Nazi Horrors Sound an Alarm
Video review by Tom Ryerson
May 25, 2011
The Nazis: A Warning From History, directed by Laurence Rees. A documentary for British television, 1997. Released on video by the BBC and Warner Brothers. Total running time 290 minutes.
This British television documentary focuses on the people of the Nazi party and the consequences for the victims. Masterfully blending a wealth of original film with real-life mid-1990s interviews of participants on both sides, Director Rees shows the progression and development of beliefs, actions, and results that were the horrors of World War Two.
The Nazis outlines the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, providing biographical sketches of several top Nazi leaders, looking at their habits, personalities, and work methods. It is noted that Adolf Hitler preferred to assign overlapping work with few guidelines to his subordinates, causing them to fight amongst themselves. Hitler’s belief in the survival of the fittest influenced everything. He tended to prefer leaders with radical ideas. It is clear that there was an incremental but very rapid progression to the fanaticism about German racial supremacy.
Original video shows the proud German army, the happy German people, as well as the forced relocation of Poles, Polish Jews, and German Jews. Original video and photographs also show the hangings, torture, and shootings of those believed to be sub-human. Interviews include those who served prison time for the atrocities, with some appearing to have little remorse. The Nazis did not set out in the 1920s to exterminate every single person with the slightest blemish, but by the end, millions were dead, and as Berlin was being bombed and the people wondered what had happened, Adolf Hitler continued to see himself personally as synonymous with the German people to the point it was described as a mental sickness.
The Nazis is highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn from history. Viewer discretion is advised, with the caution that the material presented must be considered seriously and not as entertainment over popcorn and pizza.