The Nazis: A Warning from History (TV Mini-Series 1997) Poster

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A thorough, heart-ripping piece of work
Swangirl30 October 2001
I've seen my fair share of documentaries about World War II and Nazism. Some were good and some downright awful. But this one gets at some issues that are often addressed poorly by other investigations.

One question this six-part series attempts to answer is how did Germany fall under Hitler's spell? How was it possible? Perhaps one of the best moments is in laying the ground work for answering this complex question by detailing the circumstances and climate of the time. It certainly solved some mysteries for me concerning the hatred of Germans toward communism and Bolshevism.

The interviews themselves are hard hitting. I am amazed that some of these former Nazis agreed to be interviewed and unblinkingly told why they acted as they did. Some give excuses but many simply state it...as if daring anyone to deny them their right to feel that way. It is simply amazing and stunning to watch. And to realize that even in the light of how horrific their actions were, they still would have acted in such a manner. It defies description.

The series' creators seem to understand that in no way can they tackle all the issues of Nazism so they pick their issues with care. I especially appreciated hearing how the ethnic Germans returned to their newly expanded homeland, causing the SS to have to throw out the Poles living there. It was an aspect of the annexation I knew nothing about until now.

My only complaint was that there was so much I am sure they had to leave out. But what is included is first-rate, well done and definitely skillfully pieced together. The graphics are also top notch. I must also applaud the creators for choosing original music or period music and not the usual synthesizer overdubs one hears in most documentaries.

Kudos, too, to narrator Sam West, who does a top-notch job.
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10/10
A Warning; not a Almanac of WWII
joe_darlow5 March 2006
It seems a shame that it has been criticised, I think this series, especially the 5th episode deals with the subject in a very interesting manner.

Road to Treblinka (title of 5/6) is itself a marker on what this series is all about; so easily it could have been road to Auschwitz-Berkenau or Bergen-Belsen, where there would have been plenty (respectively) of survivors to recount tales and make us cry, but this wasn't about understanding what happened (Premo Levi said that this would be indecent itself, to understand it is almost like sympathising) but this series, as Rees discusses in The Holocaust and the Moving Image (Haggith and Newman) is about discussing the unadulterated scale of murder. Treblinka was a factory, a death factory which filled its quota and was destroyed and hidden from history.

This series asks the difficult questions to the right people. How could you stand there and shoot those children? to a Lithuanian Nazi sympathiser, Why did you think Reinhard Heydrich was a nice man? to his friend.

This series is not about understanding. It is about looking at what happened and remembering it. Forgetting it is inviting it to happen again.

Watch this and remember.
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10/10
astounding historical presentation
FilmLabRat12 February 2004
Perhaps the most solid and interesting documentary I have ever seen. This exploration of Nazi history attains a scholarly approach that is neither inflammatory nor preachy, helping viewers to see how the Nazis came to power and how the atrocities came to be committed. It was not all about one big, bad wolf who scared everyone into blind obedience.

Unlike Michael Moore's humor, flash-and-propaganda documentaries, this one not only interviews the victims as well as perpetrators without comment but also presents photographs and historical, archival documents and footage to illustrate the cool narration of facts. Amazingly, it manages to avoid commentary while presenting and interviewing those involved, including Nazis who were remorseful as well as those who were not, without ridicule. It is quite astonishing to hear how cold-blooded people were, right from their own mouths. Many knew what they were doing and some even made their own decisions about their cruelty and testified right on camera. Several still have no remorse about it.

