01 希特勒霸权的崛起 Hitler's Rise to Power

Berlin 1945. Europe has been freed from the Nazi reign of terror.

The Red Army is waging its final battles.

. . . . . .

Captain Joseph Plautov, a Russian officer "The hate ran so deep."

"We wanted to end the war, annihilate that force that wanted to kill us, finished it off once and for all"

Hitler's days are numbered.

He leaves his bunker for one final bit of chairmanship as seen in this propaganda film.

Is there still a soldier or a child willing to die for him?

. . . . . .

The war left some 50 million dead, most of them innocent civilians.

For the women of Germany, the ordeal would continue even after the cannons have gone silent.

The book "A Woman In Berlin" is a deeply disturbing account of the Russian's rape of the German women in 1945.

"They grab me and throw me down. I'm lying with my head on the steps"

"I see one of the soldiers keeping watch, while the other rips my underclothes, and brutally forces himself on me"

"But then we'd say 'better to have a Russian on your belly than an American over your head'"

This German woman was referring to the allied bombers that pounded her city into ruins.

The Kurfürstendamm, Berlin's most fashionable avenue, 13 years earlier the showcase of Germany, a nation's still plagued by crisis.

A monument commemorating the millions of victims of the First World War.

Marlene Dietrich is singing the "Blue Angel" in Berlin.

Alexander Platz, Thomas Mann is savouring his Noble Prize for literature in the shade of linden trees of Avenue of the Linden.

Berlin is a major cultural centre of Europe.

One of the most open and tolerant cities in the world.

. . . . . .

Then in 1933, all that changes.

Through intimidation, demagoguery and exploiting the bitterness of the German veterans, Hitler and his armed militias like the SA with their hymn the "Horst Wessel Lied" seize control of Germany.

The Nazis has taken advantage of the fact that the German left is splintered.

And it even seems like Hitler with his raised fist revolutionary salute wants to get on their good side.

German communists take their orders from Moscow which views the social democrats as the true enemy.

No alliance is possible between them.

So for the last time, German communists sing the "Internationale".

Hitler comes to power legally on January the 30th, 1933. With a few months, his dictatorship is firmly in place.

He becomes the "Fuhrer" (the leader) . His supporters rise and chant "Heil Hitler".

However, not all Germans are totally convinced.

So again and again, Hitler hammers home his simplistic nationalist's slogans.

. . . . . .

And he eventually wins more and more people over for he has a remarkable power of persuasion over the masses.

But what does Hitler want?

In his book "Mein Kampf (My Struggle), he clearly states what he calls his missions.

Being one of the embittered veterans of the First World War, his first mission will be to destroy France, to wipe out the humiliation of The Versailles Treaty of 1919 that stripped Germany of its army and part of its territory.

Then he wants to conquer what he calls "Leben Raum" (Living Space).

Germany has a population of 80 million twice that of France.

He wants to make Germany the world power that it deserves to be.

A pathological anti-Semite. Hitler has also taken on a mission of asserting the superiority of Germanic Aryan race menaced by the Jews.

For him, the Jews were the cause of The Great War, Germany's defeat inflation, unemployment.

The next war will be a war on the Jews.

They will be sent to Dachau, the first concentration camp where Hitler locks up the anti-Nazis, the Communists Social Democrats and all those opposed to the Nazi regime.

Lastly, Hitler takes on a mission of bringing all German-speaking people into the Reich's fold beginning with those his homeland.

The Anschluss. Austria is annexed and immediately submitted to the same reign of terror as Germany with the opening of one of the most infamous concentration camps at Matt Howson near Linz.

Which country will be his next victim?

Neighbouring Czechoslovakia where with the German population, the Sudeten Germans.

But the country is recognised as an independent state by England and France.

The clouds of war gather.

In Munich, Temple of Nazism, an 11-hour peace conference, is organised.

On one side Adolf Hitler who is becoming more and more frightening and his ally, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Mussolini, the founder of Fascism, an indoctrination of entire nation from child to put on.

On the other side the western democracies, victorious but exhausted from the Great War.

Neville Chamberlain, the conservative British Prime Minister, and the radical socialist, French Premier Edouard Daladier, want to save the peace.

They end up accepting the unacceptable.

They give up the Czech province of Sudeten land to Hitler in exchange for his solemn promise to make no more claims on another European territory.

