The Hitler Chronicles: Collectors Edition DVD box set includes four intriguing documentaries surrounding Hitler and the Third Reich. Although hailing from various decades, these four documentaries fit together perfectly. Each documentary will take you deeper into the lives and actions of the people involved in various way to WWII. The footage, some of which was shot by Nazi soldiers, is brutal and disturbing; yet it brings validity and depth to the information.
The Architecture of Doom (1991) examines the Third Reich in an artistic light. Particularly the arts Hitler was found of; painting, sculpture, and architecture. This does not mean that the documentary takes on a favorable outlook to Hitler’s plans; the reasons and rationals behind Hitler’s decisions are looked at from artistic viewpoints. Hitler, a failed painter, preferred landscapes and classical realism. He also considered himself an amateur architect. This fueled many of his political beliefs and consequently his actions. The horrors during WWII look even more horrible when put in an artistic perspective. The limited view of Hitler, both artistically and intellectually, is evident. This is not to say that the art he did like was not good, it was just a very narrow stream of art that he found acceptable. This narrow view affects all aspects of the Nazi regime. By using never before seen Nazi footage and photographs of art and Hitler’s architectural plans, this documentary sheds a light on Hitler and his reign.
Dear Uncle Adolf (2010) is a look into the actual feelings of the German peoples in regards to Hitler. At the end of WWII, the Russians confiscated thousands of personal and government letters addressed to Hitler himself. These letters have just recently been released. Included are personal letters, diary entries, and reports from the field. The personal letters come from native Germans, people from occupied states, adults, children, and even Jews. The letters encompass a wide range of thoughts and feelings from the common people of the time. These letters are a window into a part of WWII history that is seldom discussed, how the people of Germany felt about Hitler and his policies.
Hitler: A Career (1977) shows how Adolf Hitler went from being a prospective art student in Austria to the leader of Nazi Germany and the perpetrator of the Holocaust. This documentary goes in-depth into the actions of Hitler and those around him which propelled him into his powerful position. Once the elected Chancellor of Germany, the documentary then shows how he made himself the undisputed leader of the country. Hitler: A Career gives the information in a straight forward manner. Although much of what Hitler did came from his personal beliefs, this documentary shows how he made leading Germany into WWII, a professional endeavor. Knowing this outlook makes Hitler all the more deplorable.
The Top Secret Trial of the Third Reich (1944) is a documentary chronicling trials that took place in the last months of WWII. The court was not set up in a democratic manner, although it was made to look as if it was. The jury, defense lawyers, supporting judges, and even audience were placed by design by the hands of the Nazi government. The intricately filmed trials were confiscated by the Allies before the Germans could destroy them. These trials show how the government, under Hitler became engrossed in every aspect of society. No resistance would be allowed, just another human right taken away: free thought.
Watching the DVD’s in the order they are placed in the set is beneficial. Although it may look as if they are randomly placed, the way they play out is wonderful. Moving from a documentary focusing on only one aspect of Hitler to his impact on the entire country is done in an intellectual and enjoyable fashion.