Third Reich: The Rise and Fall

Third Reich: The Rise and Fall

2010, History  -   200 Comments
Ratings: 7.54/10 from 193 users.

Third Reich: Rise and FallFor the second half of the twentieth century, the Third Reich has been deliberated and dissected.

Now, as the Greatest Generation fades into history, the image of 40,000 uniformed Nazis goose-stepping in perfect synchronization represents all most Americans know about history’s most dangerously successful totalitarian government.

Dig deep beneath the surface of our collective understanding of the Third Reich as History unearths what we don’t know about the individuals who comprised one of the most fascinating and complex regimes of recent history.

Third Reich: The Rise and Fall uncovers familiar anecdotes and fascinating details about the people who comprised the Nazi Party, and raids the treasure trove of archives the Nazis left behind, including rarely seen German newsreel recordings along with other unique footage carried home by Russian troops.

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1 year ago

these german people were like racist monsters , they killed all those people just because they considered them to be belonged to an inferior race , I would not be suprised if a lot of modern day germans still believe they are superior to other races . do they

ophelia jadefeldt
1 year ago

I stopped watching at 50mins, continuous ad breaks, little or nothing about the Nazi leaders, just so much of people eating, drinking. and dancing. It became very boring, a typical home made film.

2 years ago

Dear ,What a question is it suitable for children? Of couse it is. So that history wouldn`t repeat itself. The other questeion is that war had never touched the american soil. I am from country in the southeast of Europe which lost approx 1 milon people on then five milion inhabitants in WW2. But they never conquered us. Proud of my country and all of my cousins and family who died in the name of Freedom .RIP to all fallen from nazi beast. Never again!

3 years ago

@ 1:24:00 Not September 1938 but April 20 1939.
Armies don't invade wearing 'dress' uniforms.
They are lined up for someones birthday parade.

4 years ago

This was a very good documentary! Well done!

6 years ago

Does anyone know if this video is appropriate for students in grade 6?

We control your mind
6 years ago

More propaganda from the History Channel? Perhaps also watch 'Adolf Hitler:The Greatest Story NEVER Told.

7 years ago

Everyone should remain open to the high likelihood that almost everything we think we know about this episode of history is a falsification.

7 years ago

The propaganda machine is alive and thriving, now it called " American Exceptionalism" every trailer park in America has a large US flag!

8 years ago

It's very interesting to see the view of the world from the journals of everyday people in Germany during this period.

I tire of the excessive demonisation of the Nazis, they were clearly humans and their actions are inherently human, using the Nazis as the ultimate scapegoat for all blame is so terribly shallow it seems insulting to the suffering of humanity that occurred as a result of WWII on all sides.

To me it has always remained a dark point of interest that as a whole our response to genocidal behavior was genocide.

8 years ago

Still one of the best Nazi documentaries I've yet seen.

Leslie Payne Simmons-Hale
9 years ago

Gee, some of these comments were made years and years ago. I just realized that :)

9 years ago

Best WW2 I've ever seen, amazing rare footage and excerpts. Can't recommend it enough, masterfully done.

9 years ago

its arguable that hoover recalling the germans debt after our stock market crash brought hitler into power...

id also remind people attempting to say the german people were unfairly oppressed after WW1 that WW1 was not the first attempt by Germany at world conquest. 3 times in a century is enough for any planet, id imagine.

that's not to say the german people cant be forgiven for what happened in WW2, of course they can.. life moves on .. its just important to remember the mistakes of the past so you don't ever repeat them. I hate that germans must feel shame, but all of us have our hands bloody in some way in our family/ethnic/nationality history... I mean hey, im white and and live in the united states after all. people don't realize the last racially motivated lynching here was in 1981.

people will always attempt to point the finger at others for their own misfortunes... you must not let hate and fear consume our hearts as all of us working together as human beings will uplift the entirety of all civilized mankind.

