This documentary series exposes the popular myths surrounding the rise and fall of the Third Reich. Exploring how they came to power, how they ruled, how they treated their occupied territories and, above all, how a cultured nation could be responsible for such acts of inhumanity. Through compelling interviews and archive film and records, the series paints an astonishing and often unpalatable picture of the Nazi rule. Contemporaries recall the true extent of Hitler's power; eye-witnesses describe the horrors perpetrated on the Eastern Front; specially shot film in Lithuania reveals the development of the 'Final Solution' and ordinary Germans shed new light on the relationship between the party and the people.
The immediate events preceding the outbreak of WW2 are presented and the question why Hitler ended up at war with the power he most admired – Great Britain - and allied to the country he most hated – Soviet Russia – is answered.
This chapter examines how the political and economic turmoil of the Weimar Republic assisted the Nazis into a position of power. The economic depression of the early 1930s and opposition to communism from senior German politicians are shown to be important contributory factors.
Shows that behind the public façade of a rigidly ordered Nazi party, the lackadaisical approach to administration of Adolf Hitler created a cloud of confusion in which ambitious Nazis could exert considerable power in the formulation of specific policies.
Charts the rise of anti-Jewish sentiment and policies which led to the Holocaust and the creation of mass slaughter camps such as the one at Treblinka. The daily operation of the Treblinka camp is revealed and accounts from living survivors are presented.
Reveals how the occupied territories of Eastern Europe were governed once they were conquered. The chapter focuses on the brutal Nazi administration of Poland, in which forced migration, slave labour and execution were commonplace.
Asks why, despite a growing awareness of the repression and atrocities of the Nazi regime and a realisation of impending military defeat, the German people were not able to rid themselves of Adolf Hitler and were left fighting to the end. Even in the midst of set backs Hitler was able to inspire a fatalistic loyalty in his people and army that prolonged the Second World War. In addition, fear of the advancing Soviet army and the reprisals they would exact on the German people kept the nation fighting until the finale of the Battle of Berlin.