Hitler and the Nazis: Evil on Trial (2024) s01e03 Episode Script

Hitler in Power

[electricity flicks on]
[generators humming]
[audio feedback hums]
[radio frequencies squealing]
[radio announcer] At this time,
the Columbia Broadcasting System
brings you the news of the world
as reported by its correspondents
in the major world capitals.
First to be heard from tonight,
is William L. Shirer.
This is Columbia in New York
calling William L. Shirer.
Come in, Mr. Shirer.
[intriguing music playing]
[Deirdre van Dyk] My grandfather reported
for Universal News Service in Berlin,
but then in 1937, he gets a job with CBS.
He can be based maybe in Geneva or Vienna,
and he chooses Vienna.
It's where my grandmother's from.
He loves Vienna.
Meanwhile, this chaos
is happening in Austria.
The Germans are massing on the border,
they're talking about invading
[crowd] Heil!
[van Dyk] There's a lot of fear
and unrest in the capital.
Clearly, Austria's collapsing.
-[suspenseful music playing]
-[items clattering]
[Linda Shirer Rae] In 1938,
when my mother gave birth to my sister,
Nazi troops were marching
through the streets.
My mother's Jewish doctor
had to go into hiding.
It was frightening.
[Steve Wick] Shirer sees
this incredible madness
unfolding right in front of him.
[crowd shouting in distance]
[Wick] But Shirer can't get
to the radio broadcast center in Vienna
because it's controlled by the Germans.
He ends up taking a plane
from Vienna to Berlin to Amsterdam,
and finally to London.
It's a huge moment for CBS
because they're now doing something
that hadn't been done before.
He goes right on the air,
and he tells America
what the Germans are doing in Vienna,
and it was an enormous radio coup.
[Shirer] This morning, when I flew away
from Vienna at 9:00 a.m.,
it looked like any German city
in the Reich.
Red, white, and black swastika flags
hung from the balconies
of most of the homes,
and in the streets,
people raised their hands in Nazi salute
[crowd chanting in German]
One People! One Empire! One Führer!
[in English] and greeted each other
with, "Heil Hitler."
[crowd chanting]
Adolf Hitler! Adolf Hitler!
[theme music playing]
-[typewriter keys clacking]
-[moody music playing]
[Shirer] Hitler had a villa
on the Obersalzberg,
a mountain ridge above the town
of Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps.
[birds chirping]
[Shirer] It was only three hours
by car or train from Munich,
the headquarters of the Nazi Party.
It was even nearer the Austrian border.
The mountain scenery,
broken by green valleys, is superb.
This is one
of the most beautiful spots in Europe,
and Hitler came to love it
all the rest of the days of his life.
Hitler was in such a powerful position
after the consolidation of the Nazi regime
that he could afford
to spend weeks, months away
at his holiday resort on the Berghof.
[jaunty music playing]
[in German] On a day in Spring
Happiness knocks on your door ♪
And the world shines in a golden glow ♪
Extend your hands to happiness
Never let it leave you again ♪
Hold on to it tightly, forever ♪
[Anne Berg, in English] It's sort of like
Hitler's Mar-a-Lago, if you will.
A kind of retreat in the Bavarian Alps
that has a closeness to nature,
the spectacular mountain panorama,
that gave Hitler the sense
that he was on top of the world
without having to deal
with the messiness of everyday politics.
[in German] On a day in Spring
Happiness knocks on your door ♪
And fulfills your most beautiful dream ♪
[song ends with flourish]
[in English] The Berghof was one
of the most important power centers
of Hitler's rule.
He had a close circle of regulars.
Eva Braun was at the center of that life.
[contemplative music playing softly]
[Benjamin Carter Hett] Eva Braun was
a young woman who had started working
in the studio of Hitler's photographer,
Heinrich Hoffmann,
and that is almost certainly
where he met her.
She was born in 1912,
so she was 23 years younger than Hitler.
They had a very long relationship,
but Hitler always made a point
of keeping her secret.
Hitler never wanted
the German people to know
that he had this permanent girlfriend.
He always said he was married to Germany.
[gentle music playing]
[Berg] It's kind of funny that Hitler
was drawn to a woman like Eva Braun
because on some level,
she kind of embodies the new woman
of the Weimar period,
um, or the American flapper,
if we want to have an analogy.
The way that she presented herself,
she was not a timid woman
along the lines that Nazi propaganda
imagined women as wives and mothers.
[film reel whirring]
[Hett] As someone who had been
a photographer's apprentice,
she loved photography.
She made home movies.
We still can see these today.
[no audible dialog]
[Hett] Even when he is seen relaxing,
he is, of course, always still maintaining
a kind of persona as the Führer.
But nonetheless,
as relaxed as Hitler seemingly got,
these movies depict
that kind of environment.
[Goeschel] They show Hitler
awkwardly kissing the hand of women
at the Berghof.
They show Hitler joking,
and you see Hitler's dog,
a German Shepherd called Blondi.
Blondi plays a huge part in Hitler's life.
[Blondi panting]
[Goeschel] Eva Braun's films
form an interesting contrast
to the official,
choreographed visual record
of National Socialism
and of Hitler, the dictator.
[intriguing music playing]
[Devin Pendas]
Hitler is fundamentally a lazy person.
He does not like to work at something
he doesn't find interesting.
[Hett] He would sleep in very late,
he would get up late.