But what is Hitler's promise worth?

Just 6 months later, he invades the rest of Czechoslovakia and enters Prague accompanied by Marshal Hermann Goering.

Goering, a former First World War fighter pilot, one of the founders of Nazi Party, is now the Air Minister, and an ogre trying to charm the Czech children.

Hitler no longer needs the excuse of reuniting German-speaking people.

The powerful Czech industry will be working for him.

Why shouldn't he take the advantage of it?

The Allies let him get away with it.

The USSR is the last major neighbouring power left to counter Hitler.

It has signed a mutual assistance treaty with France.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is the official name of Communist Russia and its satellite republics.

Manipulation of the masses in the Red Square masks the iron-fisted dictatorship of Stalin who was also throw millions of poor riches into his labour camps, the Gulag.

Industrialization and forced militarization have made the USSR a major power.

Despite their fear of communism, the western powers rely on the USSR.

. . . . . .

Hitler is going to beat them to the punch.

In the summer of 1939, in his Berchtesgaden chalet with his Minister Foreign Affair Joachim Von Ribbentrop, he prepares a blocking manoeuvre.

Hitler who swore to destroy the Communism sends Von Ribbentrop the Nazi to Moscow to sign a history-making treaty with his worse enemy.

When Stalin's Foreign Affair Minister Molotov signs the German-Soviet Pact, communists are totally taken aback, like these French party members.

It's August 1939.

And people in France are enjoying their first paid holidays, one of the major victories of the Socialist Popular Front.

What are the reasons behind this non-aggression pact?

The Soviet answered that Stalin is playing for time letting Hitler and western powers kill each other off.

Perhaps Stalin who intends grabs the Baltic countries and part of Poland even has a delusion that he could share Europe with Hitler on a permanent basis.

In 1936, the US Congress had passed the Neutrality Act to avoid being dragged into a European war once again.

So with nothing to fear either from the United States or from Russia, Hitler decides to wipe out what he calls the "worst monstrosity" of the Versailles Treaty, The Danzig Corridor.

In 1919, German territory was cut in two in order to give Poland access to the sea.

Hitler decides to launch invasion of Poland and recover Danzig on the 1st of September 1939 at 5:35 am.

The first cannon shot of the Second World War is fired on Danzig.

. . . . . .

Hitler is convinced that the French and the British will not take action.

Yet the two governments meet immediately and send him ultimatum demanding that he hold all military action against Poland.

Hitler declares "Our enemies are little worms" and he adds "who want to get bogged down an world war for Danzig?"

September 3rd, 1939 at 11 am, the ambassador of Great Britain in Berlin delivers a declaration of war.

At 5pm, France declares war on Germany. Hitler can hardly believe it.

German generals find himself facing their worst case scenario, war on two fronts. But the die is cast.

Hitler unleashes the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Nazi Germany, on to Poland.

Entering battle as if in a Philippa gone age, the Polish cavalry charges the German tanks and is slaughtered.

. . . . . .

Paris, the GARE DE I'EST train station.

Many of these men had shifted out from this same platform 25 years ago in a totally different atmosphere.

In August 1914, they marched off to war in high spirits with flowers in their rifles, but there are no flowers this time and no rifles.

Nobody wants to fight this war. 4 million men are mobilized.

Many of them are farmers. France is still a largely rural country.

They head for the German border on foot with their officers following on horseback.

Armies still rely heavily on horses, and these are requisitioned throughout the country.

Motorization has not kept up.

Jastone Schiller, a driver one of these out-dated trucks with solid rubber tires, recalls.

"There was such a shortage of equipment. We have one rifle for two per truck."

"We have one box of ten bullets which we were not allowed to open. It was pathetic"

"If we had what we needed we'd fought because we're no great friend with Boche."

The "Boche" was the pejorative term for the German soldiers during the previous war.

They are also called "vert de Gris", which is French means field grey, the colour of their uniform which enable them to blend in with their surroundings.

But just who are these soldiers?

Let's take for example one of these young Germans marching as he sings.

"A flag is waving before us. Our flag is a new age. Our flag is stronger than death."

His name is Auguste Von Kaganick.

He writes:"I thought that the military career was the right choice."

"My parents thought so as well"

"My father would tell me at least there you can still open your mouth and say what you like and you don't have to do that Nazi salute."

