in 1933 adolf hitler was made chancellor of germany this allowed the nazi regime to seize complete power the wall street crash the reichstag fire and the death of ernst von wrath all enabled the nazis to further their tyranny.
German military rearmament was prioritized and in 1935 the wehrmacht saw its reincarnation following the disarmament after world war one britain and france turned a blind eye to this contravention of the versailles treaty the german people were excited by the prospect of the country becoming great.
Again exploiting all aspects of the media joseph goebbels masterminded the slick propaganda which was fed to the population was that the best propaganda is disguised as something else it's carried on the back of entertainment coupled with this the violent.
Persecution of all those opposed to the regime became progressively worse a strong powerful street presence uniformed marching men and boys and a lot of them the repetitive power of violent brutal street theater when it came to dealing with opposition terror played a very important part of a dictatorship throughout its entire.
Length no political dissent would be tolerated the nazi party delivered on their promise of higher employment and although the german nation was not oblivious to the violence and persecution they allowed it to continue in the hope that hitler would restore their pride.
the only real long-term aims were to stay in power win back territory for germany and to win back respect for germany i knew there was a lot of unrest but i didn't think it would blossom into all-art war the second world war would see the.
Height of nazi popularity but it would also be their ultimate downfall his idea is to re-fight the first world war but on a better basis his aim very early on is to conquer eastern europe once it became clear that victory was not going to be easy then a great many.
Young people realized that this had been a gamble and that they'd lost he maintained his faith because it was a matter of will he'd come to believe that he was a messiah blessed by providence he just believed that there was something of the.
Divine about him to fully understand the outbreak of world war ii we have to look back to 1936 and the start of the nazi reoccupation of land lost from the versailles treaty one of the fundamental principles of the gfsi had been national self-determination every nation should.
Have its state so the habsburg monarchy being broken up the austrians hungarians the czechs yoga styles they got their own why should this be denied to the germans hitler certainly sets out an agenda for moving into the ringland which had become a demilitarized zone under the terms of.
The versailles treaty german soldiers again breaking a treaty marched into the demilitarized rhineland the island was sovereign german territory it's a re-militarization it's having military installations on it had been occupied up to 1930. the deal was that the germans would have it under their own control that the occupation.
Forces would leave but that there would be no military installations in it 1936 of course hitler sends his troops into the rhineland and big military show on march 12 1938 the german army marched into austria they were met with cheering crowds as they crossed the border hitler's appeal was growing rapidly.
The ancillus is popular with a lot of people in austria perhaps not as many as it looks because the previous regime of dolphus and shushnig had done the work for hitler by banning the left in 1934 the social democrats had been banned they were underground so there's no opposition.
Really in austria either i mean it's a dictatorship as well hitler said that he had no desire on any territory which had not had a historical memory of a german presence the germans were a pan-european tribe they are not a nation in a country as the rest of us really are.
They were everywhere they are not in the iberian peninsula they were not in the british isles but they were everywhere else stretching deep into russia so there's no resistance in europe to the german takeover of german-speaking austria the german demand for the incorporation.
Of two million german speakers and the western boundaries of czechoslovakia in 1938 is exceeded too because it fulfills that principle on september 30th 1938 germany france britain and italy signed the munich agreement which attempted to appease hitler's designs on czechoslovakia following the angeles of austria.
Meanwhile at munich misguided statesmen were lulled into believing that hitler would cage his stormtroopers in return for a sizable hunk of czechoslovakia they signed away the sudetenland in a move to appease a rattlesnake a rattlesnake who having once flooded himself on the rich food of another nation's lands would become ravenously.
Hungry again and again the agreement handed hitler the sudetenland area of czechoslovakia which left the country weakened and on march 16 1939 germany took control of the country i think it may be true that hitler felt he had been cheated of his war over the sudetenland he had a peculiar.
Hatred for the checks i'm not entirely sure why maybe it was just checks and pools as slavs it seems as if he may have felt denied a war in the autumn of 1938 at a time when he felt his potential adversaries were too weak really the re-militarization of the rhineland angelus of austria 1938 the czechoslovak.
