52:28 | History

Living In Germany At War

The Abyss: 1942-1945  |  Episode 2  |  The History Channel

April 1945. The allied bombings had reduced Germany to ruins. The American and Soviet forces were concentrating on Berlin. Yet even when everything was already clearly lost, the Germans continued to fight for the Nazi regime to the bitter end. However, when World War II exploded six years earlier, the idea of war was deeply unpopular amongst the German population. How can such a tremendous shift in public opinion be explained? What did the Germans believe they were fighting for? Were they aware that they were leading a genocidal war? Why did the German people continue to fight to the death, despite the bombings, hardships and deprivation, convinced that they were fighting for their survival? Based on The German War. A Nation Under Arms, 1939-45 - the innovative work by the historian Nicholas Stargardt drawn from a Herculean research effort - this film, consisting entirely of archives, will recount the daily lives of both German civilians and soldiers during the six years of World War II, from its start in September 1939 up to the months following the German surrender. Constructed from the letters, diaries and eyewitness accounts of Germans from all walks of life, the film plunges us into the lives of the men and women who lived through the tornado born of their own violence. Soldiers writing to their fiancees or their families, World War I veterans, members of Hitler Youth, persecuted Jews, anti-Nazis, priests and pastors, journalists, writers ... The words they left behind reveal the personal thoughts of a people at war, raising the curtain on the mechanics of the Nazi regime. This is a direct dive into the tsunami of World War II, when Nazism pushed its mortal logic to the extreme end.

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