Hitler and the Nazis: Evil on Trial (2024) s01e05 Episode Script

Crimes Against Humanity

[melodic Hawaiian song playing]
[foreboding music plays faintly]
-[jet engines droning]
-[Hawaiian song fades out]
[TV announcer] 0755 hours,
first wave of Japanese planes
attacks Hickam Field
to keep the American Air Corps
from mounting a counterattack.
The bulk of Hawaiian land-based air power
is destroyed in 20 minutes.
[foreboding music continues]
[TV announcer] 0757 hours,
the major strike
against the primary target begins.
Battleship Row,
the backbone of the Pacific fleet.
Seven of eight battleships
are seriously damaged.
The attack at Pearl Harbor
has erased the great debate
on America's participation
in World War II.
[Omer Bartov] The Japanese attack
on Pearl Harbor is devastating, of course,
for the Americans
because it destroys a vast amount
of the American Pacific fleet,
uh, with very heavy American casualties.
The response by Hitler to that
is somewhat surprising,
because Hitler does not wait
for the Americans.
Hitler declares war on the United States.
[Hitler, in German]
Germany, Italy, and Japan
will wage the common war
forced upon them by the USA and England
with all the means of power
at their disposal,
to a victorious conclusion.
[crowd applauding and cheering]
[Devin Pendas, in English] Hitler thinks
war against America is inevitable anyway.
He's convinced that America,
along with Russia,
is really the the heart of world Jewry.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Pendas] For Hitler, America is the locus
for the Jewish world conspiracy
in its capitalist dimension,
just like Moscow is the locus
for the Jewish world conspiracy
in its communist dimension.
This is, of course, absurd.
[Bartov] He is beginning to think
in these prophetic or, if you like,
apocalyptic terms of a world war,
of a struggle for existence.
And for him,
this is something that triggers
all his fantasies
of annihilation and destruction.
[Shirer] Two things might be said
about the Nazi Germans at the outset.
First, they are out
not only to conquer our world,
but to smash it.
Second, in attaining that goal,
they will stop at nothing.
Hitler says the enemy
is to be annihilated.
Not only conquered, but wiped out,
vanquished from the stage of history.
We're fighting
to avoid that fate for ourselves,
to avoid being destroyed completely.
[theme music playing]
[moody music playing]
[match flicks]
[Steve Wick] After he gets back
to New York in December 1940,
he publishes Berlin Diary.
It's an eyewitness account
of what happened in Germany,
but he also stays with CBS.
He's covering major events.
[Ken Cuthbertson] He had his own show.
Radio was going gangbusters,
and, um, it was the preferred medium
of entertainment and of news
in the United States
and really around the world.
You'd turn on your radio in the evening
after dinner or around the dinner table,
and there is Shirer reporting
what's happening in the war.
[Shirer] Nazi Germany
and Soviet Russia tonight
are fighting it out on a 2,000-mile front,
stretching from the Arctic Sea
to the Black Sea.
Germany struck today
against her late friend and helpmate
with the same kind of lightning force
which she unleashed
on the Western Front a year ago.
It seems destined to develop
into the greatest war in history.
[dramatic music playing]
[jet engines roaring]
[bombs whistling]
-[glass shattering]
[Nicole Eaton] What is so phenomenal
about the German invasion
of the Soviet Union in June 1941
is the sheer scale.
Over three million men on the German side,
massive air and military capability.
What is remarkable
about how unaware Stalin was
is that he had received
over a hundred intelligence reports
telling him that the invasion
was imminent,
and he thought
they were all fake intelligence
and dismissed it.
The German army
brought in tanks, panzers, weapons.
The Luftwaffe brought in
thousands of planes.
It was the greatest military campaign
in the history of the world.
-[dramatic music continues]
-[distant explosions]
[Anne Berg] It's really crucial
to understand that Hitler's overall view
was that this is
a fundamentally different kind of war
than any of the wars that the Nazis waged
on the western fronts.
[Pendas] He makes it very clear
that this is a struggle
between National Socialism and Marxism.
He also means it in a racial sense.
This is an insane ideological framing.
For him, the ideology of world communism
is an expression
of the Jewish world spirit,
and so the ideological struggle
and the racial struggle, for Hitler,
are two sides of the same coin.
[Bartov] Hitler,
in his briefing to his generals,
says that what we will fight
will be a Vernichtungskrieg,
will be a war of extermination.
That's the term he uses.
We eliminate all those who resist us
and all those we see as our enemies,
whether they resist us or not.
[jet engines roaring]
[Eaton] Operation Barbarossa,
which was the German invasion
of the Soviet Union,
was arguably genocidal from the start.
The ultimate end was to kill
as many people as possible
and make the survivors
a sort of uneducated peasant class
that would serve the German people.
[jet engine drones]
[artillery firing rapidly]
[Bartov] The idea is that one army group
would move through the Baltics
and head to Leningrad.
One army group would move
through the center, through Belarus,
and then on to Moscow,
and the third would move into Ukraine,
and then go all the way to the Black Sea.
Within a few months,
the Germans suffer heavy casualties.