He would have a kind of leisurely lunch,
then maybe he would receive
ministers or military commanders
and hear some reports,
and give them some orders.
Typically, his evenings
would be filled with a movie,
sometimes two movies,
sometimes three movies.
After which, he might talk
with his inner circle.
Hitler had a very unusual
leadership style.
He was not someone
who gave orders all the time.
Instead, he seems to have
rather consciously developed a technique
where his subordinate people
and subordinate agencies
would have to compete for his favor.
It was their task
to work towards the Führer.
Hitler made very few policies himself
or articulated goals or strategies,
but rather had these amorphous ideas
that were often quite outlandish
and quite radical.
By presenting these sorts
of abstract concepts and ideas
to his subordinates,
he invited them to write policy for him,
to come up with ideas and strategies
that would appeal to him.
[ominous music playing]
[Hett] Everything in the whole
governmental machine
is desperately trying
to figure out what he wants.
This is definitely a process
that leads to a radicalization,
or as historians sometimes put it,
a cumulative radicalization of Germany.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Joseph Goebbels, in German] The age
of an exaggerated Jewish intellectualism
has come to an end.
The breakthrough of the German revolution
has cleared the German path forward.
[Pendas, in English] Once the Nazis
consolidate their control of government,
one of the things that they wanted to do
was to purge undesirable elements
from intellectual,
cultural, aesthetic life,
most famously
in a series of of book burnings.
[radio frequencies squealing]
[Berg] The Nazis needed to take control
of the apparatus of culture,
control the press and radio
in a way that would allow them
to present themselves in the kind of image
that they would want to be seen.
[Pendas] The next step is to Nazify
German society as a whole,
and the key policy for this
is something they called Gleichschaltung,
translated as "coordination."
Basically, they say that
all of the organized elements
of social life, of civil society,
need to be Nazified.
[troops marching in distance]
[Pendas] Many people
eagerly and voluntarily participated.
Being more Nazi than their neighbor
allowed Germans to advance
socially and professionally,
since the Nazi Party
controlled everything.
And equally important,
it gave them a sense
of belonging to a community.
[foreboding music playing darkly]
[Goeschel] Gleichschaltung coordination
included greeting people differently.
Instead of saying guten Tag, "hello,"
people would start saying "Heil Hitler"
using the Heil Hitler salute.
All associations,
for example chess clubs, football clubs,
were all brought under the control
of Nazi Party organizations.
[patriotic music playing]
[Goeschel] They particularly wanted
to appeal to youth,
and so the role of the Hitler Youth
became more and more important
for the regime,
that by the late 1930s,
membership of the Hitler Youth
became compulsory.
[Pendas] They did some of the things
that traditional youth groups did,
but they were also instruments
of of ideological indoctrination.
These were places where people learned
what it meant to be a real German,
according to the Nazis.
They learned a certain kind of vision
of a militarized masculinity
that was central to the Nazi vision
for what Germany should be.
[youths singing in German]
German is the soldier's blood ♪
German heart and German courage ♪
As if made of steel and iron ♪
[Shirer, in English] On many a weekend,
tramping through the stretches of woodland
that surrounded Berlin,
I would run into companies
of Hitler Youth.
It was a disheartening experience
to watch Hitler take over
the youth of Germany,
poison their minds,
and prepare them for the sinister ends
he had in store for them.
[somber music playing]
[Shirer] I had not believed it possible
until I saw it with my own eyes.
[Tiffany N. Florvil] Everything you do is
supposed to be for the good of the nation,
for the sort of improvement
and betterment of the nation.
You have these, um,
even sort of women's groups, girl groups.
[in German] Solar rays are a pleasure
Smile for us on a jovial day ♪
[Florvil, in English] All for advocating
different aspects of Nazism.
A virtuous woman is a mother
in Nazi Germany,
so maternalism was extremely important.
[uneasy music playing]
[Pendas] So one of the goals
of this policy of coordination
was the creation of what the Nazis
called a Volksgemeinschaft,
a people's community.
[church bells tolling]
[Pendas] This was a kind of
comprehensive racial vision
for what the Nazis hoped
Germany would become.
[Goeschel] So-called "racial science"
became a subject in German schools.
Even math quizzes
took on racist anti-Semitic dimensions.
The school in which I was involved
at the age of six
was one of Hitler's special schools,
which he had set up for the training
of his future leadership elite.
We saw publications
in which Jews were depicted
as being fat,
rapacious, ugly,
with large hooked noses.
And those pictures, I think,
stayed with me longer
than any verbal impression
that could have been given to me.
[ominous music playing]
[Goeschel] Racism and eugenics,
the idea that some people
were worth more than other peoples
because of their skin color,
because of their lineage,
that idea was not exclusive to Germany.
[Florvil] Eugenics was extremely popular
in the United States.
It was quite pervasive across the nation.
You had prominent people
who were invested in these ideas,
trying to determine the superiority
and the inferiority of races.
They also use these ideas
to codify law, to enact policies,
for example, immigration quotas.
So there's a set amount of individuals
who can migrate to the US.
[Hett] Hitler thought
this was a great approach
to building the kind of national community
in the United States
that he wanted to see in Germany.
The Nazis were also influenced
by Jim Crow laws
in the Jim Crow South of the time,
laws that enforce a racial segregation
and racial identification and separation.
[Pendas] African-Americans living
in the American South
are being treated as second-class citizens
and subjected to violence
on a regular basis.
