|Index||5 reviews in total|
This is one of the most fascinating documentaries I have ever seen, because it reveals so much that we did not know about one of the most traumatic episodes in the history of our civilisation. It is remarkable how many resisters to Hitler there really were within Germany itself. The fantastic, mind-boggling stupidity of Neville Chamberlain, Lord Halifax, and Anthony Eden are portrayed very vividly here, all of whom actually considered these resisters to be 'traitors' to their country refused to deal with them, and thus prolonged the War for another two years! Hava Beller managed to get extended and moving interviews with just about everybody who was left alive in 1991 who could talk about this subject. The most moving of all the interviews is with former Lieutenant Bossche, who failed to kill Hitler in one of the aborted bomb plots and was never discovered, hence never tried and executed. He says that his great guilt is that he is still alive. His description of being an eye-witness to the brutal murders of 1800 naked Jews and being prohibited by his Colonel from stopping the SS from carrying out this atrocity is mind-numbing in its horror. The most impressive interviewee in the film is probably Freya von Moltke, the widow of Helmuth James von Moltke, the leader of the Kreisau Kreis of anti-Hitler conspirators. I am immensely proud of being distantly related to Helmuth James, and how I wish I had met this amazing woman who is every bit as impressive as her husband must have been (he was executed January 23, 1945, and many of the survivors said he was the most outstanding of all of them). The film is nearly two hours long, but one is riveted for all of that time, hardly daring to breathe, at all the revelations and human stories, and the momentousness of the whole thing. What a wonderful documentary record this is, and it ought to be shown in all schools. The film contains a vast amount of archive footage, and it is the most incredible 'inside story' history lesson. Although the film was nominated for an Oscar when it was released, it is surprising to me how little known it seems to be today. The power of the film is increased by its total lack of didactic character, and the director is not trying too hard to make us hold any particular opinions, but wants us just to see, to listen, and above all, to think.
This documentary is surprisingly suspenseful and gripping since the outcome is known in advance--the loose knit group of civil servants and military failed to Assassinate Hitler. And yet the way that this movie unspools the various strands of the plot, especially the details about how secretive all communication had to be, were fascinating. As was the sense of it all that was, or that was attempted to be made, by the few surviving plotters, their friends, and wives. Terrific use of archival footage--the decadent Wiemar era, scenes of war and battle, the post-war devastation--that featured many images previously unfamiliar to me. The movie strung them together in montages that were memorable and stirring and in some way uplifting. The same can be said for this fascinating movie. A find.
This film, through interviews of survivors and recountings of actions taken by the resistors, paints a dark yet compelling picture of the price one sometimes has to pay for following ones conscience. The most memorable character was the German lawyer and dissident Helmuth James von Moltke. He was as the French say-"Comfortable in his own skin". He had the strength of his convictions to push him to continue to resist despite the potential costs. For this he paid with his life. The other dissenters-Oster, Bonhoeffer, Stauffenberg, and others are dealt with in a compassionate, humane manner, revealing their probable states of mind when they fought to bring down Hitler. Ms. Beller has done a great service to the world in completing this thought provoking film.
Film recounts resistance to Hitler from 1933 until the July 1944 attempt
Hitler's life, when all unraveled. Interviews with widows of some of the
conspirators & with people the conspirators helped out of
Is there a greater understatement than when Frau von Moltke says, "I really think they [the Nazis] did Germany a great disservice when they killed him [her husband]." It's so amazing that so many Germans in govt. & military absolutely hated Hitler but so few did anything. [Generals hated Hitler because of a) the Hitler oath & b) the Roehm putsch, in which several generals died.] Until he was executed, Adm. Canaris's office spent most of the war fouling up German intel. reports & producing false passports. Ask yourself whether you could keep a high-level job for 5 years & not only never once do what you were supposed to do but do everything you could to sabotage the outfit you worked for.
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
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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