This is one thing that the Wehrmacht
experiences for the first time.
They are encountering
very heavy resistance by the Red Army.
[Alexandra Richie]
Stalin's method of fighting
is the tried-and-true Russian way of war.
You just throw more men
and matériel at the problem.
And the Soviet Union is big enough
and there are enough people
for him to manage to do this.
[intriguing music playing]
[Eaton] The sheer amount of territory,
the distance that needed to be covered,
proved to be overwhelming for the Germans.
All of these highly-mechanized tanks
had trouble
moving along poor Russian roads.
[Bartov] In September,
the elements start coming into play.
There is the mud period,
what they call the Schlammperiode
or the rasputitsa
and then comes winter.
[wind blowing forcefully]
[Berg] There are basically
many times during the year
where the roads are not passable.
The winter of 1941
is one of the coldest on record,
with meter-high masses of snow,
horrendous temperature drops.
[Eaton] Hitler and the German leadership
appeal to the German people
to assist in the war effort
by having a winter clothing drive
and sending warm clothing to the front.
Often, it would be women's fur coats,
um, and other objects
that were not military clothing at all
in a desperate attempt to keep them warm.
[Bartov] Then in December 1941,
the war changes completely.
We could say in retrospect
that the fortunes of Germany change.
[somber string music playing]
[Shirer] There was a new note
of confidence
on the Russian communiqué today,
hinting that the Red Army was going
over to the offensive on a wide front.
Hitler's failure to destroy
Russian resistance by winter
constitutes the greatest setback
he's received in this war by far.
He's lost this great battle with time.
[artillery firing]
[Bartov] The Germans not only
fail to take Moscow,
but the Red Army counterattacks
and pushes the German army
about 100 kilometers, 60 miles, west.
The Germans get stuck there,
having sustained
about a million casualties.
So about a third of the German force
that entered the Soviet Union
had become casualties.
[dramatic music playing]
That is clearly the moment
at which the blitzkrieg is over.
[Richard J. Evans]
Operation Barbarossa ground to a halt.
The generals didn't know what to do.
They started having heart attacks,
nervous breakdowns.
They looked to Hitler for leadership.
[Hitler shouting indistinctly]
[Christopher Browning]
Some German generals
want to carry out a strategic retreat
and to shorten the length of the line
that they have to defend.
[Bartov] Hitler orders the army
to stay put, not to retreat.
And in his mind,
this is what ultimately stopped
the Soviet advance.
[Richard J. Evans] He came more and more
to believe that the generals,
they were cowards, even traitors.
[Eaton] And he decided to declare himself
the Supreme Commander of the army.
He thought the stakes were so high,
and he thought so highly of himself
as a grand strategist,
that he thought
that no one else could do this task.
[Hitler continues shouting indistinctly]
[anticipatory music playing]
[Hans Laternser, in German]
Do you know, Field Marshal,
whether other military leaders too
had differences with Hitler?
[keyboard clacking]
Of 17 Field Marshals
who were members of the Army,
only one Field Marshal
managed to get through the war
and keep his position as Field Marshal.
All these leaders
were highly-qualified officers,
militarily speaking,
but they were all sent away
because Hitler distrusted them.
[Laternser] Were you of the opinion that,
for reasons of military obedience,
you had to tolerate everything,
or rather, cooperate with everything?
[von Manstein] The military duty to obey
is, without doubt,
binding and indivisible.
The right or the duty to disobey
does not exist for the soldier.
[Francine Hirsch, in English]
A lot of people thought following orders
was a legitimate defense,
but I think that the prosecution
really made the compelling case
that in this war,
which was clearly a war of extermination,
where these orders
were to, like, wipe out entire peoples
and commit mass atrocities,
that there was no viable defense
of following orders.
[Evans] It's very important to realize
that Hitler wasn't too concerned
about the Western Front.
From the moment that he invaded
the Soviet Union to the end of the war,
there's never less than two-thirds
of the German armed forces
are engaged on the Eastern Front.
This is always
the main theater of war for Hitler.
[Bartov] Apart from the war in the west,
Germany's fighting two wars
once it invades the Soviet Union.
One war is a military war.
The other is the war against the Jews.
[Richie] Hitler goes in
with very much this idea
of racial annihilation, racial cleansing,
from the very beginning.
And to this end,
he has created things
called Einsatzgruppen.
These are special killing squads
that are invented
specifically for the hunting down
and murder of civilians.
There is no other purpose for them.
The commanders of these murder squads
were people who came,
not from the dregs of society
as we'd like to think,
but were people who had academic degrees.
They were young men.
They were dedicated to their task.
So the idea was, "Cool, rational killing
of people we had identified
as the enemies of the people,
of the Volk, of the nation,
and of the race."
-[unsettling music playing]
-[woman screaming]
[soldier shouting in German]
[gun fires]
[Richie] In Poland, they're first used
against this intelligentsia,
against the elite.
And they're specifically used
against the Jewish populations.
[Berg] This has been termed by some
as "the Holocaust by bullets"
-[guns firing]
-[people shouting]
because it happens
across of your territory,
in almost all cities and towns
where there are
sizable Jewish populations.