9 years ago

First,we are told that German Jews constituted less than 1% of the German population. Later,we are told that confiscated Jewish assets paid for 30% of the German war effort! So,by the own admission of this documentary,a few Jews had all the wealth! So where Is the lie that the Jews didn't have all the money? Less than 1% owning at least a third of the wealth Is absolute proof of the massive wealth of the Jews who - before Hitler - lived In luxury whilst the ordinary German people starved. Hitler may have been a nutter and a murderer but the question of 'using the Jews as his Scapegoats' Is utter fallacy,as Is clearly shown here In this one-sided,Judo-American 'heard-It-all- before' trash.

Jack Kaden
10 years ago

Strange I just got Cut off I shall try to finish, [ like I said all communications scrutinised ], needed for not only Detention but indefinite detention, Detention camps,,, Kill lists & constant War all after September the 11th, Pardon me I meant to type/say Feb 28th are you people really the Idotic, your embarrassing yourselves AGAIN, When will you t*ats from the shallow end of the gene pool realise your that you are getting ROYALLY F**KED like every one else on the planet, Jesus Wake up!!!

Jack Kaden
10 years ago

Freedom of the Press,Free speech, Highest number of prisons & prisoners, Massive spying network, [ supported ] by people informing on each other, [ Rats ], phones tapped, all communications scrutinised, Areas Governed by unelected suits, Military on the streets, no just cause or warents needed

John Schofield
10 years ago

Very good documentary. Hitler was a bad leader. An opportunst that took advantage of a sick society. Terrible what the Nazis did. but we also have to remember USA´s treatment of Indians, Their own soldiers in the civil war (Andersonville) and the treatment of Afro Americans. USA is still a sick country while Germany has transformed it self to a very strong and good country. But never forget what the Germans did to Europe. I´m from Denmark and know how Prussia/Germany has treated Denmak. We won in 1848-1850 Lost in 1864 and lost half of Denmark, got some of it back 1920 and was conquered in 1940 again. So I´m not on the German side, but neither on Americas when it comes to civil rights...

ryu kubo
10 years ago

Thank you to the author for posting the documentary, and thank you to someordinaryguy and Jakob Isindahawtz for their much moving thoughts.

I am a Japanese national of the same age group as someordinaryguy educated in the USA working in Europe with a love for history, with shame of not coming across this topic sooner.

The Japanese as we all know were the axis partner country to the third reich along with Italy, and hold similar responsibilities and shame in Asia on acts against humanitarian acts during WW2, with the likes of Rape of Nanjing (although the book is issue of debate) and the colonization/forced prostitution in the Korean peninsula etc. However, it's quite obvious Japan had "the easy way out" upon it's post war reconstruction via the US-GHQ occupation, further the government dubbed "51st state of the US" even til today,

Wars and its associated environment expose the darkest of our hearts as said in the film, also, could not stop thinking perhaps conflicts within the same bio-ethnic group (please advise+correct if wrong), i.e. emotional issues of the Chinese and the Koreans against the Japanese belonging to the same mongoloid ethnicity, and/or the Germans, Russians and the European Jews of caucasion gene pool where the intra-group similarities trigger an exceptional hatred once the button is pushed for denouncement - Similar to what they say about emotional hatred between siblings tend to be the worst. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was yes by far the largest single genocide known to man, however, it was a push of the release button as opposed to the slaughter and rape depicted in the document, which likely to have caused a spiral of dark-hearted jestures against one another.

2000 years ago at times when "eye for an eye" was normal, a superstar Jew gospeled "when hit on your right cheek, give him your left" . 40 years ago, a superstar working class gospeled "imagine" when both britan and germany suffered form losses. I prey.........and believe.... this century sincerely learns from the past one.

Please be proud of your motherland. The two fastest mass production automobiles to have circuit Nurenburg are made in Germany and Japan.

