Holocaust survivor stories. It`s not just about the blood and the guts of the Holocaust, it touches on all aspects," explained Scott Miller.
Documentary film Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of World War II released on DVD
In the 1940s, when mathematically talented girls were recruited by the U.S. military to do ballistics research, "computer" was a job title, not a machine. And some of the women went on to program the first general-purpose computer, the ENIAC. When filmmaker LeAnn Erickson learned of this little known Second World War female group she knew she had to told their story.
Documentary film Third Reich: The Rise and Fall premieres on History on December 14/15 (Article no longer available from the original source)
"Third Reich: The Rise and Fall", 4-hour miniseries airing on History on December 14/15, tells the story of the Third Reich from the German perspective, taking viewers on tour inside the Nazi Germany in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s with rarely seen private home movies, Nazi propaganda footage and other contemporary material. The narrative consists of personal recollections from Germans` diaries, journals and letters.
Documentary film Operation Mincemeat: British deception plan which fooled the Nazis with a corpse
During World War II, the Nazis fell for a British plot -- thought up by Ian Fleming -- to pass off a dead tramp as an officer carrying secret documents. Even Hitler was fooled and moved a German panzer division to Greece, leaving the real target, Sicily, lacking reinforcements.
Documentary film: "Knights of the Sky: Air War Over Romania" includes rare footage
"Knights of the Sky: Air War Over Romania" is a documentary film about American fighter pilots and bombers who raided Romanian targets in the World War Two. Pilot interviews - both American and Romanian - and US Air Force POW experiences are covered through rarely showed Romanian archive footage.
Documentary film "Colditz - The Legend" provides personal take on the WWII prison camp
The story of Colditz, the legendary Nazi POW camp is about to be re-told through the eyes of the survivors in a documentary film made for the Yesterday TV channel. The film, "Colditz - The Legend," offers a fresh perspective and personal view on the World War II prison camp from which no one was meant to escape. It will reveal what motivated, scared, and inspired the officers in Colditz (officially known as Oflag IV-C), and how they coped with daily life. The Germans` plan was to confine all the serial escapees of officer class, but doing so they created an elite academy for escapology.
Czech filmmaker Lukas Pribyl talks about making WWII documentary series "Forgotten Transports"
Interview of filmmaker Lukas Pribyl, who produced the "Forgotten Transports" series which consists of four 90-min films about the Nazi deportation of Czech Jews. --- "The fact that many consider the subject of the Holocaust `overdone` actually drew me to it. ... I was interested in depicting other `modes` of survival, not the Auschwitz one. ... Each of the 4 films describes one geographic destination where trains were dispatched to and focuses on a particular `mode` of survival. ... I managed to get pictures from the KGB archives, traded bottles of vodka for photos in Polish villages, incessantly pressed the doorbells of former SS men." [Series website]
Documentary film: 442 - Live With Honor, Die With Dignity
"I was American. I wanted to join the military. They had reclassified my draft status from 1A to 4C - I became an enemy alien overnight. They took away all my civil liberties, I could not join ... the military until Feb of 1943 when they formed the 442nd," said Lawson Sakai. That thousands of Japanese Americans, imprisoned along with their families in internment camps, joined the U.S. Army is amazing. The 442nd Infantry Regiment - along with an offshoot, the 100th Infantry Battalion - is the most decorated unit in U.S. history. Using combat and newsreel footage, old photos, and interviews the film explores the legacy of the 442nd.
The Untold Battle Of Britain (Bloody Foreigners documentary series) - Polish fighter pilots in RAF
"Battle of Britain" is part of "bloody foreigners" series, which consists of documentary films covering the roles that foreign refugees had in helping Britain win during the various conflicts. In this episode, first-hand accounts show how the Polish played a big role in winning the Battle Of Britain. The Polish had to fight on two fronts: They were fighting to win the respect of the British pilots, who were not happy that the Polish were taken into the RAF. On September 7, 1940, when Luftwaffe blitz bombed London, Polish pilots downed 16 German aircraft in 15 minutes. A record unbeaten by any British RAF Squadron.