[unsettling music continues]
[Bartov] The killings move
from the killing of men, mostly men,
to killing of entire Jewish populations.
And the most distinct example of that
is what happens in September 1941 in Kyiv.
[suspenseful music playing]
[motor roaring]
[Bartov] The Germans conquer Kyiv.
And then the Soviets evacuate the city.
[Browning] The Soviets have left behind
bombs operating on timers,
and explosions begin to go off
in buildings the Germans have occupied.
[Bartov] The Germans retaliate,
but not against the Red Army soldiers.
They retaliate by calling upon
all the remaining Jewish population,
33,000 men, women,
and children, to assemble,
and those people are led to a ravine.
[suspenseful music continues]
[woman screaming in panic]
[Dina Pronicheva, in Russian]
So they took us.
[gun shots heard in distance]
[dog barking]
[Pronicheva] I realized
I was in danger of being shot.
Perhaps they might even
kill me on the spot.
I was beaten with batons.
I was beaten like everyone else,
but I kept my dignity.
I didn't fall down.
They lined us up
along a very narrow ledge,
where one could barely stand.
I just saw that all the people
were lined up in a single file.
[woman cries out]
[soldier grunts aggressively]
[Pronicheva] I was looking down.
I couldn't bear to see
the barbarity taking place around me.
They began to shoot everybody.
[woman sobbing softly]
-[woman screams]
[body thuds]
[dog barks]
-[body thuds]
[body thuds]
[Pronicheva] I closed my eyes,
clenched my fists,
tensed all my muscles, and jumped.
I landed on the corpses. I wasn't shot.
[Richie, in English] In the end,
over 30,000 human beings
lie dead in the ravines of Babyn Yar.
It's it's a horror
beyond our imaginations.
[Pronicheva, in Russian]
After a while, the shooting stopped.
I heard the Germans coming down
into the ravine
to finish off
those who were still moaning.
I remained very still.
I inhaled as much as I could,
I gathered all my strength,
and dug myself out.
[somber music playing]
[Amen, in English] I wish to call
as a witness for the prosecution
Mr. Otto Ohlendorf.
Otto Ohlendorf.
[Shirer] Otto Ohlendorf
was the leader of Einsatzgruppe D,
and typical of many who had risen
to eminence in Himmler's SS,
a university graduate,
with a doctorate in jurisprudence.
An intellectual, a brilliant economist,
he had served most of the war
overseeing surveillance
for the Reich Security Main Office.
But for one year, he had taken on
an assignment away from the capital.
[typewriter keys clacking]
[Amen] Do you know
how many persons were liquidated
by Einsatzgruppe D under your direction?
[Ohlendorf, in German]
From July 1941 to June 1942,
the Einsatzkommandos reported
90,000 people liquidated.
[Amen, in English] Did that include
men, women, and children?
[Ohlendorf, in German] Yes.
[Amen, in English]
Did you personally supervise
mass execution of these individuals?
[Ohlendorf, in German]
I was present at two mass executions
for purposes of inspection.
[Nikitchenko, in Russian] In what category
would you consider the children?
[Ohlendorf] Uh
[Nikitchenko] For what reason
were they massacred?
[Ohlendorf, in German]
The order was that the Jewish population
should be totally exterminated.
[Nikitchenko, in Russian]
Were all the Jewish children murdered?
[Ohlendorf, in German] Yes, yes.
[trial spectators murmuring]
[melancholy music playing]
[birds chirping]
[Pendas, in English] These mass executions
are horrific and gruesome.
And so they use alcohol to compensate.
They are very frequently drunk
during the shootings.
They're almost invariably drunk
after the shootings.
It's it's a coping mechanism.
Nazi leadership,
you know, Himmler in particular,
was concerned for the mental well-being
of the SS
who were having to shoot these people.
This shows the perversity
of the moral priorities
that the Nazis have.
They acknowledge
that this is emotionally traumatic,
but only for the killers.
[dark music playing]
[Richie] It's mass murder on a scale
that has never been seen before.
The death toll is astronomical.
It's estimated
that around 1.5 million people
were murdered in this way.
-[body thuds]
[Eaton] Heinrich Himmler,
once in the field,
was shown an execution of a hundred Jews.
[Richie] Supposedly, Himmler turns green
because some brains
splattered onto his uniform.
And after this is over,
he feels very sick.
He then goes to talk to the Einsatzgruppen
that have put on
this demonstration for him.
He's told, "Look, you see,
it's only 100 people who have been killed,
and look at how difficult it is."
[Pendas] This is one of the things
that drives the Germans
to shift from executions of Jews,
uh, by way of shooting them,
and they start looking
for more efficient ways
of carrying out mass murder.
[choir singing "O Tannenbaum" in German]
[Berg, in English]
Around Christmastime of 1941,
we see a shift towards
what we have come to know
as the Final Solution,
the mass extermination
of the Jewish population.
[uneasy music playing]
[indistinct chattering]
[Benjamin Carter Hett]
Hitler's leadership style
really played into the way in which
he set a direction for the Holocaust.