Crisis they're all sold uh basically without without bloodshed that gains hitler a reputation in popularity in germany but not because he's being militaristic the sequence of territory gains made by the nazis in the late 1930s won back the majority of land lost by the signing of the versailles treaty after the first.
World war winning the foreign policy successes of the 1930s without having to resort to war was a major gain that was appreciated by a lot of people and restored german pride in a big way the turning point only comes in march 1939 when hitler marches in to the rest of texas of archie which is inhabited not.
By germans but by czechs at that point there's a general realization in political elites in other countries in europe that he's after more than simply recreating a kind of german nation state hitler gambled on the fact they get away with doing these things without war and his gambling instinct served him well.
The britain france the western democracies did not respond militarily for all kinds of reasons the real gamble was 1939 when it came to the move against poland signed in 1939 in moscow the non-aggression pact would establish nazi germany and russia as allies by then he knew he could get away with.
It or he did by early august after the extraordinary turnaround in the rice policy of signing a mutual non-aggression pact with soviet union that was the moment at which the field was cleared for hitler to move against poland germany invades poland and the free state of damsing the efforts and hopes.
Of diplomats for peaceful settlement are transformed into the roar of gunfire warsaw is bombed blasted and shelled poland is in ruin where the gamble went wrong was that britain and france honored their treaty obligations to poland hitler had never thought they would do that the eve of war was upon the german.
Nation it would be a conflict which would bring about the demise of the nazi regime but it would also facilitate mass genocide brutal murder and bloodshed on a scale which no one could have imagined possible territory gains made by the nazi regime were carried out with minimum of.
Bloodshed and resistance the german nation was buoyant their fuhrer was delivering war has struck again however on september 1 1939 germany invaded poland with regard to the treaty of versailles this attack proved a step too far for britain and the allies i have to tell.
You now this country is at war with germany the second world war had commenced the wrong of versailles had been righted they hadn't got alsace lorraine back they could live without them the polish corridor was the big issue territorially they had that they had austria.
People would have been very happy to leave it at that but the war was not concluded and you you do get complaints even in the autumn of 1939 this war has been going on too long in the winter of 1939 hitler would unleash his blitzkrieg upon western europe and over the following months.
Germany would go on to conquer many more countries one victory after another the fall of france the fall of belgium the fall of holland the fall of norway all of this is a kind of ecstasy i think the euphoria is partly that now it really is all over and we we've done really well.
People were pretty pleased with that and hitler had been done under his leadership so he got a lot of credit for that the prophet is what he says he is he is real he is an earthly god by this stage and of course the trouble is he begins to believe his own mythology very rapid conquest.
With relatively little bloodshed not much loss on the german side very short war all of this was treated with huge enthusiasm by the german people partly because they then thought the war would come to an end.
That was certainly enough for the overwhelming majority of germans i think that all those crowds you see in the news fields waving flags and screaming it's all true i mean i couldn't believe it that in a few weeks they defeated an enemy they couldn't defeat in four years of grueling war hitler was one of the few people in.
Germany who welcomed another war he wasn't scared the first world war had made him somebody but for other germans two million german men had been killed during the first world war and an awful lot had been wounded you just had to look at the the maimed ex-servicemen on the.
Streets so it was a terrible prospect for an awful lot of people in a drive as speedy as that to the channel nazi units pushed southward and rapidly outflanked the famous french maginot line following the french surrender hitler arranged for the armistice between.
Germany and france to be signed in the same train carriage in the same location which 22 years previously had been used for the signing of the armistice of 1918. reaching the english channel in may 1940 and outmaneuvering the british causing the retreat to dunkirk the german army looked to be the far superior aggressor.
Britain was on the brink of seeking terms with germany but winston churchill argued that nations which went down fighting rose again but those which surrendered tamely were finished hitler gave a rather empty speech offering peace terms which weren't very specified to britain and.
When churchill rejected them it was universal outrage and in comprehension in germany churchill knew that a piece with germany at that point would mean german control over britain would get greater and greater he would probably be ousted fascists like mosley would become the prime minister uh that it would be in.
Effect a a surrender in stages uh he was quite right to reject this very vague peace offer but an interesting aspect of this is his view of churchill whom he respected as a fellow artist and for a long time his plan for churchill in the event of german victory was to just leave him in a country house.