Dear Uncle Adolf: Documentary film explores truckloads of fan letters sent to Hitler
"Dear Uncle Adolf" explores the fan letters Hitler got while in power. These notes, letters, and gifts - seized by the Soviets in 1945 - laid in Russian archives until they were discovered in 2007, forming the basis of a German book called "Letters to Hitler". Margarethe Wagner sent a pair of socks in 1938 after Hitler occupied the Sudetenland: "I knitted these for you as you freed us." Such women were under Gestapo monitoring as Hitler feared that his cult of personality could cause a disruption of home life. A special department in Munich and Berlin postal services dealt with the huge volume of fan letters sent to him every day.
Documentary film Nazi Secret Weapons - Could Nazi secret weapons have changed the course of war?
A fleet of long-range "Amerikabombers" meant to destroy the New York City. A 1,000-ton tank, the largest ever designed. Fritz X: A radio-guided bomb with a success rate 80 times higher than that of its rivals. Those weapons in Adolf Hitler`s fantasy arsenal were never fully utilized, but a National Geographic program explores what might have happened if they were. In "Nazi Secret Weapons," a group of military historians and aviation experts use blueprints and reconstructed Third Reich technology to figure out whether some of top-secret German WW2 armaments might have changed the course of war.
Student documentary film reveals how Soviet Union herded Ethnic Germans into death camps
Students at St. Louis Community College-Meramec (STLCC) have created an in-depth, feature-length documentary film "The Forgotten Genocide." The documentary film reveals the suffering of Ethnic Germans behind the Iron Curtain. At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union systematically drove Ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe into death camps for the purpose of extinction. By examining relics of the era and carrying out interviews with German survivors of a little-known historical atrocity, students are unfolding this forgotten story.
Hitler`s Children: Descendants of Göring, Eichmann speak out in documentary film
A small group of Germans are slowly coming to grips with the crimes of their fathers and grandfathers. After the end of WW2 the descendants of the Nazi leaders were left a legacy that links them to the horrors of the Third Reich. Adolf Hitler did not have children. Joseph and Magda Goebbels killed their 6 kids in Hitler`s bunker in 1945. But what about the families of Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann? In "Hitler`s Children" the Nazi descendants discuss the struggle between the admiration that children have toward their parents and their revulsion of their crimes.
As Seen Through These Eyes - documentary film explores artists who painted for Nazi captors
The same talents that lead to work in the Warner Brothers and MGM animation studios saved Dina Gottliebova Babbit`s life in Auschwitz. The Dr. Mengele spared the 19-year-old girl so she could be his personal artist, painting portraits for the Nazi guards and documenting his cruel experiments. For many young Jewish and Roma artists, keeping up their creative voices during the Nazi Holocaust was a means of spiritual and even physical survival, and their work now serves as solemn testimony to the crimes of the National Socialists in Hilary Helstein`s documentary film "As Seen Through These Eyes".
Hitler’s Attack: How World War Two Began - German-Polish WWII documentary film
Deutsche Welle and TVP Polonia publicized the film "Hitler`s Assault: How World War Two Began" - a groundbreaking German-Polish documentary about the beginning of World War II - with the premiere at the Polish Institute in Berlin. 70 years after the Nazi invasion of Poland, this documentary film was created by filmmakers from both countries to explore this dark chapter in German-Polish history from different perspectives. "70 years after the outbreak of the war... we must once again examine this period - but by way of facts and knowledge rather than prejudices and myths," said Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy.
Documentary film Yasukuni explores Japan`s view of World War II via Yasukuni shrine
Over 60 years after the end of World War Two, many Japanese still refuse to accept blame for the war or wartime actions. Imperialist aggression? No, says one man in "Yasukuni," this was about "the liberation of Asia!" There are millions of Chinese, Koreans and Filipinos who disagree. What about war crimes like comfort women, slave labor, medical experiments, death marches, the Nanking? "A Chinese fabrication! The biggest lie in all of history" another answers. In some parts of Japan, it is still 1941, all day long. "Yasukuni" tries to draw them into the present, by focusing on the controversial Yasukuni shrine.
Unsurrendered 100 Voices - Documentary explores the WWII Filipino Guerillas and Bolomen
Documentary film Unsurrendered 100 Voices - by Peter Parsons and Lucky Guillermo - explores the spontaneous movement that emerged all over the Philippines when the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the Philippines in 1941. This resistance did not wait for defeat and surrender. There were both Filipinos and Americans who went to the hills as early as December of 1941, when MacArthur declared Manila open city. Because Parsons is the son of Cmdr. Chick Parsons, who organized the submarines that supplied the guerrillas, this film also covers the importance of these submarines - but from the point of view and in the voices of the guerrilla speakers.