He always wanted to avoid
having documented orders from him
that could be traced back
in the event that some policy decision
became unpopular.
[Browning] He basically gave
verbal orders, met with people, talked,
and didn't leave a written trail
that would be there
for historians to follow.
However, we know
that the whole genocidal machine
would not have gone
in the direction it went without Hitler.
[Berg] Hitler essentially puts
Reinhard Heydrich in charge
of planning and sort of conceptualizing
the sort of mass killing.
[Richie] He was really the evil genius
behind so many things
that are going to become the Holocaust.
[Bartov] Reinhard Heydrich
is Himmler's second-in-command.
He was known as
the most Aryan-looking top Nazi official,
uh, much more than Himmler or Eichmann
or Hitler or Goering or Goebbels.
Quite ruthless and a good organizer
and, apparently, very loyal to Himmler.
[Browning] The goal is
that Jews are to disappear
not by expulsion and decimation,
but by total systematic mass murder.
Then the question is,
how does this get disseminated
to the rest of the German government?
That's the purpose
of the Wannsee Conference.
[pleasant waltz music playing]
[Richie] The Wannsee Conference
is a conference
which was convened by Reinhard Heydrich
[silverware clinking]
with his deputy Adolf Eichmann,
amongst the high officials
of the Third Reich,
in order to effectively
get their collaboration.
The Wannsee Villa is a beautiful villa
on this lovely shore
of the Lake Wannsee in Berlin.
Lovely fireplace and chandeliers,
and there's a big, huge table,
and a huge buffet has been set out,
and Heydrich and Eichmann have made sure
that very good wines
and cognacs are available.
So the atmosphere is very jovial,
it's very warm,
and yet the actual content
of the discussion
is absolutely chilling to the bone.
[Browning] It starts with
a Heydrich monologue in which he says,
"Up until last fall,
we had been dealing with
the Jewish question through immigration,"
which, of course,
means expulsion and decimation.
[Richie] Heydrich says, "We here
all agree that from this day forth,
we are going to go
and comb Europe from west to east
and find every Jewish man,
woman, and child,
and we're gonna transport them
to camps where they will be killed."
[Browning] Hitler made the decision
to send the Jews to the east,
and that is underway.
They now have to accept
Heydrich's leadership and to participate.
[Richie] The SS,
in order to implement this huge project,
they're going to need the cooperation
of these various ministries
and other officials.
They can't run it on their own.
They need help with the trains.
They need help with financial management.
[Browning] Heydrich was worried.
Would they go along?
It turned out, of course,
that they fell all over each other
competing to be more cooperative
and trying to be helpful.
[uneasy music playing]
[Browning] So having discussed
murdering 11 million Jews in Europe,
they then get up from the table
and go to serve themselves at the buffet.
Heydrich was so pleased, he did something
he'd never done with Eichmann,
he sat down and had cognac and a cigar.
They celebrated.
[glasses clink]
[Browning] Because everybody
had fallen into line enthusiastically.
[Bartov] The authorities
in German-occupied Poland
start construction
of six extermination camps.
[Browning] There is an evolution
of the camps
as they get bigger and more sophisticated.
Auschwitz, then, is the technological apex
of the evolution of the death camp.
[dark music playing]
[Berg] Auschwitz I is a camp
that actually has brick buildings
and barracks built with kilns.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is sited
about three kilometers
from the original camp complex,
and that is a massive territory
where rudimentally-erected barracks
There are no facilities, no sewage system,
no infrastructure of any kind
besides delousing facilities.
And later on, crematoria are being built
in order to serve as a killing center
for Jews deported from all over Europe.
[Richie] From the moment you got there,
all morality that you thought
you understood in the world
was turned on its head.
[Berg] The conditions are unspeakable.
People are crammed into barracks
that have no ventilation, no heating.
In the summer,
it's exceedingly hot and sticky,
uh, with people sleeping
often in their own excrement.
Labor details still take place
in a place like Birkenau.
And then excessive fear,
because everyone who is not possible
to perform labor assigned to them
makes themselves subject
to potential selections,
and everyone in Auschwitz-Birkenau
knows that that means death by gas.
[Pendas] Prior to Auschwitz,
the Germans experiment
with various forms of gassing.
First, with gas vans.
[somber music playing]
[motor rumbling lowly]
[Pendas] And then eventually
with stationary gas chambers.
[Bartov] There were four
killing facilities in Auschwitz.
The killing occurred with cyanide pellets,
which would be thrown
into the gas chambers from the top,
and those pellets then dissolve
and create deadly gas.
[Pendas] People would be clawing
all over each other
trying to crawl up
as high as they could get
to find what little fresh air
was remaining,
since the poison gas
was coming up from the floor.
It would take ten, 20 minutes
for people to die.
They're slowly asphyxiating.
They're crying. They're vomiting.
It's it's a horrific, awful
[mournful orchestral music playing]
[Bartov] Mass killing has happened
much more often than we'd like to think,
before and after the Holocaust.
