Hitler - A Profile
No other person in the twentieth century has triggered more discussions among biographers and historians than Adolf Hitler. More than 120.000 books and articles on the dictator that have appeared in the past 50 years have documented the full extent of the most horrible crimes in history that were committed by him and his followers. Developed with the assistance of internationally renowned historians, using newly discovered documents, films, sound recordings and interviews with eye-witnesses, relatives, and victims, 'Hitler - A Profile' is the first comprehensive television portrait of the German dictator. Each episode focuses on one character aspect of the man who plunged an entire nation into collective madness and unparalleled savagery.
S01:E01 - The Private Man
Using in part previously unpublished documents and films, a psychological portrait of theprivate man Hitler is formed. At the beginning, the story of his life is one of many of the kind: an authoritarian father, a forbearing mother, failure at school. But even in his young years, his pig-headedness and his overestimation of his own abilities are unmistakable. His wish to become an artist and his aversion to an ordered life were fanatical. The moments of loss and foundering, the death of his mother, his rejection as an "artist", his social fall into a hostel for homeless men through his own fault, had a traumatic effect. Exactly when the latent anti-Semite became a radical Jew hater has been a matter of dispute up to now. Now it can be proved: not in his years in Vienna, as he himself claimed, but only after the First World War in the turmoil of upheaval and revolution.
S01:E02 - The Seducer
Hitler had a mastery of playing to the masses like no other politician. In the role of thedemagogue, he showed off the most striking features of his character. He paved his way to power by effective mass suggestion. Millions succumbed to the "Fuhrer" myth. Only a few succeeded in escaping his spell.
S01:E03 - The Blackmailer
In the mid-thirties, Hitler still presented himself in the guise of a friend of peace who was just concerned to achieve an annulment of the oppressive requirements of the Treaty of Versailles. In reality, Hitler wanted more, as he openly announced to a small circle in 1937: "Only the path of force can be taken to solve the German question!" A policy of conquest was the prime objective of the "Angel of peace". In this connection, the dictator had recognized that there was no more effective way of blackmailing the European powers than by threatening to unleash a war. The fear of a repetition of the World War united the peoples of the Continent - and let them become the victims of blackmailer Hitler's dangerous game: disturbing parallels to the situation in former Yugoslavia.
S01:E04 - The Dictator
Never before had one single human being succeeding in concentrating such power and such destructive forces in his hands. Adolf Hitler, the centre of the "total Nazi despotism" (Marion, Countess Donhoff), held the reins in a state "which was all-pervading" (Will Quadflieg). He left, it is true, the running of this "Third Reich" to compliant and ambitious paladins, but his power was absolute - "Divide and rule". Hitler raised chaos to the principle of rule. But Hitler alone stipulated the great objectives, unleashed the murderous energies of his state. He held the organisational anarchy of this Reich together and held the Germans under his demonic spell.
S01:E05 - The Commander
Hitler wanted untrammeled power. War was his program. In his delusion, he stylized it as ameaningful struggle for survival between philosophies of life and races. The "elimination" ofwestern Europe was just the preliminary stage for his actual objective: the conquest of"Lebensraum" in the east. Hitler's perverse vision: A "Jew-free Great German Empire" from theAtlantic to the Urals. The self-proclaimed "greatest commander of all times" transformed almostthe whole Continent into a battlefield, from the Atlantic to just outside the gates of Moscow,from North Cape to the Sahara.
S01:E06 - The Criminal
Hitler as a criminal: a ruler in the kingdom of the dead, the preacher of a murderous philosophy of life. The specially macabre thing about him: He had people killed because he had sweepingly declared them to be the enemies of his people!
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