Love, Respects and Peace

10 years ago

am glad Hitler turn to fight the Russian that save the world.
That was the turning point. Russian were going to stay out of the war
till hitter turn on them. I don't blame Russian for rape killing women children
That's what german did in Russia.

11 years ago

we can all watch this and denounce them as horrible people but how many people can watch this and say they understand them? untill our compassion extends to all people including our enemys we will continue to allow things like this to happen over and over and over again and again untill we all die

11 years ago

whats the differnce between US now and hitlers GOV???? im far from being a skinhead , but he was a great leader, US has never had a great leader,, yes i might be b from this place, but we need a leader that aint islam , that can take control and not listen to the id**t gov... we need a revilotion

11 years ago

Well, I am German and I just finished watching this documentary. I read about it somewhere on the Internet and was happy to find it here as an online stream. First thing I would like to mention is that the footage shown in this piece is not banned or restricted or anything like that in Germany. Perhaps some of the homemade film material seems to be new to me, but the rest is known and was shown before in many similar documentaries broadcasted on German TV or History Channels.

I am 52 years old and thus still belong to the post-war generation in Germany which was confronted very intensely with the crimes and cruelties the generation before us committed during the Third Reich. Collective guilt, shame and grief was something I was brought up with. I was confronted with concentration camp survivors who came to our school and reported dabout the horror and tortures they went through. The diary of Anne Franck was a compulsory read in class and of course the Nazi era was a constant topic in history classes was well as the guilt and the responsibility accrueing from these twelve years. Twelve years which dramatically overshadow the long German history dating back to the times of the ancient Roman empire and still set everything else behind to the present day. I still belong to the generation older people threw stones at or spat out when I was on holidays in France in the seventies and they found out we were Germans. Being from Germany was something I was never proud of and will probably never be. I do not blame anyone for that and I don't want to wallow in self-pity or something. It is the way it is and all I can say is that at least my generation learned a hard lesson. Sometimes I envy the younger generation in Germany a bit, since they could develop a more relaxed attitude towards their home country. A generation that has no problem with waving the German colours for their team during football championships or sing along the German anthem without feeling uncomfortable. I still wouldn't wave a German flag or sing the German anthem. I have no patriotic feelings in me and there is still nothing I could be proud of without feeling guilty.

We as a people paid a dear price for our deeds and it was only fair and simply a matter of justice and consequence to do do. We lost our homes and cities, lost our identity and self-confidence, lost over 900.000 civilians in the constant air raids alone, 5.7 million soldiers and 2.7 million further civilians as so-called collateral damage. Probably like no other nation in the world, Germany is done with war, militarism and dictatorship - you can take that for granted.

Finally I would like to thank the creators of this documentary for having put together a well-balanced synopsis of the reasons for Hitler's rise and the role other nations played in this desaster. I am not saying this to play anything down or to relativise anything. It's just important to know that there were reasons for the rise of the Nazi party which sometimes tends to be forgotten and it's always good to know the whole story. Especially for the future generations.

11 years ago

the problem is with u all watching this.... ur happy sat on you chair watching it

James Campbell
11 years ago

Its a small glimpse of how a people wanted sanity and ended up insane.
No mater who you are, about 54 million us our fellow humans died.
Yep some were good and some were bad, but they died all the same.

For our safety we have CCTV Camera with face recognition, Xray security checks, "Home land security" to protect our "Fatherland"
In 20 years how many Cameras will there be? For our safety will our children have RFID chips?
Do you think we will have Cash or imbedded ID.

We see it happening right now, we all know its going to happen, but we all know we cant stop it.
The Insane monster is already loose.

For the security of a nation maybe those of us that remember freedom will be in Camps.
I think its already too late.