As in quality scholarly historical scholarship, everyone stands on their own, leaving the audience members with the complete picture, facts, angles, voices, footage and photos to think for themselves. Remarkable collection and tight, professional filmmaking (choices, interviews and editing) - unbelievably thorough in research and excellent in presentation. An exemplary must-see for any history buff or documentary maker or anyone wondering about the Nazis. 10 out of 10
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10/10
How could it possibly have happened?
Rich-3154 April 2001
An evocative series which rather than investigating the Second World War as a whole, looks at how it could have happened. How did anti-semitism permeate throughout Germany society? How did people feel about having to murder civilians in cold blood? Anyone who believes in the ultimate goodness of humanity will be left with the shivers after watching interviews with ex-Wermacht and SS soldiers who took part in massacres. The sheer indifference of one individual who clearly has never even heard of the concept of guilt never mind considered it is horrifically compelling. This is a man who could appear as a harmless grandfather, still harbours no regrets about his role and claims that his very short prison terms alleviates him of any responsibility for the taking of innocent lives. This series is fundamentally important history as it illuminates what humanity is capable of when all normal controls are removed and men are invited to behave in a lawless manner. Furthermore, with recent history in Rwanda and the Balkans leaving many people shaking their heads at what could motivate such savagery, this series offers a potential cross-referenced explanation.

Watch it; you'll be compelled to try and understand why and how.
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9/10
Something to live with, a vision of the past and the present.
juvetifoso22 October 2009
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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9/10
New insight into the development and functioning of the Nazi state
mlwehle24 July 2005
Six 45-minute episodes are arranged chronologically, from the NSDAP rise in the context of the social and political turmoil which followed the first world war to Hitler's suicide in April 1945, and arranged thematically, dealing with the origins of the party, the road to the Chancellery, Anschluss, resettlement in the East, the death camps, and finally the Reich's collapse.

The first episode mentions the workers revolution that briefly took control of München, and shows how the number of Jews among the Communist leadership supported widespread theories of a Jewish-Communist alliance. Street-fighting between Communists and reactionaries is chronicled, explicating the German populace's understandable desire for law and order.

Local operation of the Gestapo, the surprisingly low count of actual employees and the extent to which surveillance by neighbors led to non-conformant citizens' denunciation and imprisonment is illustrated through a brief look at a case in Nürnberg. The informant who sent her innocent neighbor to die in a camp is interviewed.

The Wild East chapter illustrates the great variance in regional Nazi commanders' approach to Germanization of Poland and how Hitler's management style facilitated bureaucratic fiefdoms.

Too often documentaries demonize the Nazis and assume individuals somehow sprang fully formed from the gates of hell. In contrast, each of the well-crafted installments of The Nazis: A Warning from History offers new insight into the development and functioning of the Nazi state and enables us to intelligently consider the lives of its supporters. In calling for a more sophisticated understanding of totalitarianism the warning is very much that of Resnais' Night and Fog.
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9/10
a great documentary
carly-511 March 2006
this is a compelling documentary on a very emotive subject, as a historian i found this documentary to be of great interest and full of accurate and important information. I would highly recommend reading "Auschwitz" and the updated version of "Nazis : A Warning from History" (due out 2nd March) by Laurence Rees who played a big part in the making of the documentary. One of the things i found the most interesting about this documentary was the fact the they used a lot of primary sources including, rare film footage, pictures and they spoke to a lot of people involved in the Nazis regime. It was very interesting to hear how they felt about what they did under Hitlers regime nearly 60 years later.
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10/10
A VERY Important Documentary
tgtround16 April 2003
I've just seen this series again for about the third time, and its importance cannot be under-estimated. At a time when German diplomats have begun to accuse the British of being obsessed with the war, the BBC decided to record as many unrepentant old Nazis as could be found and persuaded to talk. As in Shoah, they are gladly given enough rope to hang themselves.

The importance of this isn't so much the story, because much of it is known, but the nuance that comes from the interviews and specific new information which has only come to light in the last decade. This proves, amongst other things that Adolf Hitler did not want war with Britain and he did know about the final solution.

The repression of the Nazi Party's organisation against the Germans themselves is also highlighted, and this is very rarely covered.

