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Nazi documentary films

Documentary films about Nazi Germany (Third Reich).
Latest hand-picked WWII news.

Best WWII Documentary Series: Color footage brings the Third Reich and the Second World War alive
"The World at War", which has survived time amazingly well, features a lot of content and wide range of topics covered. --- "The Nazis: A Warning from History" is the series to watch if you want to understand the Nazi-era, Hitler`s rise to power, and what it was like to live in the Third Reich. --- "The Color of War" includes color footage, which takes soldiers` everyday struggles to a complete different level. --- "The Wehrmacht" offers the German side of WWII military campaigns with scores of interviews of German veterans. --- "Hitler`s Children" takes an in-depth look at Nazi youth organizations for both girls (BDM, Bund Deutscher Mädel) and boys (Jungvolk for the youngest and HitlerJugend for those aged over 13).
(cloudworth.com)

The last survivor of Operation Valkyrie on his plot to kill Adolf Hitler
A call from his brother was to change Baron Philip von Boeselager`s life for ever. The conversation between the two senior Nazis was to launch the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Philip said: "My brother George called and said, `They want explosives`. I knew exactly what for." Philip was one of the lucky ones. In Hitler`s bloodbath of revenge, most of the plotters died, some by firing squad or suicide but many were hanged by piano wire. Now the story of their doomed attempt is being told in documentary "Operation Valkyrie: The Stauffenberg Plot To Kill Hitler". The July 20 plot to kill Hitler is a great `what-if` of world history.
(sundaymail.co.uk)

The Night of the Long Knives - Documentary film
By 1934 Adolf Hitler`s hold over Germany was not complete. He had risen to power on the fists of the SA – 3,000,000 man strong Brown Shirt army of thugs who had provided the brutality to beat down his opposition. The trouble was that SA Ernst Rohm could just as easily get rid of Hitler. Not surprisingly other top Nazis (Göring, Göbbels, etc) lined up against the SA leader, and Hitler decided that Rohm had to die, and the high Brown Shirt leadership with him. Hitler`s tool would be his praetorian guard, the SS. Hitler ordered the SA leadership to meet on June 29th, 1934, at the Hotel Hanselbauer.
(thehistorychannel.co.uk)

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.
(thehistorychannel.co.uk)

Television Under the Swastika - DVD documentary review
Television Under the Swastika: Unseen Footage from the Third Reich (1999) is a documentary about the medium`s development under Nazi Germany from 1935-1944. Though WWII documentaries from time to time mention pre-war Germany`s toying with tv technology, Michael Kloft`s film (released to German tv as Das Fernsehen unter dem Haken kreuz) makes clear they produced the first regular tv broadcasts in the world, up to 4 hours a day. Technically they were ahead of every other country, trying to make tv a practical reality and by the late-1930s made tremendous technical advances, which American TV achieved 10-15 years later.
(dvdtalk.com)

Smiling faces of the killers at Auschwitz - Scrapbooks From Hell: The Auschwitz Albums
In "Scrapbooks From Hell: The Auschwitz Albums" -documentary Ruth Brand tells of how she and her fellow arrivals were stripped of belongings and shaved bald when they arrived at Auschwitz. "Then we are marched outside, and we look at each other and cannot recognize each other. Nobody recognizes each other, even sisters." The film tells of the personal photo album of an SS officer Karl Hoecker. It contains 116 pictures of the death camp`s staff at play. "They really look like nice guys, and without the context of what they’re doing in Auschwitz, this is an album of fun," says Rebecca Erbelding.
(nytimes)

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.
(nj)

Operation Felix Documentary - German invasion of Gibraltar   (Article no longer available from the original source)
For the past 2 years, Gibraltar born film Producer Martin Nuza, has been researching about German World War II operation called Felix, which if it had gone through, would have changed the result of the war. Although precise plans were drawn up by the German High Command to invade Gibraltar and German troops were training for the invasion, the operation was called off at the last moment due to new diplomatic state of affairs. The research has included recording a number of interviews: Both former members of the then Gibraltar Defense Force and German war veterans who were at the time organising to invade Gibraltar back in 1940.
(-)