[bell jingles]
[Florvil] The Nazis did look
at racial laws in the Jim Crow South
as a model for how to implement
similar legislation in Nazi Germany.
[ominous music continues]
[trial official] You'll repeat yourself
after me.
I swear by God
[Julius Streicher repeats in German]
[trial official, in English]
the almighty and omniscient
[Julius Streicher repeats in German]
[trial official, in English]
that I will speak the pure truth.
[Julius Streicher repeats in German]
[trial official, in English]
And will withhold and add nothing.
[Julius Streicher repeats in German]
[trial official, in English] Sit down.
[Marx, in German] In 1935,
at the Party rally in Nuremberg,
the so-called "racial laws"
were promulgated.
Were you consulted
about the planning and preparation
of the draft of that law?
And did you have any part in it,
especially in its preparation?
[Streicher] Yes,
I believe I had a part in it,
insofar as for years,
I had written
that any further mixture
of German blood with Jewish blood
must be avoided.
I repeatedly wrote such articles.
[dark music playing]
[Shirer, in English] I never got
tough enough to stomach Julius Streicher,
the sadistic, pornographic Jew-baiter
from Nuremberg.
Almost to the last,
Hitler had a warm heart
for this psychopathic pervert,
the Nazi boss of Franconia
and editor of the unspeakably vulgar
anti-Semitic mass-circulation weekly
Der Stürmer.
[Marx, in German] Were you of the opinion
that the legislation passed in 1935
represented the ultimate solution
of the Jewish question by the state?
[Streicher] With reservations, yes.
I was convinced that
if the Party program was carried out,
the Jewish question would be solved.
[somber music playing]
[Pendas, in English] In 1935,
Hitler and the Nazis attempt to codify
the status of Jews in Germany.
[in German] I now propose to the Reichstag
that the laws be adopted,
which Party comrade
Reichstag President Goering will read.
The first and second law
owe a debt of gratitude to the movement
under whose symbol
Germany regained its freedom.
[crowd cheering]
[Pendas, in English]
The Nazis had already begun
a series of both legal and ad hoc measures
to exclude Jewish people from German life.
This is their attempt to really create
a stable legal foundation for this.
[in German] Citizens of the Reich are only
nationals of German or related blood
who demonstrate through their behavior
that they are willing and able
to faithfully serve
the German people and the Reich.
-[typewriter keys clacking]
-[pensive music playing]
[Shirer, in English] The Nuremberg Laws
deprived Jews of German citizenship,
confining them
to the inferior status of "subjects."
They also forbade marriage
between Jews and Aryans,
as well as extramarital relations
between them.
Hitler, as his party hacks
never cease to proclaim,
had become the law.
There was no other in the Third Reich.
[Nazi official, in German] To our Führer,
the savior and warrior
-Hail Victory!
-[crowd] Hail!
-[Nazi official] Hail Victory!
-[crowd] Hail!
-[Nazi official] Hail Victory!
-[crowd] Hail!
[Hett, in English] Although the Nazis
saw being Jewish as a racial category,
they had to fall back
on a religious definition,
so what the Nazis said was,
you would count as being fully Jewish
if you had four or three grandparents
who had been officially
on the rolls of a Jewish community.
If you had one or two Jewish grandparents,
then you were deemed
what was called in German a Mischling,
or a person of mixed race.
In the first couple of years
of the Third Reich,
there was a lot of bottom-up activism,
a lot of street violence, uh,
directed at Jews by the SA,
but also by ordinary Germans.
And so, many German Jews
saw the Nuremberg Laws
as stabilizing the situation
and as providing, in a sense, clear rules.
"We have some legal regulation
around this situation."
"We can act accordingly,
and we can survive."
[Christopher Browning]
Most Germans were not out to kill Jews.
They didn't see this as the first step
to isolating a group
as a step towards genocide.
We now see that step of isolation
and robbing of human rights
as very crucial,
but that's not what most Germans asked.
They asked, "Is life economically better?"
[Pendas] Many, many Germans,
probably a majority,
actively supported the regime.
And part of the reason for that
was the Nazis' success
at solving the Great Depression.
You go from a situation
in which, in the early 1930s,
millions of Germans are out of work
to a situation in which
you've got full employment very quickly.
And so for ordinary Germans,
this is miraculous,
especially if they look abroad,
and they look
at the United States or Great Britain,
which are still struggling
with the Great Depression
in 1935, 1936, 1937.
[Goeschel] The Nazis take a lot of credit
where no credit is due.
The Nazis exploit existing plans
for public work schemes,
such as building the Autobahn,
the motorway,
and this becomes
one of the most potent symbols
of Nazi propaganda
about combating unemployment.
[fire roaring]
[Goeschel] The Nazis also
massively increased spending on armaments.
[machinery whirring]
[Goeschel] They introduced conscription
in 1935,
so many of the people
on the unemployment register
were simply taken off this register
when they were drafted into the army.
[Berg] In addition to the sort of
basic economic stabilization,
there was a sense
of participatory opportunities
that got Germans to feel themselves
as having an impact
in their everyday lives.
[radio announcer]
Where there's a will, there's a sway,
especially if it's the will
to get fit and keep fit.
The Strength Through Joy celebrations
are taking place at Hamburg.
Strength Through Joy is the slogan,
so laugh and grow fit.
-[patriotic music playing]
-[crowd cheering]
[Pendas] This Nazi organization
called Kraft durch Freude,
which means Strength Through Joy,
that promoted leisure activities
for ordinary Germans.