Highly commended.
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10/10
The only good documentary on this subject I've seen
panik6530 April 2009
I second what a lot of other reviewers have said, but only add this. Ruthless, authoritarian governments are often portrayed as being "efficient" - one of Mussolinis mottos was that he would "keep the trains running on time." The Nazi propaganda machine pushed this image of the efficiency of fascism so well it persists to this day. This documentary show the reality - the Nazi's were grossly incompetent as cronyism very quickly set in, as it does in all such tyrannical states. I'm also tired of this myth that the Nazis "almost won" - they did not only not "almost win" WW2, they got completely obliterated and got their own country destroyed.
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8/10
A Taut, Gripping Story
budfox8423 February 2005
"The Wild East-Poland:Innocent Villagers shot to the ground." These are heart wrenching images of an abyss, a Dante's inferno into which the occupied countries under Adolf Hitler, had nosedived ; September 1939- A World War which wiped out entire generations. The Nazis- A Warning from History, is aptly titled and brilliantly cinematographed. Not to mention the absorbing narration by Samual West.Even for a superficial observer this documentary reveals startling evidence into the narcissistic ,brutally anti-semitic & megalomaniac society, the Germans in the 1930s had succumbed to.For amateur documentary filmmakers this is a masterpiece of historical research and candid interviews with former Nazis. Having partly recorded it from TV in 2000, I am yet to obtain the original DVD, which has been released in the U.K. Yet to be marketed in Australia. A must see for those who have followed the events leading to World War II .
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10/10
Probably the best documentary about the Third Reich
bocsibtt12 January 2006
I have seen this documentary about 5 or 6 times already but it's worth watching every time.I have it taped. Since I'm interested in WW2 and pre-war History I was happy to see this show hitting screen in Hungary 3 years ago. When I watched it I realized it's the best I've seen in this category. It gives answers for questions which have never been asked in public.It gives a very good explanation about why the Germans let Hitler take over,how did they plan the "Endlösung",and other terrible or not so terrible things. This mini series follows the history of Nazism from WW1 up until the very end. I recommend it highly to everyone interested in this topic! Warning,definitely not for children under age of 16!
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8/10
First-Rate Direction From Laurence Rees
strong-122-4788852 October 2016
.... A Warning From History (!?)

When it comes to being honestly and thoroughly educated about the reality of the "Holocaust" - I'd say - Forget about watching Spielberg's "Schindler's List", and, instead, focus your full attention on this riveting and, yes, chilling 1997 documentary from the BBC, titled (what else?) "The Nazis".

Through interviews with Holocaust survivors, witnesses, participants, and even close associates of Hitler's, along with plenty of excellent vintage, newsreel footage - This 6-chapter, 4-hour documentary will undoubtedly give you a much better understanding as to why something as horrific as the Holocaust actually happened.

I mean, it's certainly mind-boggling to believe that so many millions of intelligent people were, in fact, duped and seduced by the likes of Adolf Hitler, a quirky, carpet-chewing, tantrum-throwing, evil-eyed misfit/scoundrel if there ever was one.

