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The Restless Conscience: Resistance to Hitler Within Germany 1933-1945 (1992)

In 1944, at least 170 German citizens were brought to trial and convicted as participants in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This was not an isolated act, but rather the last of more ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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John Dildine ...
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Roland Freisler ...
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Carl Friedrich Goerdeler ...
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Ewald von Kleist ...
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In 1944, at least 170 German citizens were brought to trial and convicted as participants in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This was not an isolated act, but rather the last of more than 20 attempts to overthrow the Nazi Regime. Powerful and provocative, Academy Award nominee THE RESTLESS CONSCIENCE explores the motivating principles and activities of the anti-Nazi resistance inside Germany from 1933 to 1945. The film is a deeply moving portrayal of individual destinies, focusing on the moral and political evolution of individuals whose conscience was at odds with an overpowering national consensus. Hava Kohav Beller's THE RESTLESS CONSCIENCE highlights the tension between individual responsibility to a personal ethical code, and to a tyrannical political system. In telling their story, the film recognizes those who, despite mortal danger to themselves and their families, had the courage to uphold essential human values. Written by Anonymous

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7 February 1992 (USA)  »

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The Restless Conscience  »

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Intelligent, powerful and fascinating
15 March 2012 | by (US) – See all my reviews

This documentary explores a much under-examined element of Hitler's Germany. German citizens, some of high army rank or social status, who risked everything, and usually forfeited their lives to try to stop Hitler.

These people had nothing to gain, and everything to lose. They could of gone along quietly, and kept their lives and their life styles, But instead they trade it all to fight for an ideal.

The film-making itself can be a bit dry; lots of talking heads, WW II footage and stills, and fairly dispassionate sounding narrators telling us the facts. But the stories themselves are heartbreaking – especially the desperate attempts to warn the outside world what was coming, getting only mistrust and indifference in response.

Also remarkable are the bits of actual footage from the show trials the Nazi's gave these men before killing them. Their quiet, brave dignity in the face of death is deeply powerful.


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