But this kind of industrial killing,
where you create factories
whose purpose is transporting people
by trains from all across the continent
for the purpose of gassing
and cremating them,
and making them just vanish,
is and remains, uh,
unique to the Holocaust.
[doors squeak]
[mournful orchestral music continues]
[music fades to silence]
[typewriter keys clacking]
[Shirer] It was at the Nuremberg Trial
that I at last learned
about the Final Solution,
the diabolical plan of Hitler
carried out so ruthlessly
by Heydrich and Himmler.
A good deal of the truth
had gradually filtered out to the Allies
during the course of the war,
but not to the general public.
My own naïveté in regard to his designs
was greater than I realized.
The revelations
of what they intended to do
were so shocking
that I could scarcely believe them.
Hitler was determined, he said,
to make Europe Jew-free.
He almost succeeded.
[chilling music playing]
[trial participant]
Prosecution for the United States
will, at this time,
present a documentary film
on concentration camps.
[gavel bangs]
[Pendas] Part of the point
of the Nuremberg Trial
is to teach a history lesson to the world,
and the prosecution decides
that there are few
better teaching documents
than film itself.
Well-known filmmaker Roman Karmen
was recruited by the Russians.
The United States was working
with the Schulberg brothers,
Budd and Stuart,
and the Hollywood director John Ford.
The Schulbergs scoured Europe
trying to find the Nazis' own footage
of the atrocities they'd committed,
which the Germans had tried
and failed to destroy or hide.
The prosecution shows that footage
along with footage
from the liberation of the camps,
and that creates
one of the most dramatic moments
of the entire trial.
[Dodd] This film, which we offer,
represents in a brief
and unforgettable pall,
an explanation of what the words
"concentration camp" imply.
[chilling music continues]
[Pendas] The atmosphere
changes completely.
There's a hush in the room.
You can hear the whir of the projector.
On the screen, these images come.
Images out of nightmares.
And the people weren't prepared for this.
[projector whirring]
[Pendas] Some of the defendants
do hang their heads in shame.
But a lot of them seem bored,
which is pretty appalling,
if you think about the fact
that these defendants
are responsible for that.
[somber orchestral music playing]
[projector stops]
[Pendas] When I watch this film,
still to this day,
I've been studying this
my entire adult life,
and every time I see some of these images,
I can't believe that people did this.
The films basically say, "This
this is what the Nazis have wrought."
"Look at this."
"This cannot ever be allowed
to happen again."
[projector whirring]
[projector stops]
[haunting music playing]
[Hitler, in German] In a few weeks,
the winter is going to break in the South,
and then the spring
will move farther north.
Ice will melt,
and then the hour will come
when the ground
is hard and firm once again,
when the German soldier
can operate his machinery,
when new weapons
will flow there from our homeland,
and when we will be strong again!
[crowd cheering]
[haunting music continues]
[Eaton, in English] In the spring of 1942,
Hitler was convinced that,
since they had survived the winter,
that the initiative
would once again be theirs.
The main mission at that point
was to move to the south
and to capture oil fields,
and also to take major cities
in the south, such as Stalingrad.
Stalingrad was incredibly important
because it was a city named after Stalin.
If Stalingrad were lost,
that would be a huge blow
to the Soviet people.
Hitler told Commander Friedrich Paulus
that victory must be achieved
at all costs,
that surrender was completely impossible.
[Eaton] Both sides saw the battle
that would take place there
as one that would in some ways
determine the outcome of the war.
Germany needed a very impressive victory
in order to show the Western Allies,
and also the German people,
that the initiative
was still on the German side,
and Stalingrad could provide that.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Bartov] The offensive
is launched in June.
The German army progresses quite quickly
through Ukraine going east.
It's advancing a little bit too quickly,
so while they're capturing
a lot of territory,
they're not really defeating anyone.
The Soviets are just retreating.
Hitler reaches Stalingrad,
and he can't take the city immediately.
So the timetable is thrown off,
and the army is forced to fight a battle
that it has not been designed to fight.
It turns into a block-by-block urban war,
for which the panzer divisions,
the tanks, are not designed.
[Eaton] This was a house-to-house
street battle,
sometimes German and Soviet soldiers
Red Army soldiers developed
incredibly creative tactics
to ambush the Germans,
to shoot them from windows,
to throw bombs at them,
to mine various houses.
[tense music playing]
[Browning] As the Germans
are sucked into Stalingrad,
uh, Stalin launches the counterattack,
which surrounds the city.
Hitler and his forces are trapped.
They're totally exhausted. You know,
Ammunition, food, everything is gone.
[Hirsch] Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus
wanted to surrender.
He was the commander
of the 6th German Army,
but Hitler told him no,
and expected that if all else failed,
that Paulus would commit suicide.
[Eaton] Hitler was constitutionally
incapable of retreating,
because it was part of his worldview
never to negotiate from a weak point,
but only to negotiate
from a position of strength.
[no audible dialog]
[Hirsch] Field Marshal
Friedrich von Paulus does surrender,
and Hitler is absolutely furious
about this.
[Browning] This is a catastrophic defeat.