Uh where he could paint and not spring him up like all the others or put him in a concentration camp trying to bomb britain into submission over the winter of 1940 1941 was a huge miscalculation they did not have the offensive.
Air power to do it hello america this is edward murrow speaking from london there were more german planes over the coast of britain today than at any time since the war began anti-aircraft guns were in action along the southeast coast today fought in the air the battle of britain would start on july 10th and would.
Finish on october 31st 1940. i was speaking to captain eric brown who interrogated gary that going at nuremberg told him that the battle of britain was a draw i said to him what are your views on the outcome of the battle of britain and he said i think.
It was a draw and i said how did you arrive at that conclusion he said well if you look at the analysis of the final weeks of the battle of britain the last week we.
Were in the ascendancy in other words we had less pilot and aircraft casualties to the brits now if you look at the animal analysis this is perfectly true although the british had claimed victory hitler's popularity within germany was still strong the nazi commanders were.
All firmly behind hitler however on may 10 1940 one would take action which would signal fractures within the regime hitler retained his charismatic control over the second rank of nazi leaders going goebbels and so on during the war hesse was the only exception because he was really eased out of the central.
Decision-making circles of nazism and thought he'd try and get back in a rather muddle-headed way one of the great mysteries of world war ii there is some speculation as to where the hitter in fact authorized it because if we take hitler's actually wanting a negotiated peace with britain not a conquest it would actually make sense.
In the most bizarre and astounding event of the war so far rudolph hess number three nazi seen here going about his activities as confidante and chief party leader for the nazi warlord hitler is now a prisoner in scotland after a mysterious solo flight from germany hess had simply got into his head but to restore his.
Status with hitler he would fly to britain and negotiate a piece it was very easy for the nazi media to project hess as deluded indeed what he did was remarkable firstly he learned to fly specifically for this purpose the nazi leader took off from augsburg and headed straight for western scotland where an old friend of his the duke of hamilton.
Has an estate his mission who knows he flew and crash landed on the estate of the duke of hamilton in scotland the choice of landing was significant because hamilton had actually been very sympathetic to germany before the war and some suggested a kind of crypto.
Fashion to himself but by this stage he's very anxious to clean up his act so he delivers hair straight to the authorities hitler was furious because of course he didn't know about it furious particularly because it was just before the invasion of the soviet union as goebbels and the nazi propaganda.
Machine were covering themselves from the hesterbuckle hitler was implementing the start of another battle led by arrogance and self-belief he would soon embark on the largest invasion in the history of warfare the attack would stretch along a 3 000 kilometer front and would send four million soldiers into soviet territory.
It would mark the beginning of the pivotal phase in deciding the victory of the war which would see nazi popularity plummet in germany it would bring death and destruction to millions of people 1940 had seen the height of hitler and the ngati regime's popularity within germany the battle of britain had been unsuccessful but support was still.
Strong despite hesse's flight to scotland what would come next however would be a battle led by prejudice and vanity on the part of hitler his own self-belief convinced him to march on moscow and conquer russia the very campaign that charles xii and napoleon had failed to achieve in a sudden germany's military might has.
Been thrown against her former ally russia in a gigantic attack by land as well as by air along a 2 000 mile front from the arctic to the black sea at first he was lucky his self-confidence paid off took the line land and walked into austria all that built up his self-confidence not only with the people but with himself.
This was the dangerous thing there are two reasons why hitler attacked soviet union first of all it was a way of bringing britain to terms because he thought already in 1940 that.
He wasn't going to conquer britain by force uh he was going to have to leave britain totally isolated without any allies at all and if he conquered soviet union the british surely would see sense that have the entire continent against him secondly his derision of the bolsheviks of them being inherently incompetent.
And his racial dismissal of the russians so he believed it would collapse like a house of cards the bolshevik state was rotten to the core you had only to kick the door in and the whole edifice would come crumbling down that's what they thought and i think flushed was success from the.
Blitzkrieger in western europe they thought all they had to do was attack in a way it was a bit silly actually because that had been the mentality of 1914 with a bit of luck if he had gone earlier he may have succeeded in temporarily conquered russia today american news agencies report russia is.