A lot of these were small-scale and local.
"We're gonna go for a hike
in the meadows on Sunday" kind of thing.
But some of them
were sort of Club Med kinds of things.
"We're gonna take people to beaches."
"We're gonna go on cruises
in the North Sea."
[ship horn blows]
[Pendas] Most people in Germany never came
anywhere near a Kraft durch Freude trip,
but they were amazing propaganda tools.
If you watch newsreels from the 1930s,
the Strength Through Joy stuff
is everywhere.
[man, in German] The biggest surprise
came in Wilhelmshaven
when the Führer appeared on board.
[Pendas, in English]
They're sending this message
that, "Thank God we don't live
in a democracy anymore."
"Remember how terrible it was
and everybody was unemployed
and there were riots in the streets?"
"And now everybody's going on cruises
all the time, and it's amazing."
-[cheery music playing]
-[women chattering happily]
[Pendas] It's a very effective
propaganda message
because it's political,
but it's not overtly political.
[cheery music fades to silence]
[Goeschel] By 1936,
Hitler and the Nazi Party
have completely coordinated,
through the process
of Gleichschaltung coordination,
German politics, German society,
the German economy, German culture,
German everyday life,
that it's now time
to focus on the international stage.
[horse neighs]
[Hett] And at this point,
Hitler started taking steps
towards an aggressive foreign policy.
These steps always seemed
to happen in March,
and so people started speaking
about Hitler's "March Surprises."
In March 1936, we get what we call
the militarization of the Rhineland.
[Pendas] The Rhineland is
the western part of Germany
along the Rhine River that borders France.
As part of the peace settlement
at the end of the first World War,
one of the provisions was
that Germany was not allowed
to station military personnel
in this part of Germany.
It was an attempt by the French
to avoid being invaded by Germany again.
But the French were very deliberate
about using French colonial soldiers,
both from Africa
and then also using Asian soldiers
from Indochina to occupy the Germans.
It was certainly a purposeful affront
to say, "Look."
"Now, you're occupied
by alleged inferior people,
who are then inflicting even more
humiliation and disgrace on you."
[dark music playing]
[Hett] So in sending troops
into the Rhineland,
Hitler was ostentatiously breaching
the Treaty of Versailles
and doing something which was
at least implicitly threatening
to French military security.
And he takes this step very publicly
by giving a speech before the Reichstag
just at the moment the troops are crossing
the Rhine bridges into the Rhineland.
So it's a very dramatic moment
which Hitler makes a very important
propaganda display out of.
[dark music intensifies]
[Wick] Shirer and all the correspondents
had been summoned to the Reichstag,
all his government officials,
all his devoted followers.
There's some military people there
that Shirer is keeping a close eye on
to see how they react.
[Hitler shouting indistinctly]
[Shirer] Hitler says
in a deep, resonant voice,
"Men of the German Reichstag,
in this historic hour,
when in the Reich's western provinces,
German troops are at this minute marching
into their future peacetime garrisons,
we all unite in two sacred vows"
[crowd applauding]
[Shirer] He can go no further.
Now the 600 deputies,
all personal appointees of Hitler,
leap to their feet like automatons,
their right arms outstretched
in a Nazi salute,
and scream "Heils."
[crowd] Heil!
[Shirer] The first two or three, wildly.
The next 25, in unison.
[crowd shouting] Heil! Heil! Heil!
[news program music playing]
[radio announcer]
Germany startled the postwar world
with sudden reoccupation
of the demilitarized Rhine area.
-[crowd cheering]
-[pensive music playing]
[Goeschel] There's a lot
of jubilation, celebration,
and enthusiasm among Germans
for the Nazi remilitarization
of the Rhineland.
[Hett] For the Germans, this is a case
of "Making Germany great again,"
recovering from the humiliations
that had followed defeat in World War I.
[radio announcer] France and England
accept the situation,
and the new policy
of appeasing the man with the guns
sets a new international tune.
[Pendas] The British in particular,
they actually
kind of agree with the Germans
that some elements of the peace treaty
after World War I were unfair.
[Hett] Hitler sees the gamble pay off,
and this only strengthens his own ego,
his own confidence,
and his sense that he can continue
to take these gambles.
The fact that the Western allies
do not, in fact, respond at all
also starts to tell him
something about them,
that he feels
the Western democracies are weak,
and he can continue to push at them
because they won't respond.
But what Hitler really wants
to show the world
is how happy Germans are,
what a, you know, peaceful,
prosperous, thriving place Germany is.
[upbeat orchestral music playing]
[radio announcer] For three years,
the Nazis have prepared
the German body
and the German mind for this.
For the first time,
the Olympic Games are given
a heavy political
and propagandistic overtone.
[Berg] Hitler didn't give
a rat's ass about sports.
He was actually not interested
in international sports,
he wasn't interested in German sports.
The Olympics, however,
offered him an opportunity
to present German greatness to the world.
To present Germany in his image.
To bring in the international community
and refute all these arguments
about violence and oppression
and censorship,
and show just what he had achieved
in those few short years.
So when the international community
arrives in Berlin,
they are being confronted
with this lavish display.
The Nazis actually remove
anti-Semitic slogans.
The press is not publishing
their usual anti-Semitic rants
in a way that is really
not at all in keeping
with the sort of thrust
of the Third Reich.