An entire army is destroyed.
[dispiriting music playing]
[Eaton] The losses
were nearly unprecedented.
An army of almost 300,000 people,
out of them, over 150,000 Germans died.
[brisk orchestral music playing]
[Zorya, in Russian] I will ask permission
to bring before the tribunal
Field Marshal of the former German Army,
Friedrich Paulus.
[trial spectators murmuring]
[Hirsch, in English]
The Russian prosecutors
spring this surprise witness on everyone.
Paulus comes into the courtroom.
And by all accounts,
this is this this huge moment.
It was thought that he was dead.
Goering is absolutely furious.
He sees Paulus
as the most total traitor there could be.
[in Russian] Your last official position
was Commander-in-Chief
of the 6th Army at Stalingrad?
[Paulus, in German] Yes.
[Hirsch, in English]
The defendants themselves,
they're going out of their minds
to see Paulus there
because they know
that he's going to incriminate them.
[Rudenko, in Russian]
Whom do you consider as guilty
of the criminal initiation
of the war against Soviet Russia?
[Paulus, in German]
The top military advisers to Hitler.
They are the Supreme Command
of the Armed Forces, Keitel,
Chief of the Operations Branch, Jodl,
and Goering,
in his capacity as Reich Marshal.
[Hirsch, in English]
Paulus' testimony is incredibly important
for laying out the conspiracy
to wage aggressive war
and the whole crimes against peace charge.
People who watch the trial
all refer to Paulus,
when they talk about this moment,
as the Specter of Stalingrad,
who had come
to tell the truth about the war.
[typewriter keys clacking]
[Shirer] There was not a word of sympathy
or grief from Hitler
for the more than 100,000 German soldiers
who'd been slaughtered
in the carnage of Stalingrad,
nor was there a single word from Hitler
about his own responsibility
for the greatest military defeat
in German history.
This was a man now doomed,
and by his own folly.
[Hitler speaking indistinctly]
[Browning] After the defeat at Stalingrad,
Hitler's finished,
and he both knew it,
but still also refused to admit it.
The outcome of the war is decided in '42,
even if it's going to take
a very long time to end.
[Eaton] Hitler increasingly held back
from public view.
He knew that the bond
between the people and their Führer
had weakened and could only be strong
when he was succeeding
in military victories.
[Bartov] Meanwhile, Joseph Goebbels,
the Minister of Propaganda,
does what propagandists like him will do.
He tries to snatch victory
from the jaws of defeat
and makes this speech
called the Total War Speech.
[in German] The English say
that the German people
oppose the total war policies
of the government.
[tense, pulsating music playing]
They say the Germans don't want total war,
but capitulation.
[crowd shouting] Never!
[Eaton, in English]
Total war was a concept
whereby the entire German economy,
the entire German home front,
would be called up
to serve the war effort.
[in German] Do we want total war?
[crowd shouting] Yes!
[cheering and applause]
[Bartov, in English] He tries to
stir up sentiments in Germany to say,
"Now we may be defeated,
and therefore,
we have to fight to the end."
"We have to be entirely relentless."
But you have to understand
the reports of the vast number of losses,
the killed and the wounded
who were streaming back to Germany,
are such that the only way
that the regime believes
it can still sustain
the morale of the population
is by saying,
"We will now fight a total war."
[bombs whistling]
-[somber string music playing]
[Browning] By '43, the Allies
are launching these huge bomber raids.
The magnitude of the air war
and the capacity of the Allies
to destroy entire German cities
is being demonstrated night after night.
They kill 40,000 people in Hamburg.
And the Rhineland.
Cologne and other cities
are being plastered
'cause that area is in fairly short range
from Great Britain.
[Shirer] Last night,
the British Bomber Command
dropped six million pounds
of bombs on Cologne.
It was the greatest bombing attack
in history.
Smoke and fires were visible
at dawn from the coast of Holland.
Three years ago tonight,
the war was 36 hours old.
It was war.
Bloody, cruel, terrible, as are all wars,
and yet, in Berlin that night,
it did not seem quite like that
to most Germans.
The war is much grimmer for them today,
their stomachs more gnawing,
their great hope so much reduced.
And there's no end,
no victory, no peace in sight.
After things began to look
a bit grim for the Nazis,
Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS
and the chief architect
and executor of the Holocaust,
called together leading Nazis,
leading generals,
and gave them a speech at Posen.
[unsettling music playing]
[Himmler, in German] I want to speak
to you here, in complete frankness,
about a very serious subject.
I am referring here
to the evacuation of the Jews,
the eradication of the Jewish people.
[Pendas, in English] One of the only times
where we've got senior Nazi leadership
openly admitting that they are killing
all of the Jews of Europe.
[Himmler, in German] Most of you men know
what it is like
to see 100 corpses side by side,
or 500 or 1,000.
To have stood fast through this,
and except for cases of human weakness,
to have remained decent,
that has made us tough.
This is an unwritten
and never-to-be-written page of glory
in our history.
[Evans, in English] Himmler says
"this history will never be written"
because he knows it is a crime,
in this perverted logic of the Nazis,
which they had to commit
for the future of Germany.