Hitler`s Favourite Royal - The story of Prince Charles Edward
Where does sensitive covering of a tricky subject end and unmerited sympathy begin? Take the story of Prince Charles Edward: Born in 1884 he was Queen Victoria`s youngest grandchild, first cousin of a king, a kaiser and a tsar, yet safely at the back of the line of succession so destined for a life of privilege as a minor member of the British Royal Family. Yet he became a senior German general in World War I and later one of Adolf Hitler`s confidants and champions. What cannot be interpreted as tragic was Charles Edward`s embracing of Nazism. As one of the first of the old elite to endorse Hitler he may well have been "instrumental" in his rise to power.
(telegraph)

Hitler: A Career (Hitler - eine Karriere)
Produced in 1977, Hitler: A Career, written and co-directed by historian Joachim Fest, caused quite a stir by all accounts when it premiered. Utilizing archival footage, Hitler: A Career immediately jumps into examining Hitler`s rise to power. Cursory information is given about his upbringing, his WWI career and his vagabond days in Vienna. In Hitler: A Career, Fest argues that Hitler, far from being a raving madman was instead a scheming, incredibly adaptable (at first) and calculating politician, keen to exploit any weakness he saw in the political system and in the masses who, humiliated by the outcome of WWI, were waiting for a voice to speak for them.
(dvdtalk)

The Silence of the Quandts - BMW and Nazi forced-labour charges   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The reclusive main owners of the BMW car company said that allegations in a documentary about their ancestors` wartime business dealings were hardly new. The Silence of the Quandts was aired without advance notice by ARD, which denied the unscheduled showing had been designed to avoid legal intervention. The documentary detailed how Guenther Quandt owned battery factories which were kept going by press-ganged or concentration-camp labour. His heirs are one of Germany`s wealthiest families. Both historians and survivors set out the war allegations. Sven Quandt, grandson of the founder, said children are not guilty of their fathers` acts.
(earthtimes)

Documentary: My Enemy`s Enemy - The West and Klaus Barbie   (Article no longer available from the original source)
"My Enemy`s Enemy" by Kevin Macdonald, is a history lesson detailing the disturbing record of complicity between notorious war criminals, specifically the Butcher of Lyon: Klaus Barbie, and the West after the Second World War. Although he was held accountable for the murder of French Resistance leader Jean Moulin, as well as for the deaths of 44 children, the U.S. found his communist-hunting tactics to be quite useful during the Cold War. Klaus Barbie would later "disappear" to Bolivia (with the help of the Catholic Church), where he would become a powerful businessman and enlist the help of some of his old Nazi brethren in a bid to build a Fourth Reich in the Andes.
(empiremovies.com)

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.
(variety.com)

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.
(nypost)

Documentary: the Auschwitz trial Germany held in the early 1960s   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Using never-before-heard audiotapes, documentary illuminates the so-called Auschwitz trial Germany held in the early 1960s. There are 3 major trials of Nazi war criminals: the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal and the trial of Adolf Eichmann - Both has received attention from filmmakers. But the third, the so-called Auschwitz trial held in Frankfurt, has been neglected by the cinema. In the process of planning a film of the trial, Rolf Bickel and Dieter Wagner discovered that there were 450 hours of audiotape sitting in the basement of the state archive. They set out to make a film "Verdict on Auschwitz."
(local)

As it Happened: The SS Struggle for Power - Documentary
The SS would be feared for its brutality and 40,000 of its guards would form the Death`s Head Battalions that ran the liquidation camps. Yet the elite, black-uniformed corps who became the Nazi Party`s enforcers sprang from a 200-strong group whom Adolf Hitler recruited in 1925 after the failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch. This account details the rise of Hitler and Schutzstaffel after the murder of the power-hungry Ernst Rohm, who led the original Nazi storm-troopers SA. Thereafter, Heinrich Himmler, would nurture the SS and make it the embodiment of Nazi terror. 6-part series includes SS officers speaking out for the first time.
(theage)

New technology catches Adolf Hitler off guard in his home movies
New technology that can read lips has helped make sense of Adolf Hitler`s home movies, many of them made by Eva Braun at the Berghof. Hitler can be heard encouraging children towards a life in the military, criticising his closest henchmen and flirting with Eva Braun: "What are you filming an old man for? I should be filming you." The footage forms part of a documentary, Hitler`s Private World: Revealed. It has languished in archives since the war after being found by the OSS in the Berghof cellars. The film shows very different Hitler at ease among his guests, he cracks jokes and talks about his love for cinema.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Professor spent 3 years as an Waffen-SS soldier - documentary
Adalbert Lallier, Concordia professor, is haunted by his past: three years spent as an Waffen-SS soldier during which he witnessed the murder of seven persons by his superior officer. The documentary film Once a Nazi... follows Lallier after he voluntarily comes forward, to publicly own up to his Nazi past and to travel to Germany to testify in the last Nazi war crimes tribunal. Although 50 witnesses were called in, his testimony was the key to the conviction of his SS lieutenant, Julius Viel. It also marked the first time a Waffen-SS man ever turned against his superior in a civil court.
(hour)