11 years ago

What I dislike is the labeling of any group being demonized more than others or that a particular group was more damaged.Yes the Nazis did terrible things but it wasn't only the jews. Every nationality or ethnicity has both done terrible things and been victimized. What about the tens of millions who died at the hands of the Russian purge or the Chinese communists. How about Americas world record or extinguishing the most innocent civilians in just 2 single acts against the Japanese? Or, some may argue the irony of Israel being an idealistic state based solely on jewish ethnicity with"camps" of "unwanted". Quit the blaming game and move on. Only then will we have a peaceful world. It kind of bothers me how Germany has been so freakin demonized here in the west when even worse atrocities have been committed and no one every has heard about those. In a way we repeat history by vilifying them.

11 years ago

Not so sure they need the disclaimer at the beginning of these episodes. I don't think anyone could watch this expecting NOT to be disturbed. Besides the fringe sociopaths, of course, who look at this a say "I like those hats." Still having a hard time making the leap between the loss of national pride for losing a war they started, a messed up economy, and how that's somehow the fault of Jewish people. Not like I'm really trying to, but still I'd like to know.

11 years ago

J O T ... there is nothing quite like a good old fashioned jump to conclusions ,no jehova's witnesses at this location or christians for that matter,simply a question relating to what seems to be an omission of fact and why that would have been done ,also keeping in mind that my info could be incorrect , or possibly I've misunderstood entirely and you meant I should stop feeling prostituted /or is it persecuted ???? clarity sometimes eludes the best of us. anyhow, happy winter solstice to you.

11 years ago

today's my 50th birthday. when my mother was 13, they made her walk into the camps, it frightened her and shaped the rest of her life and her family's life. it affected me. America, you made no friend of me the day you pushed my mother and her family's nose into a pile of s*** they did not make. You did not make an enemy of me, but you did make a spectator.

Jacob On Tour
11 years ago

@oilchng. NO this is not odd, stop feeling prosecuted. There is no mention of the killing og homosexuals, Roma or thousands of other minorities!

The general rule is, if he/she wasnt "aryan" and Christian, he/she most likely ended up in a ditch somewhere!

11 years ago

The crowd is a crowd. The only thing we can try to do - raise our children as individuals, already from the birth

11 years ago

there seems to be no mention of the nearly 2 million jehovah's witnesses murdered along side the jews / handicapped / "undesireables" . anyone else find that odd ??

John Marus
11 years ago

Wow, the only thing funny about this doc is that once again, christians were right there with the iron fist of their god killing and being as self-righteous and evil as mankind is capable. christians = nazi is funny because it's true and this movie proves it. opps, a bit of a tangent.

Pretty good Doc, I'm not sure the old vintage family film footage helped explain anything. Yes, it was background for the narration but gees, 3 hours could have been condensed and more interesting if they actually had interesting footage.

We need constant reminders of what man is capable of doing to fellow man, it's still happening today, I hate being caught in evolution in this time period - let's get on with and evolve away from our egos (and belief in fairy tales, like JC and his dad).

11 years ago

I can't believe people actually argue the Holocaust is fiction.

I find it extremely hard to stomache that the war on Jews was also financed a great deal by the spoils of the victims.

I have a question! I believe Judiasm is religion, some others believe it is race, anyone have an answer?

11 years ago

Before I start watching.

I myself am a fan of WW2 documentaries. So hopefully can enjoy this.

11 years ago

Most of the concentration camp survivors looked in excellent health so it is obvious the others died from disease. I don't know how in 2011 people are still keeping up this pretense about how all these people were murdered when the video evidence they show speaks for itself. It would surprise people to know how many German prisoners died from starvation after the war yet these people obviously didn't. Where is the justice in that.

11 years ago

amazing never seen it put quite like this before

12 years ago

I never knew that the people of Germany first rejected Hitler. Very educational.

12 years ago

Anyone living in mainland Europe today can see how mainstream and inherent Nazi ideology really is...

12 years ago

I find it so annoying that people hate on the way these types of docs are presented. They act as if dramatization is some evil that needs to be done away with. False. Dramatization is easily picked up on by anyone who has watched tv before and as stupid as everyone seems to think the american consumer is, we know when to take things with a grain of salt. The fact is, dramatization makes watching these things interesting for people who otherwise would be watching jersey shore or the likes. I'll trade a little distortion of facts for more viewship. The net impact on society is a benefit in my opinion.