Strongly counter-attacking and that less than one-fiftieth of russia's best area has been invaded these pictures show them the beginning of the blitz and turned into a siege there was some encouragement in that stalin had done a great deal of damage to his armed forces through the purges of the mid.
Later 1930s but how it would ever police it for the rest of this time i don't think he'd even begun to think it through panzer troops in action from the baltic to the black sea great clashes between russian and german tank squadrons have been reported in the autumn of 1941 the germans were on course just cutting.
Through butter going to take moscow going to take leningrad and they didn't and they were stopped operation barbarossa would be a definitive turning point in the fortunes of the nazi regime the march on moscow was the end of what.
Had started as a successful campaign hitler had gained many territories in eastern europe but it was the harsh soviet winter and the tough belligerence of the red army that would finally see the nazis defeated and home support of the regime finally turn here apparently the germans got their first sight of the russian scorched.
Earth tactics scorched earth tactics that american reporters say should be even more effective now that winter has set in and hitler's photogenic army must face general snow and general mud once you get into 1942 they're now fighting on quite a number of fronts army leave is being cancelled.
So people aren't getting home food rationing is getting more stringent people are becoming depressed and disillusioned it was not just the german population who were becoming despondent many officers in the german army were also starting to question their fuhrer's.
Actions throughout the wars there were attempts to assassinate hitler many of them orchestrated by anti-hitler generals and soldiers but they could none of them manage it all the former social democrats and communists i say a third of the.
Electorate in the last free election in 1932 they had effectively been brought in line their resistance movements mostly distributing leaflets and kind of keep the flame going as it were they'd all been suppressed by the gestapo it was very difficult to resist in the third reich.
Because denunciation was widespread if somebody ever heard you or got a clue that you know you're doing x y and z then would go down to gestapo headquarters and uh and turn you in so the only people who could really resist as a group were the senior army officers with a few conservative politicians attached.
And they're the ones who then prepared the assassination of hitler as things were beginning to go really seriously wrong in 1943 two to four klaus von stauffenberg was a general in the german army who had been injured serving in north africa losing his right hand two fingers on the left and also.
His left eye von stauffenberg was the most unlikely assassin he'd been seriously injured he could prime the bomb any with great difficulty and so on but nobody else could be found to do it and he was determined now that his german patriotism could only be.
Expressed by destroying hitler hitler would destroy germany if you were a patriot your job is to destroy although the bomb von stauffenberg detonated killed four people hitler was shielded by a solid oak table and was only left with minor injuries von stauffenberg was found guilty of high treason and subsequently executed having.
Survived the assassination attempt adolf hitler was still convinced that the war was for winning even though the german nation suspected the worst he's always hoping when he looks back at history that something will happen something will happen politically the alliance will fall apart or germany will invent an amazing new.
Weapon but somehow rather you can pluck victory from the jaws of defeat just as his great hero frederick the great have done i'm not sure there's ever a point actually which hitler says i recognize it i failed we're going to be defeated the battle on the eastern front turned into a long war of attrition the german army was ill-prepared for this and the.
Russian army with the far greater resource would in 1944 finally defeat the attacking german army the paradox of the attack eastwards was that the more territory hitler gained greater was the jewish population he acquired the war changed everything and germany's victories.
Across europe and then in the east after june 1941 from having a population of 600 000 jews in 1933 the number of jewish people under the rights in inverted commas administrative military control soared.
To many millions of people hitler's problem self-inflicted problem is he attacks poland and the largest concentration of european jews falls into his hands and as he moves elsewhere in eastern europe more jews come under his rule the original idea.
Had been to expel german jews from germany and jews were expelled into poland for example but that doesn't solve the problem once you've invaded poland the madagascar plan was an idea to establish a jewish colony on the african.
Island of madagascar it was subsequently shelved in 1942 i don't think anybody ever asked madagascar to settle a jewish colony there to ship out european jews but that was i think was never really going to come to anything there had been talk about enforced.
Deportations of a captive jewish population out of germany out of europe how were they going to do that that by its very nature would have been a brutal murderous exercise the van says conference was a meeting of nazi officials in vance a suburb of berlin to establish a final solution to the jewish problem.