Documentary film focuses on Veit Harlan, director of Nazi propaganda film Jud Suess
A German film focuses on a man many would rather forget: Veit Harlan, director of Nazi propaganda film Jud Suess. "Harlan - Im Schatten von Jud Suess" (Harlan - In the Shadow of Jew Suess) concentrates on his most notorious work, retrospecting at his output through the eyes of the family he left behind. Director Felix Moeller hoped not only to examine the "taboo" subject of Harlan, but also how the family had dealt with the legacy of his work for Adolf Hitler`s Nazi regime. "Jud Suess," which opened in 1940, was mandatory viewing for Heinrich Himmler`s SS (Schutzstaffel) and was shown to local populations under Nazi occupation before mass deportations of Jews.
WWII documentary film Lost in Libya explores the legendary Long Range Desert Group
WW2 documentary film Lost in Libya follows 3 amateur historians` travel to the heart of the Sahara to find the untouched site of a battle between the legendary Long Range Desert Group and the Italian forces. The film includes the only known historical footage of a group of specialist soldiers in action during the Second World War. The Long Range Desert Group was an elite force with special skills in navigation, desert warfare and survival. The group`s main aim was to provide detailed maps and information about Nazi positions from deep behind enemy lines in the Libyan Desert without being detected.
Documentary film Swastika shown in Germany after 36 year ban, includes color footage filmed by Eva Braun
Philippe Mora`s and Lutz Becker`s 1973 WW2 documentary film about how Nazis penetrated German lives was banned from showing in Germany after fights erupted at its first screening in Cannes. Now it will premiere in Germany: at the Biberach Film Festival. Mora discovered Eva Braun`s home movies - rare color footage filmed by Adolf Hitler`s mistress Eva Braun - in the National Archives in 1972, and combining it with other Nazi-era footage by the Nazi Party, created a film that reveals how Hitler seized the imagination of a state. "The film was made to show that Hitler was a human being. If we don`t recognize that fact, we won`t see the next monster coming."
Documentary: Women in The Military: Willing, Able, and Essential
Since America`s founding, women have been driven by patriotic zeal to serve their country. From uncommon soldiers who disguised themselves to saw combat and nurses that faced terrible injures to those who wear the uniform in battle zones today, women have contributed to American military might. "Women in The Military: Willing, Able, and Essential" is their story. Massive changes in women`s military contributions took place during World War II as increased recruitment and expanded opportunities allowed 400,000 to serve in almost all noncombat positions.
Rzhev: Marshal Zhukov`s Unknown Battle - WW2 documentary film upsets Russians
"Rzhev: Marshal Zhukov`s Unknown Battle" is the sort of film that would have been praised in the West. But not in Russia, where its presenter Alexei Pivovarov is a traitor. 1.5 million people died during the Rzhev campaign 1942-1943, mostly Russians. This huge death toll was result of Josef Stalin`s disregard for his own men and of the screwups of Soviet generals. But Russians know little of the Rzhev battles because they have been airbrushed from history. Even Georgy Zhukov, who led the Rzhev campaigns, scarcely talks about them in his memoirs. In the film one German veteran expressed his horror at how the Soviet soldiers were treated as "cannon fodder".
Behind Closed Doors - Stalin, the Nazis and the West [documentary]
Historian Laurence Rees`s series reveals the truth about Stalin`s wartime alliances. When do you think WWII ended? In 1945? If you believe that the end of the war was supposed to have brought freedom to the countries, then for millions of people the war did not end until the fall of Communism. In 1945 the people of Poland, of the Baltic States and of a number of other countries swapped the rule of one tyrant, Adolf Hitler, for another, Joseph Stalin. To demonstrate this bitter reality the presidents of Estonia and Lithuania refused to visit Moscow in 2005 to take part in "celebrations" marking the 60th anniversary of the "end of the war" in Europe.
Original Patriots: Northern California Indian Veterans of World War II (Article no longer available from the original source)
KEET-TV will broadcast "Original Patriots: Northern California Indian Veterans of WWII" on Nov. 9 and Nov. 11 to mark Veterans Day. When America joined the Allies in 1941, a generation of Native American people from California joined the fight. They served in spite of the fact that many were not born as citizens of the United States. Native Americans were not given U.S. citizenship until 1924. Although their stories are not often told, they are part of "The Greatest Generation.` In this documentary film Lee Hover, Frank Richards, and Wally Scott recount their struggle at Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and D-Day, and share their views on the costs of war.