In September 1939, Auguste Von Kaganick is still training to become a tank commander.

He writes: "My father who was a general was telling me the French have 40 divisions on the border we have 15, all the rest in Poland"

"5 hundred thousand men against 2 hundred thousand. There're numbers two to one."

. . . . . .

French forces attack on September the 7th, 1939,4 days after declaring war.

This offensive launched to show public opinion that Poland has not been abandoned.

Advances 8 kilometres into the Saar region.

The French army's cinema department shows off the spoils of war, bicycles.

. . . . . .

The Saar offensive stops there, and generates into a series of skirmishes raised by elite commandos led by the hero Joseph Darnard who receives the citation of premier soldier of France.

Later, he will become one of the most rabid collaborates with the Germans and eventually he will be executed after the war.

The French army, in spite of its heroes and its superiority of numbers, takes no further action.

General Maurice Gamelin, sixty-seven years old, is Commandeering Chief of the allied Franco-British land forces, for the French outnumbered the British who also think this war isn't for real and that all will be settled soon.

. . . . . .

Gamelin himself has no desire to refight the war of 1914.

He wants to avoid another bloodbath at any cost.

He considers he needs two years safe behind the Maginot Line in order to rearm the country.

The Maginot Line is a work of a former minister of war, André Maginot.

This complex fortifications was made to stop the German enemy once and for all.

It took nearly ten years to construct and swallowed up one and half million cubic meters of concrete and a hundred 50 thousand tons of steel.

All these gun turrets are linked together by a labyrinth of tunnels, one hundred kilometres of them.

The line itself stretched for 720 kilometres from the Swiss to the Belgium borders.

The Maginot Line ends at the foot of the Ardennes forest.

The French Military Command thought the German tanks could never cross the extremely rough terrain.

The French did extend the line all the way to the sea because Belgium before declaring its neutrality was an ally of France and opposed it.

These northern part of the front is manned by a French army and British expeditionary forces later reinforced by Canadians and troops from the far from British Empire.

. . . . . .

In Britain, a popular song of the day was "The Washing On Siegfried Line".

"We're gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line.

Have you any dirty washing, mother dear?

We're gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line. Cause the washing day is here whether the weather. . . . . ."

The Siegfried Line is the string of fortifications constructed by Hitler facing the Maginot Line.

The Germans don't attack. They are still trying to avoid the second front.

The French nevertheless takes some precautions.

They evacuate the population of Alsace and Lorraine to the regions of Peiligeer and Charente in the southwest.

Strasbourg, a ghost town, abandoned by the population, emptied of its soul, especially that of synagogues.

… …

On the twentieth of September, Hitler orders the bombing of Warsaw.

The city is surrounded, but still holding out.

. . . . . .

The Fuhrer wants to strike terror into the hearts and minds not only of the Pols but of the French and the British as well.

"This's what is in store for you." The world is horrified.

In New York, the bombing of Warsaw is up in lights in Time Square and on the front page of all newspapers.

Franklin Roosevelt, the president of the United States, addresses the nation.

"This nation will remain a neutral nation, but I can not ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well."

"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts."

"Even a neutral cannot be asked to close its mind or to close its conscience."

The bombing of Warsaw shows how vulnerable the cities are.

Paris sets about to protecting its monuments and hides its museum's masterpieces out in the provinces.

The Champs-de-Mars at the foot of The Eiffel Tower is dug full of bomb shelters and there frequent aerial drills.

Gas masks are compulsory.

. . . … …

Poison gases were used in the first world war and now everyone is afraid of them even the horses.

Meanwhile, Poland is being ruthlessly carved up.

As previously agreed with Hitler, the Soviet has invaded the eastern half of Poland.

Here the soldiers are fraternisingan incongruous sight, to say the least.

The Nazi hand out the flyers that read:

"The German army salutes the red army of workers and farmers which had always hailed in the highest respect."

The Polish Army surrenders to the Germans, and in the east to the Soviets.

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Stalin then orders the execution of twenty thousand Polish prisoners.

. . . . . .

He wants to eliminate the elite of this country he intends to annex.

4500 Polish officers are executed with a bullet in the head in the Katyn forest near Smolensk in Russia.

Two years later, at the Kremlin, Stalin meets with the head of the Polish government in exile General Sikorski who delivers a list of missing Polish officers.