They formalized the operation of the holocaust while it was already underway while it had already started people like eichmann heydrich showed up to take the decisions in a chillingly managerial way no need for hitler to be present they didn't need him they knew.
Hitler would sanction what they were going to do the extermination camps would eventually operate around the clock in the last acts of this brutal conflict adolf hitler would unleash one final command that would order the futile resistance of his party faithful.
war on the eastern front was a battle too far it signaled the end for the nazi regime the german nation was heavily rationed and those dwelling in the urban centers were facing ever-increasing bombing raids by the allied forces hitler however remained defiant later on hitler lived in a fantasy world.
Of his own even in the last days of the war he was conjuring up in his own mind imaginary armies secret weapons extraordinary make believes in our ears he maintained his faith because it was a matter of will.
The 1934 party rally was called triumph of the will and hitler and goebbels to a very great extent and some other close followers maintained this belief that their will would prevail nobody had the nerve to try to disabuse hitler.
Of his fantasies even in the last days in the autumn of 1944 a group of generals come to hitler's headquarters the generals go in and say to hitler we are convinced that the war is lost they're in there for about i don't know an hour and a half or something.
And they come out again their eyes shining saying the fuhrer has convinced us that we could win the war by then he'd already decided that the german people had betrayed him they had proved unworthy of their great destiny and deserved the fate that was descending upon them extraordinary mental.
And moral universe to inhabit june 6 1944 saw the d-day landings and would be the start of the allied invasion of occupied western europe germany found they were retreating from all fronts as the red army marched from the east close to defeat hitler issued what became known as the nero decree on march 19 1945 an order was sent out that.
All german infrastructures must be destroyed to prevent the allies utilizing them as they advanced it also called for every last house and street to be fought for it happened in small villages which had nothing to do with the war they had to stand and fight when when american tanks came.
That kind of thing it just was absolutely criminal so he blamed reverses and defeats on the lack of willpower in his generals not on the lack of material or the superiority of the enemy it had terrible repercussions for germans because it meant that the whole of.
Germany had to be invaded fought over occupied by foreign troops in a way that had not happened in the first world war because hitler wouldn't surrender in the closing stages of the war a large number of the nazi faithful realized that the war was effectively lost this resulted in mass suicides throughout.
Germany there's this feeling of gotta damarang the twilight of the gods we all die together because life after the reich isn't worth living now that's an extraordinary sensation and i think one can't fully explain it you you have to.
Understand the extraordinarily rigid whole the regime had on people the great many of the party faithful committed suicide because they simply couldn't face the idea of german defeat they've been fed propaganda for years that defeat would mean the partition of germany it might mean deliberate impoverishments um there were.
Rumors that all german males would be castrated and all kinds of extraordinary things went around in 1945. historians have tried to quantify the numbers but in the ghastly chaos of the third reich in its final days mass murder nicholistic orgies of killing by the the nazi state and its death throws it's.
Hard to know what the actual figures really were knowing that the soviets were advancing swiftly towards his bunker hitler gave his last will and testament making joseph goebbels as reich chancellor and naming no one as his successor as fuhrer the next day april 30th 1945 hitler shot himself.
Two of hitler's immediate circle joseph goebbels and martin borman remained loyal to him right to the end they stayed in the bunker in berlin uh for gerbils there was nowhere else to go he felt that if if if the third right collapsed if it was killed that was it that was everything was over an extraordinary.
Sense of apocalypse seemed to overtake them and they felt that that was the only course of action open to them on may 1st joseph goebbels and his wife magda committed suicide but before doing so killed their six children by drugging them and then poisoning them with cyanide.
Both himmler and goring would commit suicide as well but this was not before they were interrogated by the allies captain eric brown posted to germany to look for jet wind tunnels was tasked with the job of identifying himmler and was able to interrogate goring himmler was arrested near the danish border with false papers.
The wand officer phoned headquarters at lunenburg and said we've picked up somebody who we think might be him could you come up and identify him you said when you saw him learn civil life that he used to.
Walk with a slightly peculiar gate and uh could you come up and try and identify this guy so i went up the ballista as soon as i walked in i knew it was him i mean even without making him walk absolute coward.