Last Flight Home documentary film - Recovering World War II remains
The BentProp Project is a team of volunteers committed to recovering the remains of WWII airmen killed in action in the South Pacific nation of Palau. Now their work has been packaged for the first time in a film. "Last Flight Home," made by two members of the BentProp team, is a look at these adventurers as they search the waters and jungles for the 200 planes shot down by the Japanese in 1944. Today Palau is a tourist destination, but the remote islands are also a battleground mostly forgotten by military history. Corsairs, Hellcats, TBF Avengers and B-24 Liberators litter the jungle and shallow waters around the islands.
Weird Weapons: The Axis -- WWII documentary
1939-1945 the world was locked in a fierce military struggle. When the smoke of World War Two cleared, off-the-wall stories of extraordinary armaments began to emerge. This WWII documentary reveals far fetched weaponry dreamed up by Allied and Axis scientists. From a battleship made of ice, to a fleet of pigeon-guided missiles, film examines the weird weapons of World War II. In an even stranger attempt at animal-based warfare, the "bat bomb" (to be released over Japanese industrial targets) - a project endorsed by Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt – was orchestrated by an American dentist.
P38 pilots crashes in jungle among headhunters - Documentary Injury Slight
When Colonel Charles Sullivan`s P-38 Lighting was downed in the jungles of Papua, New Guinea, the fighter pilot did not know if he would ever see his home again. Nor did he know that his adventures would catch the attention of independent filmmaker Josh Baxter. Sullivan survived for 30 days in the jungle, only with the few resources he was able to get from his wrecked plane and a native New Guinea tribe that took him in. He soon found out that the natives he bonded with were headhunters. After a standoff with the natives, Sullivan was assaulted and had to shoot his way out of the village and continue his journey as a hunted man.
The Soviet Story -Documentary film reveals similarity of Nazi and Soviet systems
The aim of The Soviet Story is to show the similarity of the Nazi and Soviet systems. The Marxist dream of the "new man" mirrored the Nazi idea of racial superiority. The Nazis killed on racial grounds, while the Soviets focused on class. One sequence shows pairs of posters: muscular workers support the party, blonde little girls... Without the swastika or hammer and sickle, it would be hard to know which is which. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact: Soviet radio guided Luftwaffe bombers in their attacks on Poland. A Soviet naval base aided the Nazi attack on Norway. The Soviet secret police trained the Gestapo.
Documentary films explore life under Nazi Germany and Soviet Union
The latest from director Bruno Monsaingeon are 2 hour-long films on 20th-century Russian music: "The Red Baton: Scenes of Musical Life in Stalinist Russia" and "Gennadi Rozhdestvensky: Conductor or Conjurer?" "The Red Baton" explores the psychic torture artists suffered in a society so insane that Rozhdestvensky, looking back, doesn`t know whether to laugh or cry. --- Enrique Sanchez Lansch`s well researched film "The Reichsorchester: The Berlin Philharmonic and the Third Reich" reveals the Berlin Philharmonic`s history as both a Nazi propaganda tool and a morale booster for German citizens.
The Ants (Ari no Heitai) - Japanese Imperial soldier left in China after WW2
The Ants (Ari no Heitai) is a documentary film about Japanese troops left in China after World War 2. The film follows Waichai Okumura, a former Imperial soldier who battled against the communists in China`s civil war. The men followed orders and fought like worker ants, "for the resurgence of Japanese imperialism." When he was able to travel back to Japan 9 years after WW2 had ended, Okumura was astonished to find his government had disowned these soldiers. The men were labeled as mercenaries and denied their pensions; A handful of soldiers went after the Japanese authorities to tell the truth about why the men had been fighting.
Rare World War II footage screened at Mumbai fest
8 documentaries on World War II screened at the Mumbai Film Festival (MIFF) have disclosed many unknown details about the Indian armed forces` contribution to the Allied war against the Axis forces. The films included "Battle of Britain", "Battle of Russia", "Cameraman At War", "Delhi Viceroy Parade", "Divide and Conquer", "Invincible", "Prelude to War" and "Town Meeting of the World" - produced by the Films Division of the govt of India. "When all the warring forces got their manpower through conscription, only Indian Army comprised voluntary soldiers." Winston Churchill remarked: "Indian armed forces was the largest voluntary army in history".