The Soviets deny any wrongdoing.

. . . . . .

In 1992, the president of post-Soviet Russia, Boris Yeltsin will present Polish president Lech Walesa with the original order of execution signed by Stalin himself.

Stalin, by occupying half of Poland, is in fact playing into the hands of Hitler who needs the common border with the USSR to facilitate his plans to invade Russia.

Hitler and Himmler, the head of SS, will now take care of Poland by naming the Nazi Hans Frank Governor General of the occupied Polish provinces who proclaims, "I have the power of life and death over the Polish people."

After the war, he will be trailed in Nuremberg and hanged for crimes against humanity.

. . . . . .

These gipsies held in a pen are filmed by a German.

For the Nazis, they are "non-persons".

The women will be forced to undergo a sterilization because they do not deserve to reproduce.

The Nazis declare open seizing on Gipsies. Hundreds of thousands will be interned in concentration camps.

The ordeal of the Jewish people begins.

The Nazis now have three million Polish Jews at their mercy.

Hitler is still uncertain about what to do with them.

As long as the war is going well for him, he considers deporting them to the east or even shipping them to Madagascar.

It's only when the outcome of the war becomes less certain that Hitler and his accomplices unleash a frenzy of hate and murder. The Final Solution.

For the time being, the Jews have to be identified marked with a yellow star and herded into the ghettoes, some of which are completely walled off.

From the diary of one of these unfortunate souls "It's heartrending to see the shameful sins and violence that take place before our eyes."

"Women and the elderly beaten right out in the street by petty thugs. Tears come to my eyes."

"All of our powerlessness, all of our isolation is there to see right into open where not a single person takes our defence. "

"We are so weak."

All the major cities of Poland will have their ghetto prisons where German, Austrian and Czech Jews will also be interned.

The Jews here still feel confident that perhaps someday they will be able to return to their homes.

They don't know that they will die of hunger and cold.

They don't know that the shower is about to begin.

. . . . . .

Warsaw is in ruins.

Hitler comes to be filmed by a propaganda crew seeing here, travelling in the car and the background.

These victorious German soldiers march their Goose step to the song of the Grenadiers March.

But they weren't too efficient during the Polish campaign.

Poor preparation, a lack of fighting spirit, even cases indiscipline.

On the points, the Commanding Chief, General von Brauchitsch dares report to the Fuhrer.

Hitler is furious, but he is immune to doubt and orders the attack on the west to be prepared and attack on the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

Some of his generals think it's madness. Some of them begin plotting to overthrow the Fuhrer.

This is a crucial moment.

The course of history lies in the balance.

November the 8th, 1939, Hitler narrowly escapes an assassination attempt.

It seems as if he enjoyed some kind of divine protection.

When he attends the funeral for the victims, he's no longer the same man.

His power over the army and the German people has grown even stronger.

He tells his generals: "My decision is irrevocable."

"I will attack France when the time is right. I will be victorious or die in the attempt."

Yet Hitler is still uncertain about attacking the west for he also says,

"War is like opening the door on a dark room. You never know what will happen."

Eventually, he postpones the order to attack and goes back to his Shelley in the Alps to join his mistress, Eva Braun.

She shot this footage of Hitler's entourage of the Reich's architect, Albert Speer who goes for long walks with Hitler.

Speer recalls "Hitler wanted to rechristen Berlin 'Germania'."

"We already had mocked up the future Adolf Hitler Square with a dome inspired by San Peters in Rome, but seventeen times bigger."

I said to him, "My Fuhrer, wouldn't that make an ideal target for bombers?"

He answered, "Not at all. Galin has assured me that no enemy aircraft will ever fly over the Reich."

From his barracks, the future German officer, Auguste Von Kaganick, writes to his mother,

"We are all eager to fight. We are ready for battle."

His mother answers "This war is a crime. And we are going to have to pay for it."

The war then enters a new bizarre phase.

The Germans call it der Sitzkrieg (the sitting war).

The British call it the phoney war.

And for the French, it's Drole de Guerre (the funny war).

A long strange waiting period especially hard on the women.

For them, there is not only the anguish of the war but also the survival of their families to worry about.

As in the last war, the soldiers dig in and try to make the best of things.

The French soldier, Jastone Schiller, writes to his wife.

"It's thirty degrees below zero. The bread is frozen."

