The Hitler home movies: how Eva Braun documented the dictator's private life

Eva Braun was the most intimate chronicler of the Nazi regime, capturing Hitler's private life with her cine-camera. But it was only the obsession of artist Lutz Becker that brought her films to light. Robert McCrum and Taylor Downing uncover the story of the footage that shocked the world

Lutz Becker was born in Berlin, he says, "during the anno diabolo, 1941. Mine was the generation that was sent into a dark pit." Meeting this survivor of the Third Reich, now in his 70s and living in Bayswater, London, it's hard to suppress the thought that Becker, a distinguished artist and film historian, has conducted most of his life in a circle of hell.

Becker's childhood passed in the fetid, terrifying atmosphere of Berlin's air-raid shelters as the Allied raids intensified and the city was reduced to burning rubble. He recalls the radio announcements – "Achtung, achtung, ende ende, über Deutschland sinfe bender.
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