WWII documentary: My Opposition: The Diaries of Friedrich Kellner
Documentary "My Opposition: The Diaries of Friedrich Kellner" is about the diary of a German civilian, chronicling nation`s descent into the madness of Nazism. Kellner was an administrator in the German justice system when he began recording a secret diary after Adolf Hitler`s troops stormed into Poland in 1939. "My first great relief was to find he hadn`t been a Nazi, that he`d opposed them in the best way he could," said His American grandson Scott Kellner, who was given the 860-page diaryin 1968. "He told me at that time what he witnessed in Germany in the 1930s and `40s was happening again with the totalitarian regime of the Soviet Union."
Battles of Belief in World War II - The story of American radio warfare
It`s easy to look back on the Seoncd World War and get the impression that America was united in fighting "The Good War." Battles of Belief, a documentary from American RadioWorks, tells 2 little-known stories that reveal the struggle for hearts and minds in wartime. Using rare archival recordings and interviews with former spies, the program tells the story of radio warfare. [real-audio]
Documentary "Most Honorable Son" Japanese-American combat vet
"I had to fight like hell just for the right to fight for my own country," says WWII combat veteran Ben Kuroki, who as a Japanese-American faced red tape in his bid to be an Army Air Corps gunner. He was one of only a handful of Nisei to see air combat and the only one to see such duty over mainland Japan. Seeing the PR windfall of a Japanese-American combat hero the war department put him on the public speaking circuit. By parading him around it was hoped his example would reverse racism and boost Nisei recruits. The mere fact he survived Ploesti, a costly low altitude bombing raid made at oil refineries, is a story in itself.
Documentary explores the Nazis’ looting, pillaging of art and architecture
Most WWII documentaries focus on the loss of life that occurred during Adolf Hitler’s regime. "The Rape of Europa" is not that type of history film. It deals more with property than people, as it explores the Nazis’ systematic looting of priceless works of art and architecture during World War II. Combining interviews with both archival and contemporary footage, the film presents the tale of the terrors via the fresh perspective of how Nazi regime wreaked havoc on art treasures in the many countries Wehrmacht conquered, as well as the destruction done to works of art and architecture during both the Allied and Axis bombings.
Two Russian documentaries about the horrors of World War II (Article no longer available from the original source)
Gerhard M. was an amateur photographer - It helped him document his daily life in Nazi Germany and his activities on the Russian front as a member of Nazis’ Field Order police unit. "Amateur Photographer" recounts his story in his own words (diaries found in the KGB archives) and images. He seems to be a true believer, a Hitler Youth graduate who parrots the Nazi line when writing his "fighting for freedom." --- Sergei Loznitsa uses equally striking film footage for his film "Blockade." Drawing on the only extant movies of the 900-day siege of Leningrad, 3 hours of newsreels shot during Sept 1941 and Jan 1944, he constructs a narrative of a city fighting for its life.
My Dad, The War Criminal - documentary
Hanns Ludin isn’t much more than a footnote in the histories of the Shoah. He is mentioned only once in William Shirer’s "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," in connection with his being thrown out of the Wehrmacht for supporting Hitler in 1930; twice in Hans Hohne’s history of the SS for his ability to survive as an SA officer after the "Night of the Long Knives". He may be a minor Nazi functionary, albeit a doggedly loyal one, but he was important enough for the Czechs to have tried, and hanged in 1947. In "Two or Three Things I Know About Him," Malte Ludin explores his father’s role in horrors of WW2.
Documentary about soldier of the Imperial Japanese Army (Article no longer available from the original source)
Last year, Waichi Okumura visited China for the first time in 61 years. During World War II, Okumura, a former soldier of the Imperial Japanese Army, was stationed there and killed his first man: In 1945 an officer told novice soldiers to bayonet tied farmers. He went to the spot where he killed the man and burned incense sticks for him. While there two local man told him that, the japanese guards stopped fighting after Chinese communist troops attacked. On hearing this, the tone of Okumura`s voice changed, although he was being filmed. ...Later he realized what he had been saying - horrified at the thought that he might have changed back into a Japanese soldier.