"I'm one of the lucky ones. They gave us some straw and with that we can sleep better."

. . . . . .

The winter of 1939 and 1940 is indeed one of the coldest of the century.

To make the bad situation worse, all the winters of this war will be brutally cold.

The Commanding Chief, General Gamelin, is expecting the Germans to attack through Belgium, and move towards Paris across this open plain like in 1914.

Gamelin plans to make it stand against Germans on Belgium soil.

In France, Colonel de Gaulle a tank officer who's beginning to make a name for himself criticise this strategy.

He calls it the-Maginot-Line mentality which consists in waiting for the other side to make a move.

In his book 'Towards a Professional Army', he argues in favour of taking the offensive, making massive use of tanks.

France is producing three hundred tanks a month.

But they are being disbursed into all the sections to back up the infantry.

French aviation has also fallen behind.

France ordered four thousand planes from the United States, in spite of the ever-growing isolationist trend championed by Charles Lindbergh, the hero who made the first transatlantic solo flight and now leading proponent of the America-first movement.

"If you believe in an independent destiny for America, if you believe that this country should not enter the war in Europe, we ask you to join the America-First committee in its stand. "

It's the isolationist voice of America, and the public personalities like Henry Ford, the anti-Semitic car-maker, or like Joseph Kennedy, America's ambassador in London who is anti-war.

While his son John, the future president Kennedy, supports European democracies.

Nazi sympathisers in America also contribute to the impassioned climate that reigns at the beginning of 1940.

In Europe, the British union of Fascists are also quite active after the moment they are banned.

Oswald Mosley, the English Fuhrer challenges the government right in the centre of London.

He will spend next several years in prison.

Mosley's speeches urge people to get out on the streets and stop the war.

But Winston Churchill has taken the reigns of the British government.

Here we see him with the French General Gamelin and Admiral Darlan who are on an official visit to London.

A Franco-British expeditionary corps is formed to help Finland which is being invaded by the Soviet Union.

France is preparing to send its elite soldiers, the French foreign legion.

The foreign legion. For a century, it's been taking in the world reprobates no matter what they have passed as long as it's not too shitty.

Their quarters in Sidi Bel Abbès in Algeria now signs up a good number of Spanish republicans having fled from their country after Franco's Fascist victory.

They are now eager to fight the Nazis who supported Franco.

They all make the long trip to France.

The legion has embarked at Brest, along with the well-equipped Chasseurs Alpins a mountain corps, trained for action in snow.

But Finland and the Soviet Union sign a peace treaty.

A few days later, Hitler launches an offensive against Denmark and Norway, the Blitzkrieg (the lightning war).

The Wehrmacht takes Oslo in two days.

Hitler is seeking to protect the iron routes. Iron is indispensable to the German war effort.

And fifty per cent of the Swedish iron ore is shipped out of the Norwegian port of Narvik.

The Franco-British expeditionary corps lands in the field of Narvik.

After a month of fighting, the Allies take Narvik.

The iron route is temporarily cut.

This victory is good for French morale and adds credence to their motto:

"We'll win because we are the strongest."

But the expeditionary corps will have to abandon Narvik.

And for the rest of the war, trainload after trainload of Swedish iron ore will feed the German war machine.

The French are brought back home for the Germans have just launch their offensive in the west.

The 9th of May, 1940, Hitler left Berlin on his private train code-named America, heading west towards new headquarters near the French border.

Hitler announces, "Gentlemen, the offensive has just begun."

His generals have submitted him their battle plan during the winter.

It looks similar to that of 1914, attack through Belgium.

But Hitler preferred the General Von Manstein's idea, cutting straight through the Ardennes Forest then swinging up and driving towards the sea, encircling the Allies with a sickle-cut movement.

But this sickle-cut movement is, in fact, a huge gamble. Because the Allies could turn back and counterattack.

However, Hitler is confident.

He knows: the main thing is to have good weather.

Lieutenant Auguste Von Kaganick claims, "We are the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Great Germany. Victory is certain."

. . . . . .

For the German soldiers, their homeland is in danger.

After all, it was the French who declared war on Germany.

The 10th of May 1940, at dawn the German parachutists make a jump over Holand.

Their mission is to capture the airfields and bridges around Rotterdam.

At the same time, Hitler unleashes his war machine on Belgium.

Hitler waits. Will the Allies fall into the trap?