Watch The Occult History of the Third Reich: Adolf Hitler film
Watch The Occult History of the Third Reich: Adolf Hitler - documentary.
(video-google)

Death in the Bunker: The True Story of Hitler`s Downfall
Adolf Hitler spent the last ten days of his life in a bunker deep under the Chancellery of the Third Reich. Here we are given the story via archival footage as well as extensive interviews with Traudl Junge, Hitler`s secretary to whom he dictated his will; Rochus Misch, Hitler`s bodyguard and courier; Armin D. Lehmann, Hitler`s courier responsible for carrying orders from the Führerbunker; Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven, tank commander and adjutant to two of Hitler`s generals. There is also much film here of Hitler himself, shown with his generals, giving praise to members of the HitlerJugend, and Eva Braun.
(-)

Unknown Documentary of German invasion found
Professor Jostein Saakvitne has found a previously unknown German documentary of the invasion of Norway by Germany during World War II. He stumbled across the film "Kampf um Norwegen" -- or "Struggle for Norway" -- at a German Internet auction. The 80-minute documentary of the invasion of Norway in 1940 was commissioned by the German Armed Forces High Command. "The film contains both known footage, but longer than we have previously seen, and a range of new scenes that have probably never been made public before."
(upi.com)

The Man Behind Hitler: Documentary film profiles Third Reich propaganda minister Josef Goebbels   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Documentary "The Man Behind Hitler" offers excerpts from the diary of Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels. Parts of the diary were lost for decades in the Soviet Union. He admired Hitler early, joining his political movement in 1924, soon calling Nazism a religion and expected it to conquer the world. Goebbels told his diary that he loved Magda more than anyone, but that the Nazi Party still came first. He did not confide his affair with film star Lida Baarova, which Hitler ended in 1938. He hated many fellow Nazis - like SA head Ernst Rohm, SS leader Heinrich Himmler and Luftwaffe boss Hermann Goering - but on film he smiles and shakes hands with them.
(oregonlive)

Fighting Past Battles: documentary about Baltic Nazi collaborators   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Nazism, Baltic-Style - Is a controversial russian documentary about the Baltic pro-German collaborators. The Latvian Waffen SS (the Latvian Legion) was formed while the country was occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1943-44, about 150,000 Latvians were conscripted in a last-ditch effort to stave off the Red Army. In interviews mixed with archival footage, the film examines the 15th and 19th police divisions, voluntary units that were integrated into the legion. The film features testimony from former volunteers, one of them says: "I have never been a member of the Waffen SS. When I enlisted, I was told I would serve in the Grenadier Guards."
(themoscowtimes)

Program highlights search for Nazi scientists during second world war
Driven by the fear that the Nazis might come up with a last-minute super weapon, and foreshadowing the beginning of the Cold War, competing Anglo-American and Soviet intelligence teams scoured underground tunnels and mountain hideaways for the best brains in Germany - as documented in "Secrets of the Dead: The Hunt for Nazi Scientists" WWII documentary.
(JTA)

Hearts of darkness - Perpetrators of the crime tell the story
This is the first documentary about the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in which the perpetrators of the crime tell the story. One of them, Hans Friedrich, a former member of the 1st SS Infantry Brigade, recalls the moment Ukranian Jews were told to strip and prepare to die. The interviewer asks him what he was thinking as he pulled the trigger of his rifle. "Nothing," he says without hesitation. "I only thought aim carefully so you hit properly. That was my thought."
(Sydney Morning Herald)

The Occult History of the Third Reich: Himmler the Mystic
The second in a 3-part series of documentaries that explore the links between the Third Reich and its leaders and belief in occult powers and practices, this episode looks into the history of the SS. Originally organized as Hitler`s elite bodyguards, the SS became a sinister military/spiritual order under Heinrich Himmler; this film examines the roots in German mystic and occult teachings which inspired Himmler in the creation of this murderous gang.
(nytimes)