[Himmler, in German]
We had the moral right,
we had the duty
towards our people to destroy
the people that wanted to destroy us.
I will never stand by and watch
while even a small rotten spot
develops or takes hold.
Wherever it may form,
we will burn it away together.
All in all, we can say that we have
carried out this most difficult of tasks
in a spirit of love for our people.
And we have suffered no harm
to our inner being,
our soul, our character.
[Bartov, in English]
It's very hard to understand
the extent to which
these people were so warped.
What he's trying to say
to his own SS officers and to himself
is that what they're doing
is something that is glorious.
This is a great act.
That the mass murder
that the SS is involved in
elevates them to a higher moral sphere.
They are doing something
great for humanity,
but humanity cannot understand it yet.
-[unsettling music continues]
-[no audible dialog]
[glasses clinking]
[Franz Exner, in German]
Will you tell the Court what you knew
about the extermination of Jews?
[haunting music playing]
[Exner] I remind you
that you are under oath.
I know just how improbable
these explanations sound,
but I can only express here,
that I never heard
of an extermination of Jews.
On one single occasion
I had became suspicious
and that was when Himmler spoke
about the revolt in the Jewish Ghetto.
[trial participant, in English]
Are you speaking of Warsaw?
[in German] I am speaking
of the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.
[somber music playing]
[trolley bell clanging]
[Eaton, in English] In 1943,
conditions in the Jewish ghettos
inside Poland
were becoming increasingly dire.
Typhus outbreaks, waves of starvation
were taking thousands
and thousands of lives.
[Berg] The living conditions are cramped.
Entire families slave in ghetto workshops.
People clung to the hope
that working for the Nazis
would potentially save them.
[Eaton] But as the Final Solution
was being put into place,
there were also movements
to liquidate some of these ghettos
and send the Jews into concentration camps
where they would be gassed.
[mournful music playing]
[Richie] The Germans said
they were simply going to be transported
to work camps in the east,
but there was both Jewish intelligence
and Warsaw underground intelligence
saying, "The trains go in full of people.
They always come back empty."
"There's never any food
sent up these lines."
"Something terrible is going on."
There were organizations
in the ghetto which began to say,
"Okay, we're going to resist."
[Vladka Meed] The aim was
to start looking for places
to hide as many children
as we are able to,
and to start buying and looking for arms
and to smuggle them into the ghetto.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Richie] The organizations
had collected Molotov cocktails.
They had some, uh, guns.
They had some other ammunition, weapons.
The Germans thought
this was going to be very quick.
Just clear the ghetto finally.
This was supposed to be
a birthday present for Hitler.
Hitler's birthday is the 20th of April.
And then Warsaw could be declared
Judenrein or Judenfrei, free of Jews.
This was the most significant act
of Jewish resistance
in all of German-occupied Europe.
[guns firing]
-[Richie] it took the Germans by surprise.
-[machine gun fire]
[Richie] The new commander
of the Germans in Warsaw
came up with a new method
of attacking the ghetto,
which was to simply
start to destroy the ghetto by fire.
-[mournful music playing]
-[fires roaring]
[Richie] And so he took flamethrowers,
and they started just burning
building by building.
And I saw also certain pictures,
which were seared in my mind.
Some Jews jumping from buildings.
[intense music playing]
[Meed] And people outside,
some saying, "Oh, take a look."
"Jews are frying now."
We couldn't do too much to help them.
It was the end of the Warsaw Ghetto.
[Richie] Of course, the ghetto fighters
were true heroes,
because they knew
that they were not going to succeed
against the might of the Germans.
They knew that they would be killed,
most of them were,
but their bravery was astronomical,
because they decided
that they were going to fight
with a gun in their hand, or die fighting,
rather than just be taken
to the trains to be murdered.
[intriguing music playing]
[Shirer] As one who has spent
the last eight years
mostly in the totalitarian lands,
I've seen what happens to nations
and peoples that Hitler conquers.
The slaughter of women and children
has been far worse
than in any previous war in history.
Consider Warsaw.
It was a deliberate decision to slaughter,
not opposing troops,
but helpless civilians.
Men of the armed forces
were fighting to survive
and to remain free.
[dramatic music playing]
[TV announcer 1]
It is June 6, 1944. D-Day.
The greatest armada ever assembled
comes to the northern coast of France
to liberate a continent.
[artillery firing]
[TV announcer 2]
Under command of General Eisenhower,
Allied naval forces
supported by strong air forces
began landing Allied armies
on the northern coast of France.
[Pendas] On June the 6th, 1944,
the Americans,
the British, and the Canadians
begin their long-awaited invasion
of Northern Europe.
That's where the terrain allowed
for major offensive operations.
That was the path into Germany.
[TV announcer 3] The first assault boats
move into the Normandy beaches
under deadly enemy crossfire on water.
The unending stream of invading troops
plunge waist-deep into fortified waters
to gain their beachhead objective.
The last few dangerous yards
must be waded,
through underwater mines
and enemy barrage.