.... Was it all done "For The Love Of Thy Fuhrer" (??) - See for yourself.
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9/10
Enlightening facts of the anatomy of the Third Reich.
michaelRokeefe28 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A brilliant episodic chronicle delving into the rise and collapse of the Third Reich. Archival footage and conversations with unrepentant Nazis and survivors of the atrocities ordered by Adolph Hitler. It seemed the German people wanted a strong man offering something to fear. Hitler himself endured a process that made him the voice of a nation. Slowly but surely brutality spawned respect, but who knew about the eventual mechanized extinction of an entire race? Jews of several nations suffered squalor, poverty, humiliation and death during the rein of Hitler. Light is shed on how ordinary people became murdering minions. Order became disorder within the German army during the darkest hours of defeat. 70-year-old men and pre-teen boys were armed and commanded to fight to the end. Small children were put to work making hand grenades. This comprehensive documentary brings to light little known facts about the war and propensity of a mad man; the wiles of a mass murderer.
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10/10
great series
browna-mail28 March 2009
Another great series on European war, one of the best. I wish African history and other wars benefited from such detail and dedication to the truth. The creeping evil of the Nazi regime, German fear and hatred should make all following generations careful where they put there trust and dwell in hate of others, believing in superiority of race, culture, religion, politics and technology. It's a pity in the following years the Jewish victims of such evil hate via the state of Israel have not taken some of these lessons to heart to avoid perpetuating hate and abuse themselves. The truth is made clear that Hitler's evil was shared amongst many and grew from perpetuating fear, but it did not end, it became a template in degrees for others worldwide who exercise power. This series with great care shows in true detail how so many lost so much to such savage evil, I weep for all who suffered then in ghettos and gas chambers and suffer now to missiles, bombs and slow suffocation of freedom. This documentary is a warning indeed, I prey we heed its message one day because the sacrifice of the lives documented on film here should have led to a better world for all.
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10/10
Interviews from the Criminals Themselves and a Variety of Victims
MRavenwood17 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It is ironic that in their attempt to prove Germans a "Superior Race" Hitler and Nazi supporters demonstrated themselves to be more sub-human than the "sub-humans" they so cavalierly murdered and profited from. It was most interesting to me in this series to see interviews of the "by standers" of the war. One citizens that benefited from and supported the forcing of Jews into Ghettos had no remorse at withholding food he had access to from starving people after they could no longer bribe him with diamonds for bread. I rejoice that he and others have admitted on camera exactly how they feel. You see that, while a Nazi soldier would have been shot for disobeying orders, there was no coercion at all for many of the people who betrayed their fellow citizens who were Jews. They did it freely and from their evil hearts. It is also clear that people wanted to be proud. They wanted to be big shots. They wanted anyone other than themselves to be the unpopular ones as the Germans were after World War I. So they developed this egomaniacal belief of their complete perfection and invincibility. When one sees the pattern of belief and thinking of the ordinary German citizen of that time, it becomes a delicious irony, rather than a tragedy that the Communists took over East Berlin. Many of those very same people who ended up behind that Wall had cheered when the German Jews were hauled away to be gassed. The Jews were specifically hated because of the belief they were all Communists. And it is once again ironic that the Germans who sought so much to regain their proud, good image after World War I etched a more permanent stain on themselves in trying to remove the first one. Almost like a shameful tattoo.
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8/10
Seeing Is Believing
roddekker6 October 2016
If you are looking for a first-rate history documentary that not only features plenty of excellent archival footage, but is also one of the most incisive and informative (as it clearly retells the true story of Nazi-rule in war-torn Germany), then, believe me, this is definitely the one presentation to see.

Impressively directed by Laurence Rees - This 6-episode program is a very serious "Warning From History" - Indeed - Cautioning us all that if a horrific event like the "Holocaust" did happen once, then, to be sure, it could, most certainly, happen again.

And, of course - As we all know - The chief orchestrator behind all of the endless oppression and atrocity that prevailed throughout WW2 was the biggest and vilest villain of them all - Adolf Hitler, an utterly despicable, low-life worm whose sole objective was to rule the world "his way".
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6/10
Flawed Documentary
Theo Robertson17 June 2005
I first saw THE Nazis: A WARNING FROM HISTORY when it was originally broadcast on BBC 2 in 1997 but wasn't too struck by it . I found it somewhat dry and academic and unlike several documentaries dealing with the holocaust ( Most notably the episode from THE WORLD AT WAR ) it didn't leave much of an impact with me . I also noticed some irritation with the writing , for example the phrase " Ethnic cleansing " is used but this is both an anachronism and a misnomer . Anachronistic because the term wasn't used until 1991-92 during the Balkans conflict and a misnomer because what the Serbs , Croats and Bosniaks ( All sides used the technique and no one had a monopoly as perpetrator or victim ) were doing in the former Yugoslavia was fairly different from what the Nazis did in the occupied territories during the second world war . " Migratory genocide " is a phrase that came from the Soviet-Afghan war and can be said to be the precursor phrase to " Ethnic cleansing " and would be accurate to describe the tactics used in the former Yugoslavia . Nazi tactics from 1939 to 1945 were different and " Literal genocide " would be the most accurate phrase instead of " ethnic cleansing "

