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The Nazis: A Warning from History 

An examination of how a cultured people could have allowed Adolf Hitler's rise to power.




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Series cast summary:
Samuel West ...  Self - Narrator 6 episodes, 1997
Adolf Buchner Adolf Buchner ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Jutta Rüdiger Jutta Rüdiger ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Günther Ruschin Günther Ruschin ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Danuta Grocholska Danuta Grocholska ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Mario Mondello Mario Mondello ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Herbert Richter Herbert Richter ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Karl Boehm-Tettelbach Karl Boehm-Tettelbach ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Charles Bleeker Kohlsaat Charles Bleeker Kohlsaat ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Christine Von Amsberg Christine Von Amsberg ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Fridolin Von Spaun Fridolin Von Spaun ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Ulrich de Maizière Ulrich de Maizière ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Wilhelm Gunsilius Wilhelm Gunsilius ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Eugene Leviné Eugene Leviné ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Wilhelm Moses Wilhelm Moses ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Emil Klein Emil Klein ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Romuald Pilaczynski Romuald Pilaczynski ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Viera Silkinaite Viera Silkinaite ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Irma Eigi Irma Eigi ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Walter Fernau Walter Fernau ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Walter Frentz Walter Frentz ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Bruno Hähnel Bruno Hähnel ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Anna Jeziorkowska Anna Jeziorkowska ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Riva Losanskaya Riva Losanskaya ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Wolfgang Teubert Wolfgang Teubert ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Hans von Herwarth Hans von Herwarth ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Franz Jagemann Franz Jagemann ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Otto Klimmer Otto Klimmer ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Alfonsas Navasinskas Alfonsas Navasinskas ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Alois Pfaller Alois Pfaller ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Juozas Gramauskas Juozas Gramauskas ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Stefan Kasprzyk Stefan Kasprzyk ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Henryk Skrzypinski Henryk Skrzypinski ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Johannes Zahn Johannes Zahn ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Fritz Arlt Fritz Arlt ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Josef Felder Josef Felder ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Petras Zelionka Petras Zelionka ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Estera Frenkiel Estera Frenkiel ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Jacques Leroy Jacques Leroy ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Wolf Falck Wolf Falck ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Eugen Zielke Eugen Zielke ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Maria Faulhaber Maria Faulhaber ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Erwin Massuthe Erwin Massuthe ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Waltraud Reski Waltraud Reski ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Alfons Schulz Alfons Schulz ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Samuel Willenberg Samuel Willenberg ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Rudi Bamber Rudi Bamber ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Gerda Bernhardt Gerda Bernhardt ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Uwe Bitzel Uwe Bitzel ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Herbert Döhring Herbert Döhring ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Robert Gellately Robert Gellately ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Walter Kammerling Walter Kammerling ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Ian Kershaw Ian Kershaw ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
J.A. Graf von Kielmannsegg J.A. Graf von Kielmannsegg ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Erna Kranz Erna Kranz ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Resi Kraus Resi Kraus ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Anna Krautwurmová Anna Krautwurmová ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Günter Lohse Günter Lohse ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Frank Roberts Frank Roberts ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Susie Seitz Susie Seitz ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Reinhard Spitzy Reinhard Spitzy ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Manfred Von Schröder Manfred Von Schröder ...  Self 6 episodes, 1997
Artur Axmann Artur Axmann ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Neville Chamberlain ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Galeazzo Ciano Galeazzo Ciano ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Édouard Daladier ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Hans Frank Hans Frank ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Joseph Goebbels ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Arthur Greiser Arthur Greiser ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 1 episode, 1997
Hermann Göring ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Reinhard Heydrich ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Heinrich Himmler ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Adolf Hitler ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Emil Hácha Emil Hácha ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Wilhelm Keitel Wilhelm Keitel ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Benito Mussolini ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Otto Ernst Remer Otto Ernst Remer ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Albert Speer ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997
Werner von Blomberg Werner von Blomberg ...  Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 6 episodes, 1997


An examination of how a cultured people could have allowed Adolf Hitler's rise to power.

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Did You Know?


During the "Chaos and Consent" segment, the tune "Happy Days Are Here Again" which is associated with drinking (it was FDR's Prohibition-repeal campaign song) is played while showing Hitler raising a glass stein within a crowd of stein-holding pub visitors. The visuals, music, and certainly the narration imply that Hitler might have been a drinker, yet (as cited in non-fiction histories by William Shirer and by Albert Speer) he was a well-known alcohol-abstainer. See more »


Narrator: A Hungarian woman in Hitler's entourage looked at the sky and then turned to speak to her Fuhrer.
See more »


Features Heritage (1935) See more »

User Reviews

Something to live with, a vision of the past and the present.
22 October 2009 | by juvetifosoSee all my reviews

Sometimes in the late hours or at strange moments one is left to wonder about the nature of life and death, the future. Watching the Nazis: A Warning from History gives one just such thoughts. What was it like to be a young German in 1934 watching this great revolution unfolding? A thousand changes imperceptible and perceptible, talk of destiny and triumph, erasing the past for a new future. It makes one wonder about the next step to take, and where it may lead one years down the line.

In this documentary we experience the various chapters in the Nazis' rise, moving forward with the Germans as each change, each new step by the Reich brings about a new world of possibilities, but still with enough retrospect to know where it's all heading. It's frightening, one feels like a blind man walking but inevitably we know the dark place we're going. The Nazis were bad, born out of chaos aided by fate, but from the day to day life of the poor German it was an evil that might've seemed good at first, and certainly an evil much more abstract than the daily struggle to survive, in the wake of WW1 and Versailles. With each chapter we watch the Nazis' rise as one of them, we're in the present and when events finally cascade we feel just as helpless as that nation held sway under evil forces along with its countless victims.

The Nazis: A Warning from History is something to see because it detaches us from the our time and let's us witness first hand how our own weakness, desperation, and bitterness can lead us to a place much worse than the one we left. The cold, evil, and unrepentant accounts of those who took part in the killings contrasted with those who knew but felt powerless, along with those who felt clever enough to ride the wave only to find themselves crushed beneath, paint a dark picture. An ugly world, shrouded in darkness where the future is an illusion disclosed by carnival frauds, and when curtain falls the people are left with the consequence of their ignorance and heartlessness.

From the infighting of the Weimar Republic, to the rise of the National Socialist party, to re-armament, colonization, war, and final defeat we are left to wonder how it all happened. Some still cling to their blame of the Germans, but with the silent knowledge that we're no longer talking about Germans anymore, we're watching humanity. As it happened before so has it happened again, and could easily yet still.

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English | German | French | Polish

Release Date:

8 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Natsit - historian synkkä varoitus See more »

Filming Locations:

Prague, Czech Republic

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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