12 years ago

nationalism like any other isms comes from the romanticism period and hence it is an idea full of emotionalism

12 years ago


The common comparison of Modern America and post WW1 Germany are closer then one cares to see. The "United" states are about as United as the 50 states that divide them. You look at below comments about "Illegals" coming in and ruining the country is just like Hitler and saying the Jews are the blame and cause of Communism... The ability to control the mass of people with lies (Modern day Terror scare) gives the government the ability to manipulate the mass population [Iraq Afghanistan], and as proven Time in and Time out that with the manipulation of the people can make them do things that are wrong.

Americans also stand silent as the patriot act gives the government to spy and arrest it's own people. Something that the Gustapo did for Germany. You want to see the government calling for a war look at G.W. Bush's whole congress call for the blood of Saddam saying that he is the root of evil that must be destroyed and that he is a MAJOR threat to the safety of the US people when he really wasn't [Not saying Saddam wasn't an evil person just that his threat to America was drastically inflated], Didn't Hitler say that Stalin was a major threat to Germany to Gun Ho his people to invade the Soviet Union?

The American health care is being run by corporations therefore their best interest is making money not to care for those whom need to be treated for a medical ailment. The Health "Insurance" is also a complete joke, Love how Americans say that they are the land of the free and home of the brave but yet are Enslaved by Credit. And the part of the Brave they are brave i will say that but they are blind to the truth that surrounds them and that their internal dissent is perfect for a Hitler styled government to take over.

Now.... Just got to find a people to hate.... A country to take over for raw materials (but they are a threat to US safety)..... Take out the voice of anyone who might not be with the picture.... and a people who believes that their country is destined by god to lead the world....

12 years ago

one of the aspects the doc glossed over, to its detriment since the focus was to be on the german people, was the capitulation of the churches (r.c. & evangelical) to the nazis.

i would love to see a detailed treatment of how responsible cultural & relgious institutions responded to events in this era.

12 years ago

The whole thing looks so Roman with all those flags and banners it's nationalism run amok. There are many lessons to be learned from this period. How blind nationalism is blind faith. This is not about Germans per se but about how our best intentions can easily be turned to something quite other if we are not very careful. It is about human nature and fallibility. There are some quite direct parallels to USA 2011 in disturbing ways. -Like being taken into 2 immediate preemptive wars through lies and deceit, the Patriot Act, the eradication of habbeus corpus, torture, illegal renditions & secret CIA prisons. ALL in the name of corporate profits. This aim is no different than that of many the Nazi's pursued. *after all we did find a cave literally loaded with plundered gold and art works after the war). America's law have her poised ripe for abuse and exploitation by events that can be easily manufactured by those in power. That was Vietnam and Afghanistan-Iraq (w/9/11 as a pretext), are no different

12 years ago

I don't think people blame present day Germans for the past, however a study of what happens also serves as a reminder to many other people of what can and has happened in many countries in the name of ideologies and totalitarianism. I don't think control and mass mob rules is unique only to Germany from 1931-45 but also happens not only modern forms of fascism but also communism as we once witnessed. Many people also forget the many Germans who resisted the Nazis such as the communists, church leaders and statesmen. Milton Mayers book "We thought we were free is a very good book not only on what happened in Germany but what also happens in many countries even "democracies" when information is manipulated and propaganda controls

12 years ago

When will it be that germans are no longer in some way blamed for the things that happened around 70 years ago.

I mean i was born over 30 years after the war ended.
My parents both are born 10 years after it ended.
And my grandparents were in there teens.
And still i got to here all that crap about the war like it somehow is my fault.

12 years ago

Seven minutes into the movie I already detected 2 pieces of American propaganda typical for History channel productions (which seems to be targeting mainly adolescent/immature audiences AFAICT from the previous ones).