I did catch the final episode when it was repeated a couple of weeks ago and I have to take issue with some of the points raised . For example Laurence Rees script argues that because the fascist policies of Italy were different from German Nazi racial policies , Nazi Germany couldn't sue for peace the way the Italians had done . This is a bizarre argument because whatever the ideology of Italy was during the second world war they had no real military success , even if Italy was led by someone as bloodthirsty and as racist as Hitler the Italian military had no military success as such , they'd captured very little territory . The Italian military leaders were incompetent and the average soldier in the fascist Italian army is still the butt of jokes today so it's totally irrelevant what the racial policies of Il Duce were . By a bitter irony the most serious critics of Hitler in Germany during were the Prussian aristocracy , the officer class whose generals conquered Western Europe and knocked on the gates of Moscow in 1941 . Without these officers who had little love of Hitler Nazi Germany wouldn't have been able to capture most of Europe and engage on a policy of industrialised murder

It's also open to interpretation as to how much fighting spirit the Germans had in the final months of the war was down to the fear of being tried for their crimes against humanity or if it's down to the notorious German mentality . During the great war of 1914-18 Germany wasn't led by a genocidal madman or committed a policy of mass extermination but they still fought on when they realised they weren't going to win the war and the allies on the Western front were shocked by this attitude as the Germans fought until the final seconds before 11am November the 11th 1918 . Even today the Germans in sport are infamous as to their win at all costs mentality and there has always seemed to be something in the German psyche that doesn't allow them to know when they've been beaten

Much of the selling point of the series - And the reason why it's so highly regarded by some critics - is that it interviews people who have innocent blood on their hands . One man tells of the time he was told to prosecute a farm worker who made a joke about the Nazis blowing up a bridge . The farm worker was found guilty of treason and hanged in the village square in front of his wife . The prosecutor in question was later found guilty of murder and sentenced to six years imprisonment . But what do we learn from these interviews ? That the Nazis murdered millions of innocent people ? I think we already knew that . That they're sorry for what they did ? That they're not sorry at all ? How can anyone prove or disprove that and what good would come out of it anyway ? Watching THE Nazis: A WARNING FROM HISTORY is a disappointment since it doesn't shed new light on a topic we already know about
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10/10
Excellent Documentary
jeremy-siegel116 July 2015
Panik65's review is spot on. Very surprising to see how incompetent Hitler actually functioned behind the scenes, spending most of his time sleeping, watching movies and daydreaming about grondoise architectural plans. One of a few solid documentaries I've seen that supports the idea that early Nazi success was due to an unbelievable streak of luck, rather than smart planning or strategic thinking. Ultimately, Hitler's Germany came crashing down due to his complete inability to distinguish fantasy from reality, which only becomes apparent to those around him once forced to face the formidable military opposition he clumsily dragged into the war.
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9/10
A Valuable Contribution
mharlos25 February 2013
I just finished re-watching this series on DVD (I had previously seen it telecast about 15 years ago).

The warning -- that is, the lesson of Nazi history -- is only explicitly addressed for a brief moment. But at the same time, it is vividly present throughout, and I think will be especially valuable for younger viewers who are likely to know very little of the story of those times. It is not presented as a chronology of the war, but it rather succinctly (in less than five hours) gives a clear depiction of the descent into depravity.

The series also offers some historical theses: first and foremost, that because the Nazi regime was so much dominated by its single charismatic personality, and because he was a visionary much more than a leader, what went on within the regime was often chaotic and confused (despite Nazism portraying itself as the paragon of order and efficiency).

For me, the most memorable and valuable distinction of this documentary is its collection of interviews with people (all elderly by the time of interviewing in the 1990s) who participated in the persecutions. Often, documentaries about the Nazi regime have interviews with people who were passive witnesses, or resisters against the regime who had less cause to fear disclosure of their actions and less to feel ashamed of. I used to watch every documentary in English I could find on WW II, and never saw perpetrator interviews like these. And because of the age of the people involved in those times, I doubt that anything like this could have been accomplished since.