-[upbeat orchestral music continues]
-[crowd cheering]
[Hitler, in German] I hereby announce
the beginning of the Berlin Games
in celebration
of the 11th Olympiad of the new era.
[crowd cheering]
[Pendas, in English]
One of the propaganda messages
that the Germans are hoping to send
with the Berlin Olympics
is the superiority
of racially pure Aryan Germans
in athletic prowess.
And German athletes do well.
But the problem for the Nazis
is that the real star of the Olympics
who emerges in international media
is the African-American track athlete
Jesse Owens.
[pistol fires]
-[engaging music playing]
-[crowd cheering]
[Pendas] He wins several gold medals.
He humiliates several German stars.
And above all,
he attracts the lion's share
of the international media attention.
[dramatic music playing]
[crowd cheering]
[Pendas] He's the one
who's in the newsreels.
He's the one who's on the front page
of international newspapers.
He's the one
who comes out of that Olympics
as the one name that everyone remembers.
For the Nazis,
they perceive this as a humiliation.
[Jesse Owens] I'm very glad to have won
my three events in the games at Berlin.
Wonderful competition here,
wonderful stadium, and a wonderful crowd,
and the days have been very nice.
And the people here in Germany
have been very nice to me,
and I'm very glad
to display my talent here. Thank you.
[intriguing music playing]
[Goeschel] Ultimately, the 1936 Olympics
gave a major boost
to the international reputation
of the Third Reich.
Many visitors go back
to their home countries,
and they believe an image of Germans
living in harmony with the Nazi regime.
[Ken Cuthbertson] William Shirer
was reporting at the Olympics
with Universal News Service,
the Hearst Agency, in Berlin.
And well-known Americans
and other foreigners
came to Berlin for the Olympics,
influential people like Charles Lindbergh,
and they looked around and said,
"The Germans can't be that bad,
and Hitler's not a bad guy."
William Shirer considers
these people dupes.
They've got a completely false impression
of what's going on in Germany,
and they haven't really seen the tiger.
He started writing about how the Nazis
had dialed back their anti-Semitism.
The Germans see this,
and immediately, the Propaganda Ministry
and the various
other high-ranking officials
go berserk, and they say,
"What the heck's this guy doing?"
[phone ringing]
So they're all over him about this,
uh, accusing him of writing fake news.
[intriguing music continues]
[Shirer] Tess turned on the radio
for the news
just in time for us to hear
a ringing personal attack on me
-[radio switches on]
-[indistinct speaking on radio]
[Shirer] implying that I was a dirty Jew
and was trying
to torpedo the Olympic Games
with false stories about the Jews
and Nazi officials there.
The front pages of the afternoon papers
were full of typically hysterical
Nazi denunciations of me.
I went over to the Propaganda Ministry
and burst into the office
of the staffer in charge of foreign press,
demanded an apology and a correction
in the German press and radio.
[fist slams]
[Shirer] He started to roar at me.
I roared back and dared him to expel me.
But I began to realize
what I should have known.
That I was getting nowhere.
That no one, and he least of all,
had the power or the decency
ever to correct a piece of Nazi propaganda
once it had been launched,
regardless of how big the lie.
[typewriter keys clacking]
[Hett] One of the ironies of the Olympics
and the propaganda piece
that accompanied the Olympics,
is that just as the Olympics
are in progress,
Heinrich Himmler, who has recently become
the chief of all German police forces,
has ordered the construction
of a new concentration camp
just north of Berlin, uh,
called Sachsenhausen.
[tools clanking]
[somber music playing]
[Berg] Heinrich Himmler is one of,
if not the most, important architect
of Nazi racial policy.
He is in charge of the SS.
He was not bound by any laws,
any other ties.
He answered directly to Hitler,
which basically meant
that the SS functioned
as a state within a state.
In 1936,
Himmler is working on establishing
what we call the second generation
of concentration camps,
that are designed to extract labor
from the interned population,
not to merely contain them.
[Remy] It's not yet
the Nazi Party's intention
to imprison large numbers of German Jews.
Instead, the emphasis is on "asocials,"
people who are not conforming,
people who don't fit
into the envisioned Volksgemeinschaft,
the envisioned people's community.
Those who appeared capable of working,
but were not working regularly,
petty criminals,
repeat criminal offenders.
It would come to include gay men
as a particular target of the regime.
[Goeschel] The Sachsenhausen
concentration camp
reflects the radicalization
of Nazi domestic policy.
It reflects the dramatic escalation
of Nazi racial policy.
[Goeschel] It is built in 1936.
1936 is also the year
where the Nazi regime makes distinct steps
to prepare German society for war.
[trial official] Now, the Four-Year Plan
had as its purpose
to put the entire economy in a state
of readiness for war, did it not?
[Goering, in German] I have explained
that it had two tasks to fulfill.
Firstly, to safeguard
the German economy against crises.
That is to say, to make it immune
from export fluctuations,
and as regards to food,
from harvest fluctuations,
as much as possible.
And secondly, to make it capable
of withstanding a blockade.
Which means, in the light
of experiences in World War I,
to position it in such a way
that in a second world war,
a blockade would not have
such disastrous consequences.
[trial official, in English] To get
a specific answer if possible,
uh, didn't you say
that you saw it to be your task,
within four years,
to put the entire economy
in a state of readiness for war?
[crowd murmuring]
[trial official] Did you say that,
or didn't you?
[in German] Of course, I said that.