I think he was frightened out of his life always trying to evade anything that directly threatened him accompanied by these two ss men heinrich himmler most hated man in europe was captured by british troops outside this town concealed in himmler's mouth was a tiny.
Vial of deadly poison while being examined he swallowed it goring was in american custody and eric was able to ask him key questions about nazi aircraft strategy he was charismatic very intelligent he came out to world war one with great honor huddle a huge reputation in germany a good man who went very wrongly.
He was corrupted by the system he joined and he lost all his qualities of honor and began to really lust for power and luxury and uh.
That of course was his total downfall at luna bear germany before a british military court the greatest mass murder trial in history these nazis were guards at notorious belson concentration camp where four million prisoners died the end of the war signaled the beginning of peace for many across europe and the rest of the world there was a tangible.
Sense of relief in the air but as occupied land was liberated the full horror of the nazi regime was revealed eric brown was part of the liberation of bergen-belsen piles of dead bodies piles of walking dead really just a horror story now baleson the human slaughterhouse.
Where numberless victims were once burned to death is itself put to the torch nearby nazi women guards are lined up for questioning he wanted me to interrogate the camp called my dad who was called joseph karma.
And the lady came coming down here mcgregor kramer's chief saddist was irma gracer in curls whose name struck terror into the hearts of belson's inmates she's the worst human being i've ever met cruelty was her trade there was nothing too cruel for this woman to do.
When it came to interrogating her i asked her if she had her time over again would she do all this she refused to answer after about four or five times like this she suddenly leapt to her feet and gave the nazi salute shouted heil had to sat down and refused.
To talk but um we executed a lot you can hardly defend yourself when outside the window there's a pile of bodies as high as this ceiling in a pit use real films of the atrocities at belson shocked the world.
Even death for kramer and his gang cannot avenge the crimes of the beasts of belsey what started as hitler's strong anti-semitic beliefs in the wake of world war one ended as what we now know as the holocaust.
Six million jews were murdered along with tens of thousands of gypsies homosexuals communists mentally ill and the physically disabled in the aftermath of the war the allied forces would soon stake their own territorial claims which would leave the conquered nation divided germany in 1945 was an extraordinary.
Mess sixty percent of his urban area had been obliterated from the air germany was occupied by the allied powers the soviet union the french british and americans very heavy military occupation it was economically impoverished.
It was difficult to see in fact in 1945 where germany was going to go how germans were going to survive widespread hunger even starvation in places there were all kinds of measures to stop any recrudescence of nazism nazi laws are revoked there's a re-education effort of trying to educate germans in.
The evils of nazism but in a sense that's all less important than the fact that nazism had brought in the end nothing but death and destruction after the war the nation of germany would be split in two to the east the soviet occupied area became the german democratic republic the area to the west.
Which britain france and the u.s occupied became the federal republic of germany this division was most notably illustrated in berlin the berlin wall was erected in 1961 and would be a chilling visual reminder of a nation divided i was sent back to germany in the.
Mid-1950s i found it difficult to reform the relationship with some of them whom i knew what they had done in the war but in general i realized that some of them had been led like shipped to the slaughter i think first war germany is a great.
Epic in the act of remembrance and admission for a nation to confront its guilt like that is extraordinary because a lot of other nations have a lot of other skeletons in the cupboard hitler remains a source of intrigue for many people throughout the world.
Hitler exerts a kind of fascination that you could never really imagine we spend so much time writing books about programs about hitler and so on i think hitler would have been amazed by the extent of historical attentions paid to him you'll always get.
Young bloods who will be attracted to the style of their nazi relation they've actually given us the image not of themselves but of their ideal it is an extraordinary story how this nondescript man stateless radical politician with a whole lot of wacky ideas in the 1920s could suddenly become germanistic data then unleash the.
Largest wall and embark on the biggest crime the world has ever known and i i think that the public 70 years old is still fascinated by those paradoxes today germany is a nation united the economic miracle that west germany experienced in the 1950s supported by the marshall plan gave them the basis to.
Develop a strong economy and political stability the real miracle however should be credited to the people of germany by confronting their own brutal history they have allowed the world to learn from the mistakes made in their past although persecution hatred and war is still a global problem.
Germany has sanctioned its history to be used as the marker of a cruelty which should never again be repeated you