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Nazis: A Warning from History, The

4.5 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Nazis: A Warning from History, The (Dbl DVD)

How could a political party as fundamentally evil and overtly racist as the Nazis come to power? This remains one of the most enigmatic questions of the last century. Acclaimed historian Laurence Rees examines what led a cultured nation at the heart of Europe to commit the atrocities it did. In so doing, he exposes popular myths and encourages understanding of the real forces that led to one of the darkest chapters in modern history. Was it simply the hypnotic power of Hitler's rhetoric? Did the Gestapo really impose themselves by terror on an unwilling population? Through interviews with witnesses and perpetrators, along with archive film and records, this six-part series unveils a more chilling reality.

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Writers: Laurence Rees
  • Producers: Laurence Rees
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 18, 2006
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00097DY66
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,967 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nazis: A Warning from History, The" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This six-part British documentary chronicles the rise and fall of Hitler and the Nazis, though far from just being the usual retelling of familiar historical events, it goes so much deeper. A lot of the pictures and film footage haven't been seen before, and many of the people interviewed were actual higher-ups in the Nazi Party or Wehrmacht, instead of just interviewing regular soldiers and civilians. Other people interviewed are those who lived under the Nazi occupation in Poland, the former Czechoslovakia, and Lithuania. A number of the very elderly Germans, as well as a Lithuanian who was a member of the Einsatzgruppen, are pretty matter-of-fact and unrepentant about what they did, even with so many decades of historical hindsight and knowing what we do now. There's also a lot of information that hasn't been brought to light before about many of the topics covered.

Disc one contains the episodes 'Helped into Power,' 'Chaos and Consent,' and 'The Wrong War.' The first episode covers the historical background that gave rise to the Nazi Party, starting with the humiliation of losing WWI and the skyrocketing inflation and demilitarisation that resulted, and going on to how this minor insignificant party would, within the span of a decade, become as large and powerful as it became, and how it eventually won almost unanimous support. The second episode deals with the true chaotic inner-workings of the Nazi Party, showing that beneath their veneer of order, they were really disorganised and unmotivated leaders, spending more time on infighting (much of it encouraged by Hitler) and playing around than conducting serious business.
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Format: DVD
This series is very good a zeroing in on individual Nazis to show how ordinary people did terrible things within the framework of the larger state. It also does an excellent job of explaining the Nazi world view. It pays well deserved attention to the importance Hitler placed on "art" and culture as well as the way in which social Darwinism was twisted into a culture of lawlessness where the strong were encouraged to exploit, if not destroy, the weak.

Episode 4, "The Wild East," I found particularly thought provoking. Its portrayal of Gauleiter Arthur Grieser is disturbing and truly "A warning from history."

I highly recommend this series.
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Format: DVD
I don't think I could add much more than what has been reviewed before me. This wonderful documentary had me glued to my tv throughout its entire run. I learned so much about how the nazi party got it's start. I had no clue before hand. I really liked how they showed where alot of these atrocities occured and then showed the exact places as they are today. Truly an errie experience and the sad silence of the places now. You truly can hear the echoes of the souls lost long ago. The interviews are very candid and show alot of people who to this day have no remorse what they were a part of. They still truly believe in Hitler and what he stood for. A must-see for everyone!
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Format: DVD
Preface: Others have covered very well the many positive qualities of this series, so I'm going to focus on just a few points for the sake of brevity.

The Nazis - A Warning from History" sadly suffers from the same faults of most documentaries about the Nazis. It simply looks at the conditions that were prevalent in Germany, acknowledges the inequity of the treaty of Versailles, but fails to give all important perspective. Anti-semitism was not especially prevalent in Germany. France expelled the Jews hundreds of years prior and at the turn of the century had the Dryfus affair which exposed rampant french Antisemitism. Anti-Jew riots were still a annual occurrence around Europe. Germany only had such a large Jewish population because it was comparatively a very tolerant country!

More importantly, the documentary totally fails to appreciate how the allies very directly enabled the rise of the Nazi party. Towards the end of the war allied propaganda logically targeted German groups they thought less interested in fighting: Jews, Communists, Intelligentsia, Trade Unionists and Socialists.

The propaganda heavily played upon Wilson's 14 points. It was produced and spread by French, American and British agents. Groups in Germany which agitated for peace did so in good faith with the belief that these promises of a lenient peace would be upheld. They did so believing it was best for the country they truly loved and indeed fought for: Germany.

Of course, we know what happened. In America's case its forgivable, as they actually intended honor these promises. But France and England had no such intent, and brutally exploited the good will of these minority groups.
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Format: DVD
I'm very fond of BBC documentaries since they are deep, insightful and intelligent. This one does not fail to prove the former. From the very beginning of the program, we learn the reasons the Nazi party is born and Jewish people fall into disgrace with the non-Jewish Germans...I highly recommend this dvd. It's clear, to the point, interesting and instructive. What else can you ask of a documentary? Thanks to the BBC again.
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