Very stark for me is a meeting (on a park bench) with the author of a letter of denunciation which, along with several other such letters, led to the death of young German woman, for the crime of "being different." The calm (and yet surreal) conversation about this letter, more than 50 years after the event, offers a profoundly disturbing look into the face of evil.
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8/10
A New Day
nelliebell-18 July 2012
I have viewed elsewhere while all the while viewed here as well the spoken desire by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to not cheat or not to tell lies.He,Adolf Hitler said with remarkable heart and pathos in numerous speeches that he not only did not want to lie but did not want to promise what he in fact could not deliver.He clearly said he will not cheat,and further promised to represent such a truth as to defy those that had sought such clarity from his candidancy.He saw a new beginning and a reborn German people.The Reborn German people were of such an expression as to be believed.He Adolf Hitler believed in Germany and sought to inspire the German nation to a new day as being upon the German people.When we look at this it is without reservation that when Adolf Hitler talked to the Hitler Jungen I listened.They,the Hitler Youth(Jungen)were Nazi Germanies belief in this new day indeed Germanies future may very well have carried the day in its entirety.They the youth of Germany were to be as it were Germanies future.It was an unmistakable consideration as German citizens were to be turned inside out or from the inside out so to regain what these others and if you will other interests had so aptly taken from Germanies true identity.Adolf Hilter did more than remind the ordinary German citizen he told them that they should willingly provide for each other and it is in providing for each other that they will start anew.The Military like the people shared something as one German Citizenry that many did not know.You could sit down at anothers table almost without causing a raised eyebrow.This was truly great thinking and truly great was the promises unfolding as it were while Nazi Germany sought to find a New Government(Perhaps even a new way)This was the dilemma that Adolf Hitler Nazi Dictator and Germanies out right leader had to determine. Such a witness was as to be one hand and one heart with one German soul,its very identity was to be reborn.Excellent! and indeed bordering on inspiration.What Happened ? The Citizenry were as it were empowered and thus neighbor in concept turned against neighbor rather than as it may of been put forward above working to the good of there neighbor.Hitler youth seemingly enthralled with the idea of having a real legitimate place in Germanies future looked indeed even upon there own and drew lines of separation causing a threat to appear within ones own heart and ones own community and ones own family.There was sown the seeds of an element not entirely foreseen.That this new day was freightening as the people became less and more of something not entirely understood.It would be an error not to be entirely forthright as what was occurring once Adolf Hitler became Chancellor.The enlistment of the Universities in the many successful book burning ceremonies(I believe there were some 34 such ceremonies in total)was not surprising but unifying.It seems leadership was more than merely formative at the University level it was very nearly fully participated in.The reborn German identity did indeed take hold with Jewish Citizenry suffering with greater and greater certainty.There was no future in Nazi Germany for the Jewish Citizen however if you could not afford the trip to America of Perhaps France,England you might not know it then but life was to become rare for you,that is most would die.It was put forward that Adolf Hitler utilized such a pomp and ceremony when they did things that the Spectacle became a prop of the intended impression.It worked!the large size gatherings,the overheated rhetoric the virtual pomp was a true awe inspiring accomplishment by the Nation of Germany.This is just such a story.A useful look at the Rise of Nazi Germany.
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8/10
The Nazis Were the 20th Century's Ultimate Terrorists
StrictlyConfidential25 April 2020
Competently directed by Laurence Rees - "A Warning From History" is an impressive 4-hour presentation the certainly gives the inquisitive viewer a much better understanding as to why the Holocaust actually happened and why Adolf Hitler was able to wield so much power and seduce an entire nation into believing that what they were doing to the Jews was, indeed, right.

Believe me - This first-rate documentary is not only a great history lesson - But, it's powerfully delivered message also warns the viewer that (if given similar circumstances) history has a diabolical way of actually repeating itself.

