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Undergångens arkitektur (1989)

An absorbing and chilling documentary about the National Socialist aesthetic, and how attempts to create the Aryan Ideal caused the extermination of millions. Aspects covered include: ... See full summary »




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Credited cast:
Rolf Arsenius ...
Narrator (original version) (voice)
Narrator (German, subtitled English versions) (voice)
Sam Gray ...
Narrator (dubbed English version)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Martin Bormann ...
Himself (archive footage)
Karl Brandt ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Dr. Karl Brandt)
Arno Breker ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hermann Giesler ...
Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Heinrich Himmler ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Wilhelm Keitel ...
Himself (archive footage)
Viktor Lutze ...
Himself (archive footage)
Narrator (French version) (voice)
Alfred Rosenberg ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt ...
Himself (archive footage)


An absorbing and chilling documentary about the National Socialist aesthetic, and how attempts to create the Aryan Ideal caused the extermination of millions. Aspects covered include: Hitler's epiphany while viewing Wagner's opera 'Rienzi', the rise of the homo-erotic Grecian/Nordic ideal, the parallels drawn between the 'degenerate' art of the cubists and dadaists and the mentally ill/physically deformed, the Nazi obsession with purity and cleanliness, and, finally, the descent of the Jewish people to the level of a virus/vermin. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Skönhetskult och barbari i Tredje Riket


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Release Date:

13 October 1989 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Architecture of Doom  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


While researching this film in Germany, 'Cohen, Peter' stumbled upon an obscure industrial documentary about various methods of vermin control for factory use. This short, entitled "Kleinkrieg" (or "Little War"), proved invaluable as it was the first to advocate the use of Zyklon-B as an effective means of mass extermination. See more »


Features The Eternal Jew (1940) See more »


Requiem (excerpt)
Music by Hector Berlioz
See more »

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User Reviews

See what happens when the artists take control?
2 September 1998 | by See all my reviews

An interesting idea (Nazism as an aesthetic movement) fairly convincingly presented, although sometimes it stretches to make a point (eg, the movie tries to make more of the use of Zyklon-B for pest as well as human extermination than the interesting coincidence it seems to be). The periodic sequences of similar looking Nazi art get boring after while, which is the point, but overmade. The narration is rather monotonous; it's possible that impression is the result of having to read it.

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