[Pendas] Hitler sleeps
through the opening hours of D-Day,
after having spent the night
with his companions
reminiscing about the good old days
of of the movement,
but when he finally wakes up
and is informed
that the invasion has started,
he's relieved, optimistic even.
[Evans] Hitler was always overconfident.
He always overestimated
the power and resources of Germany,
which, after all,
is simply a regional power in Europe,
and he was a radical racist
who believed that America
was a mishmash of different races
that could never
really do anything at all.
So he massively underestimated
their power and their determination.
[Shirer] If you listen
to German broadcasts today,
they spoke of today's landings
as being perhaps only diversion,
as if they expected
the main blow somewhere else.
There will be surprises and setbacks,
and many a change in plan.
But in all our excitement,
getting a foothold in press today,
we must remember
that the battle has scarcely begun,
that many grim days lie ahead,
unless, of course, the Germans collapse.
We can be sure that our High Command
certainly is not counting on it.
[Pendas] Once the Allies invade France,
the Germans no longer have an option
to essentially treat
the Western Front as a sideshow.
It is now as big a threat
to Germany's survival
as the war in Russia is.
[dark music playing]
[Pendas] Germany now really is facing
a two-front war
in the fullest possible sense.
[Richie] Hitler in his Wolfsschanze
is effectively,
if he was realistic about it,
watching a map that's shrinking
and shrinking and shrinking.
And these armies are now moving
toward the German borders themselves.
Hitler is, in a way, in a fantasy land.
[Bartov] There is a group
of Wehrmacht officers,
many of them
had served the regime loyally,
and they decide that it is time to try
and find a way of assassinating Hitler.
They realize that Hitler
is going to fight to the end,
and that that will end
with the destruction of Germany.
And they love Germany.
They don't want Germany to be destroyed.
They don't want
all these civilians to be butchered.
The person who had volunteered
and in effect was chosen
to actually carry out
the act of assassination
was Colonel Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg,
who was a count
and aristocrat in the military.
Stauffenberg has been very badly injured
in North Africa.
He's lost an eye,
he's lost his right hand,
and he's lost two fingers
off of his left hand.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Eaton] Stauffenberg recognized
that he had the chance
when he was called to the Wolf's Lair
for a meeting on the 20th of July 1944.
[Richie] He lands at the airfield.
He has the bombs in a briefcase.
He's driven from the airport
to the Wolfsschanze, to the Wolf's Lair,
and then finally
into the final inner sanctum
where Hitler himself worked.
[suspenseful music continues]
[Richie] For Stauffenberg's plan
to succeed,
it would have been better
if the meeting had been held
in one of the concrete bunkers
at the Wolf's Lair,
but the meeting was scheduled
in a wooden building.
And this meant
that the potential power of the bomb blast
would be significantly reduced.
When he arrives,
Stauffenberg asks to go to the bathroom.
He only has time
to arm one of the two explosive devices.
Everything's very, very rushed.
There are people knocking
at the door asking where he is.
[pounding on door]
[Richie] He's absolutely petrified,
because at any moment,
something could go terribly wrong.
The tension is rising
as he gets closer and closer to Hitler.
[indistinct conversations]
[Richie] He goes into the map room.
The generals are around,
the maps laid out.
Hitler starts talking about plans
and the orders of the day.
With the excuse that his hearing
was so badly damaged
by his injuries in North Africa,
Stauffenberg was able
to secure a place close to Hitler.
He then places the briefcase
as close to Hitler as possible.
And then he makes the excuse
that he's got to make a phone call,
and he leaves the room.
[music intensifies]
[Richie] Somebody moves the briefcase
behind a heavy oak table leg
where the meeting is taking place.
Stauffenberg leaves the meeting
in a hurry.
He knows the bomb's gonna go off.
He's rushing toward his car,
and he hears the explosion.
-[glass shattering]
[tense, pulsating music playing]
[Eaton] He was fully convinced
that he had succeeded.
He thought there was no way
that Hitler could possibly
have survived that explosion.
[somber music playing]
[Richie] When Stauffenberg
flies to Berlin,
to the headquarters,
effectively, of the conspiracy
Stauffenberg did not know that somebody
had moved the briefcase with the bomb,
and this limited
the impact of the explosion,
and in some ways,
helped Hitler survive the attack.
[Eaton] Hitler was utterly irate.
He demanded that every conspirator
be rounded up immediately
and that not only
they be executed as traitors,
but every member of their family
and every one of their close associates.
[Shirer] Though he had escaped death
by a miracle,
Adolf Hitler was never the same
after July 20th, 1944.
[guns firing]
[bodies thud]
[Shirer] What had been a tendency to bluff
became plain dishonesty.
He often lied without hesitation
and assumed that others lied to him.
He believed no one anymore.
He frequently lost all self-control,
and his language
grew increasingly violent.
In his intimate circle,
he found no restraining influence.
It was this man alone,
and rapidly crumbling in body and mind,
who was able almost single-handedly
to prolong the agony of war
for well-nigh a year.
Nevertheless, this was
the beginning of the end.
[plaintive piano music playing]
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