The first is the short mention of material being forbidden from being shown in Germany. Without background and spoken in this dramatic tone it sounds as if the Germans were keen to censor the atrocities of WW2 even today. In fact the opposite attitude prevails here (and has prevailed for 2 generations now). If censorship is applied, it is to suppress any neo-Nazi trumpeting.

The second is the cheesy statement that there is no plural for savior in German language, "so there can be only one". Of course there is a plural form, it just happens to be the same word as singular, as is the case for thousands of other words that end with the -er suffix. One could senselessly argue in the same way that there is no plural for a mechanic (Mechaniker), an electrician (Elektriker), or an IT guy (Informatiker).

Given the current economic problems and international pressure on Germany to foot the bill for other nations' problems (once again), and given the hegemony of the USA in the financial system and stirring up the original 2008 crisis, it seems like this movie is going to be a particularly vile piece.

Incidentally, there are already some voices that feel it appropriate to "remind" Germans that they suddenly today "owe" billions to Greeks because of "unpaid" WW2 reparations. And there's the last week's visit of Mr. Geithner in Wroclaw, who felt it necessary to remind Germans that they should spare no money on the "rescue" program (his idea being mostly to rescue eurobanks and their U.S. counterparties, if you haven't noticed the plan yet). Obviously and rightfully the Germans are quite pissed off, mostly because they have been trying so hard to redeem their original sins throughout decades.

12 years ago

at around the 48 minute mark they show some fat dude at the beach not only wearing a speedo type bathing suit but to add insult to injury as was they style of the day he has the thing hiked up to his belly button (or close to it) stretching the lower part FAR to tightly around his package. It is on for maybe 2 seconds but the image (after nearly throwing up) is now in my brain for life. They wont let Jewish people on the beach (which is the point of the clip) but this fat prick can walk around giving everyone a far to graphic view of his junk and big ass gut.

Yes I have some actual comments on the doc but I will watch more of it before I do so, although I must say that showing things from the perspective of the people is a nice change from the usual nazi docs that we have all seen to many times. Interesting that they were so desperate for food etc ( I don't know any of the rules that were imposed on Germany after WWI that more than likely caused a good part of this hardship and maybe they were too harsh or too many but it is something I am going to look up and then the depression hitting made things even worse, wrong doc for me to get into the cause of the basically planned depression) that they didn't immediately notice that Hitler was completely nuts and should have just been ignored from the start. There was a good quote by the narrator when he said Hitler looked so crazy that if you saw him on the street you wouldn't even go near enough too him to ask for a light for your smoke but yet ( I am paraphrasing and adding my own rant to this) the same person who would avoid the crazy bastard on the street cheers for him, verbally swears an oath to him and lets him not only enact insane rules like bugging any phone they want, no freedom of the press, can't say anything that doesn't tow the party line etc ( yes it sounds far to familiar) and because of their religion there is a possibility that some of your neighbours and maybe even friends but at the very least to a great extent natural born countrymen are now to be considered as non human and treated as such.

Yeah I wasn't going to comment yet but as a lot of you know I cannot make a short comment, I have to not only explain any point I have but I have to over explain it to the point that I even start boring myself (and at times forgetting my original point lol) before I am finished.

12 years ago

A great documentary; I particularily like the quote early on stating, 'the Polish terrorists are threatening the German people', sound familiar??? With that said, I don't expect Americans who inhale FOX news punditry brainwashing to understand their own hypocracy, but when Canada's Stephen Harper declared in his interview with Peter Mansbridge that, Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat facing Canada, I do expect Canadians to figure it out. Then again, we are presently dropping bombs in a no fly zone in a civil war in Libya. Considering Canadians pride themselves on being a peace keeping nation, I am sickened at the absence of outrage in our own moronic behavior.

12 years ago

Pretty good - a little overdramatised considering the subject matter needs no dramatisation.