Christmas in Germany 1941 is an unsettling time. Food is scarce, the weather is freezing and news from the front line in Russia is causing Germans to realise the war is a very long way from over. The stage is set for the second half of the conflict. Through the home movies and diaries of ordinary Germans, this film charts Hitler’s dreams crumbling and the moral reckoning the German people must now face. It reveals the stories of people battling to save their families from deportation to the death camps, while others endure the horrors of ever more deadly bombing raids, all set against a backdrop of propaganda and false hope pouring forth from Nazi high command. In Russia we meet a doctor who throws himself into the firing line at every opportunity, not to win glory but to save his wife and three young children from deportation to the death camps in the east, while in Dresden a Jewish diary writer struggles to deal with ever-mounting restrictions and deportations. We also meet some of those forced to live under German rule, including extraordinary footage of a group of Jews living in hiding just a mile from Anne Frank, and a family in Normandy enjoying a bucolic summer before they find themselves on the front line when the Allies take on the German troops on the Atlantic Wall. The film then moves to the endgame of the war, the choices faced as the net tightened and the crazy efforts to fight to the bitter end even as all hope is gone.
Features: James Holland (Historian and Author), Nora Krug (Author, "Heimat"), Professor Alexandra Richie (Collegium Civitas, Warsaw), Professor Nicholas Stargardt (Magdalen College, Oxford)
-- This is shared without profit for educational and historical purposes ---