[plaintive music playing]
[Goeschel, in English]
Hitler writes a secret memorandum
which comes to be known
as the Four-Year Plan,
and he appoints Goering
as the chief of a new authority
called the Office of the Four-Year Plan.
The direction of travel is clear.
Germany has to be ready for war
within the next four years.
[Hett] Hermann Goering in the 1930s
was typically thought of
as being the second man in Nazi Germany.
He's really Hitler's right-hand man.
He becomes the Mr. Fix-It, who gets sent
to do all kinds of different jobs.
This is in keeping
with the whole overarching concept
of working towards the Führer,
of creating diverse entities
that will compete with each other
in order to arrive
at a policy outcome that Hitler wants.
[Goeschel] Hitler wasn't interested at all
in bureaucratic procedure.
He thought that, as a true leader,
his task was to focus on big problems.
Hitler is incapable of friendship.
All Hitler cares about is politics.
Hitler has no private life.
One of the few people
who are almost friends with Hitler
is Albert Speer.
[Hett] Hitler had dreamed of being
an architect when he was a young man.
Here then was this young architect
whom Hitler saw as being very talented.
[plaintive music continues]
[Hett] Speer was also good-looking.
He came from a well-off family.
He was well-spoken.
For his part, Speer clearly idolized
and hero-worshiped Hitler.
And so their relationship had
this worshiping part on Speer's side
and paternal mentoring relationship
on Hitler's side.
Hitler had the idea that he was creating
what would be a Thousand-Year Reich,
and Berlin would be
a kind of world imperial capital.
[upbeat orchestral music playing]
[Richard J. Evans]
Berlin was going to be Germania,
was gonna have a huge set of boulevards
going into the center of town,
a massive new airport.
It was going to have an Arc de Triomphe,
much bigger than
the French one, of course,
a great hall of the people with a dome
bigger than St. Peter's in Rome.
Everything was great, huge, monumental.
When Albert Speer's father visited him
and met Hitler
and saw these models,
he simply tapped his forehead
and said, "You're all mad."
"You've gone completely mad."
[pensive music playing]
[Pendas] Hitler is convinced
that he is a man of destiny.
He is convinced that he and he alone
can lead Germany
into the greatness
for which it is destined,
and he feels like he needs
to secure victory for Germany
while he's still young enough
and robust enough
to provide the kind of leadership
that he thinks only he can provide.
[Goeschel] Hitler doesn't know
when exactly he will go to war,
but Hitler knows that he needs an ally,
and the most suitable ally for him
is Mussolini's Italy.
Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler
share a similar ideology,
and that ideology is fascism.
You cultivate politics not through debate,
but through violence.
You believe in a world order
where the strongest will prevail
over weaker states,
over weaker institutions.
[Hett] Mussolini, of course,
had come to power in Italy in 1922,
long before Hitler.
So he viewed himself in a sense
as the senior dictator,
and Hitler seemed to accept that.
But one of the issues
between them is Austria.
Mussolini had posed
as a defender of Austrian independence,
but Hitler had always been
a pan-German nationalist
right from his young days in Austria.
So the idea of incorporating
German Austria into Germany
was something that
he had thought about for a long time.
Hitler is eyeing Austria hungrily
in his preparations for war.
Austria has iron deposits,
it has other resources
that Hitler thinks would be beneficial.
So in 1937,
Benito Mussolini makes a state visit
to Berlin to see Hitler.
And Hitler is courting Mussolini.
He wants to impress upon Mussolini
that Germany is a viable partner.
[Hett] The Nazis pull out all the stops
when Mussolini visits.
They go to enormous lengths
to create huge events.
[Goeschel] They take Mussolini
around Germany.
They show off the strength
of the new German Army, the Wehrmacht.
[plane engines roar]
[Hett] There's no doubt that this meeting
is a moment at which the alliance
between these two men
and their regimes is cemented.
In the end, Mussolini and Hitler agree
that Italy would give up any claim
to be the defender of Austria.
[Pendas] So by February of 1938,
Hitler's putting enormous pressure
on Austria
for closer economic cooperation.
He wants military cooperation.
Austria, at this point,
is already being ruled
by their own domestic fascists,
who are sympathetic ideologically
to Hitler,
but who want to preserve
Austrian sovereignty.
[somber music playing]
[Pendas] And so the Austrian Chancellor,
Kurt Schuschnigg, goes to visit Hitler
in Bavaria at his retreat
to try and soothe over
relations between them.
[Remy] Hitler greets Schuschnigg politely
when he arrives at the Berghof,
but then over the next several hours,
Hitler is trying to browbeat
and intimidate Schuschnigg
into agreeing to what, for Schuschnigg,
are impossible demands.
Putting pro-Nazi Austrians
in important positions
in the Austrian government
in order to arrange economic union
between the two countries,
and also to take increasing control
over Austrian police and the military.
And this is something
that Kurt von Schuschnigg
does not want to see happen
because he understands it will be the end,
in effect, of Austria
as an independent state.
[Pendas] Hitler corners him,
dresses him down like
he's some kind of juvenile delinquent.
Berates him, yells at him,
and essentially bullies Schuschnigg
into a new agreement
that gives the Germans
everything that they wanted.
[unsettling music builds]
So after enduring this browbeating
by Hitler at the Berghof,
Schuschnigg returns to Vienna
and decides to hold a plebiscite
on a unification with Nazi Germany.