All-in-all - I recommend this superb documentary very highly to one and all.
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5/10
A lot of things are glazed over in the beginning episodes
Tcarts7613 February 2013
I am a huge WWII buff and really find this era, especially the Nazi's very intriguing. My problem with this documentary, while it was decent,glazed over a few glaring facts, and it may have been done intentionally due to political reasons in Europe and the UK currently.

First, they kept referring to the Nazi party as a right-wing extremist party. Well, they ignored the fact that they were National "SOCIALISTS." In fact, in the early days Hitler gave speeches condemning capitalism, and openly saying that the ideals of the Nazi party was based on the ideas of Karl Marx and had very few differences from Marxism. They also touted themselves as a "workers party." The only mention of this in a slight way was the mention that right wing industrialists supported Hitler. They supported Hitler because they saw what happened when the Communists seized The Soviet Union, and felt that supporting Hitler would be a lot better than having everything (thier businesses and wealth) seized by Communism. Also mentioned is the large scale "Infrastructure" programs Hitler invested in such as the Autobahn...That is not the kind of thing Right Wingers do, in fact if you look at U.S. politics today you will see that this is the same thing Obama (a leftwing Idealist) is suggesting for the current bad economy.

Now, Yes, The Nazi's weren't exactly leftwing either but they had to do something to separate themselves from rivals such as the Communists and Social Democrats. Groups like that wanted to cure the ills of the Depression by class warfare, and the Nazi's instead focused their furry at the Jews (who were in perceived high income occupations), but essentially they replace the class warfare argument of the communists by replacing "the Wealthy, ruling class" with "jews" which earned them much more support and got the rich industrialists on his side. Not to mention attitude and prejudice against the jews was an accepted prejudice throughout the whole of Europe save for a very few countries like Poland. Nobody likes it today when you bring up the fact that many countries, including the U.S. turned away whole shiploads of Jewish refuges, who were later sent back to the slaughter when they were forced to return to Europe.

Ultimately the facts were fairly decent in this documentary, but, in my belief, there were a lot of omissions done in order to not ruffle any feathers in the UK and Europe due to the continue of barrages of left wing socialist opinions and politics currently enveloping the continent right now.
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10/10
Socialism and the Socialist Party under Fascist laws.
Global_Marketing_Pros30 January 2007
I think this is an excellent film to document history. How can one culture dominate with a military might so briefly but so effectively. Taking human nature to the limits of ideologies. Does this documentary mirror socialist nations of singular culture such as Saudi Arabia, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Japan, and or China? When does the balance between singular nationalist government and cultural identity shift to where political power becomes a cast system under a singular ethnicity? This film documents that very question being exercised within the Prussian culture. Which I dare to say never really changed due to geo-graphical barriers that are leading walls to isolation with geo-cultural norms such as language, trade and commerce. These are the same barriers as can be seen for the United Kingdom, Japan, and China. The exceptions are Russia which chooses a nationalist direction and the United Kingdom which identifies commerce as bartering tool for bi-lateral communication to circumvent geo-cultural barriers.

Thus, this film accurately documents the development of nationalist power shift in politics and undermining of a diverse Prussian ethnic demographics to harness full control to a singular ethnic class. The "Nazi" became what the design intended culturally and politically. The military science of "Nazi Germany" is detached from this documentary as needed to be a proper cultural document.
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6/10
Misses its purpose
anders-n-aa-larsson7 June 2020
This is a very interesting and important documentary, but when it becomes too tendentious and preaching, it unfortunately shoots over the target.

For example, it shows footage of Hitler from the Berlin Olympics in 1936, that was censored by the Nazis. He sits on the grandstand. and wags back and forth, like he has ants in his pants. The narrator voice says in an admonishing tone, that this is what the regime didn't want its subject to see, that their dictator was a fool and a madman.

Come on, national socialism and communism are the worst murder gospels the Western world have ever seen, and you choose to highlight that Hitler had an anal itch or something when he watched the Olympics?
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