[Pendas] He thinks that if he can secure
an overwhelming majority of Austrians
voting to say that they're willing
to cooperate with Germany,
but they want to remain
an independent sovereign state,
it will give him international support
to resist some of the more
assertive German, uh, demands.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Remy] Hitler's fear, of course, is that
the vote is not going to go his way
and that most voters will reject
closer union with Nazi Germany,
and it's at this point
that he begins mobilizing
for an invasion of the country.
[G.D. Roberts] Hitler, uh, when he heard
that Schuschnigg was going
to obtain the opinion
of the people by plebiscite,
he decided to invade at once, did he not?
[in German] Yes, I was told,
when he heard that there was to be a
grotesque violation of public opinion
through the trick of a plebiscite,
he said that he would certainly
not tolerate this
under any circumstances.
This is what I was told.
[Roberts, in English] He wouldn't tolerate
public opinion being ascertained.
[in German] No, he would not tolerate
public opinion being abused
through this trick.
That is how it was told to me.
[in English] So the armed forces
of Germany
then marched into Austria?
That's right?
[Jodl, in German] That is right.
The Wehrmacht marched in.
[Roberts, in English]
And Austria, from that day,
received all the benefits
of National Socialism?
Is that right?
[in German] That's a political question.
At any rate, it could perhaps
have become the happiest country on earth.
[crowd murmuring]
[Goeschel, in English]
The Anschluss of Austria
is not really an invasion.
Normally, when there is an invasion
of a foreign power into another country,
there is military resistance.
[Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" playing]
[Goeschel] In Austria, there is
no military resistance whatsoever.
Instead, German soldiers
are greeted by enthusiastic crowds.
-[crowd cheering]
-["Ride of the Valkyries" continues]
[Pendas] To the surprise
of a lot of people,
certainly to the surprise
of the Austrian government,
the German troops are greeted as heroes.
[Hett] We should remember that
the population of post-World War I Austria
was overwhelmingly German
in its composition,
and most of those people had favored
some kind of union with Germany.
[Goeschel] As Hitler goes into Austria,
he travels through Braunau,
his birthplace.
He travels through Linz,
the city where he had experienced
his very unglamorous youth,
and then he enters Vienna.
["Ride of the Valkyries"
swells triumphantly]
[crowd cheering]
[Goeschel] This is a personal triumph
for Hitler.
He has been a vagrant in Vienna.
He has been a nobody
before the First World War in that city.
Now, he returns to Vienna 25 years later
as the leader of destiny
who brings Austria back into Germany.
[crowd cheering]
[Pendas] Up till that point,
the plan really had been to turn Austria
into a subordinate client state,
but this popular enthusiasm
convinces Hitler
that he can simply annex Austria entirely
and incorporate it fully
into the German Reich.
[Hitler, in German] German men and women,
I now proclaim a new mission
to this country.
It corresponds to the commandment
that once called the German settlers
from all parts of the old Empire
to this place.
From now on, the oldest eastern territory
of the German people
shall be the youngest bulwark
of the German nation,
and thus of the German Reich!
[crowd cheering wildly]
[Goeschel, in English]
For Hitler, the Anschluss
is one of the greatest personal triumphs
of his life.
He boasts that he has fulfilled
one of the biggest historical injustices,
and that is that Austria had been
a separate state from Germany.
[Hitler, in German]
As the Führer and the Chancellor
of the German nation and the Reich,
I now announce
before all the German history
the entry of my homeland
into the German Reich.
-[crowd cheering]
-[tense music playing]
[Pendas, in English] For Austrian Jews,
the Anschluss is a catastrophe.
They're one of the larger
Jewish populations in Central Europe,
heavily concentrated
in the city of Vienna.
And when the Nazis
take control in Austria
Austrian Jews face the entire process
of exclusion,
discrimination, expropriation
that had been unfolding in Germany
over the previous four years
very, very dramatically and very quickly.
[crowds shouting in distance]
[Shirer] The SA and SS were picking
hundreds of Jews off the streets,
or hauling them out of their homes
to clean the latrines in the barracks
and other buildings seized by them.
I'd never seen
quite such humiliating scenes
in Berlin or Nuremberg,
or such Nazi sadism.
[somber music playing]
After Hitler marched in,
a non-Jewish friend
that I had known for many, many years
threw me on the street
and made me scrub the street,
and he called me "Du sau Jude,"
"you pig Jew."
That following week,
the benches in the parks
were already marked,
"No Jews. No Jews allowed."
[Heller] Jews were dismissed
from their job.
[Heller] People disappeared.
People were scared to death.
[Hett] There's a degree
of brutality and barbarity
which is something entirely new.
It represents a big escalation
in Nazi anti-Semitic persecution.
[Cuthbertson] Shirer begins reporting
for CBS Radio on air in 1937,
and at the time of the Anschluss
in March of 1938,
Shirer was living, uh, in Vienna.
And Shirer's wife Tess
had a very difficult pregnancy.
[Linda Shirer Rae] My mother
developed complications after the Cesarean
and was seriously ill for several weeks.
She had a Jewish obstetrician
who had to go into hiding,
rather sensibly.
But at some point,
she needed to have another operation,
and he operated on her in secrecy.
But it took her
a very, very long time to recover.
[van Dyk] Now my grandfather
wants to get my grandmother out of Vienna,
and he wants to move her to Geneva,
where she and my mother Eileen
will be safe.
[somber music playing]
[Shirer] It was not so easy
to leave Austria
now that Hitler had taken over.
The Gestapo was on the prowl,
not only for Jews and dissident Austrians,
but for foreigners.
At the Aspern Airport,
I explained to the Gestapo chief
that Tess was too weak to stand up,
and I would go over the luggage with him.
[van Dyk] While my grandfather is having
their suitcases searched,
my grandmother is taken off
by officials to be searched.
[Shirer] I explained
that she was heavily bandaged,
the danger of infection.
Then they led me aside.
"Wait here," they said.
I heard the lock turn.
-[lock clicks]
-[Shirer] I was locked in.
[no audible dialog]
[Shirer] Then I heard Tess shout, "Bill,
they're taking me away to strip me!"
[Rae] The German inspectors
insisted on taking the bandages off.
They apparently suspected
that my parents were trying
to smuggle money out of the country.
They figured that the bandages were fake,
but they found out apparently very quickly
that they were not.
[Cuthbertson] It was extremely painful,
it was extremely embarrassing,
and Shirer was absolutely enraged.
They were able to get on the plane
only because the Swiss pilot
of this airliner,
he knew what was happening,
he was sympathetic,
and he held the plane for them.
[Shirer] We flew over the Alps
to Switzerland.
Sanity, civilization, freedom
after the barbarian Nazi nightmare.
[somber music continues]
[in German] The prosecution assumes
that in 1938,
a more severe treatment
of the Jews was introduced.
Is that true, and what is the explanation?
[Streicher] Yes, clearly in 1938,
the Jewish question
entered into a new phase.
I myself can only say in this connection
that there was no preliminary conference
on this subject.
I assume that the Führer,
impulsive as he was
and acting on the spur of the moment,
only got around, probably on November 9,
to saying to Dr. Goebbels,
"Tell the organizations
that the synagogues must be burned down."
I myself did not attend such a meeting.
[Hett, in English] The Nazis
had been trying to get
Jewish people to leave Germany for years,
but by 1938, the majority
of German Jews had not left.
This may seem strange in retrospect,
but we have to remember
that they didn't know what was coming.
The Nazis are becoming a bit frustrated
with this situation,
and after the annexation of Austria,
both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels
are looking for an opportunity
to ratchet up
the degree of anti-Jewish persecution.
[intense music playing]
[Pendas] They get that opportunity
when a Jewish refugee in Paris
murders a German diplomat serving there.
News of the diplomat's death
comes through on November 9th, 1938,
and for the Nazis,
this is the moment
they've been waiting for.
[Goeschel] Hitler uses the murder
as a pretext to retaliate
against Germany's Jews,
to make clear that Jewish life
is no longer wanted,
will no longer be tolerated
in Nazi Germany.
[music intensifies]
[dogs barking]
[Pendas] What happens is they unleash
the SA and the SS and the police
on Jewish people
in cities throughout Germany.
To see my father punched
and to see that being done to my mother
was a frightening and painful experience.
[glass shattering]
We heard glass breaking.
My mother said, "Tonight we're gonna die."
I didn't know what dying was,
but she was crying, and I cried.
[Pendas] They attack Jewish shops.
They loot.
They burn down synagogues.
They drag Jewish individuals
out through the streets.
They beat them mercilessly.
[music fades out]
[Goeschel] The events
of 9th of November 1938
are often called Reichskristallnacht,
"Night of Broken Glass."
Not only glass was broken or shattered,
almost 100 people
were bestially murdered by Nazis.
Up to 30,000 Jewish men
were paraded humiliatingly
through Germany's streets
and taken to concentration camps.
The Nazis present the events
as spontaneous outbursts
of popular anti-Semitism.
This is a fabricated myth.
This is a Nazi lie.
The Night of Broken Glass,
to use the euphemistic term,
was a coordinated anti-Semitic pogrom
that combined
state-sponsored anti-Semitic violence
with grassroots anti-Semitic violence.
[Hett] And after all of this violence
visited upon Jewish communities by Nazis,
the German-Jewish community
is being made to pay for the damage.
It's, of course, entirely perverse,
but it is entirely in keeping
with Nazi Jewish persecution.
[dark music playing]
After the Night of Broken Glass,
Hitler and the Nazis had not decided
how they will resolve
what they euphemistically called
the Jewish Problem or the Jewish Question.
The events of the Night of Broken Glass
have shown that part of the solution
will be murder, violence,
and mass incarceration.
Hitler gives a notorious speech
on 30th of January 1939,
the anniversary of his appointment
as Reich Chancellor in 1933.
He makes a catastrophic pronouncement.
[crowd cheering and applauding]
[in German]
If international Jewish financiers
in and outside of Europe
succeed in plunging the nations
once more into a world war,
the result will not be the Bolshevization
of Earth, and this the victory of Jewry,
but the annihilation
of the Jewish race in Europe!
[crowd cheering and applauding]
[Shirer, in English] I knew well enough
that there was little hope for the Jews,
but for some reason,
this publicly-expressed threat
by the dictator
did not register very strongly with me.
There had not yet been any mass killings.
I could not quite grasp
that such a thing could occur.
After all, Germany was a Christian country
with a very deep
and rich European culture.
[Shirer] Hitler repeated the threat
five times
in subsequent public utterances that year.
My own naïveté in regard to his designs
was greater than I realized.
[Hitler shouting indistinctly in distance]
[Shirer] But no one can say
that Adolf Hitler
did not give full warning
of the barbarian world
he intended to make.
[plaintive piano music playing]
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