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Mein Kampf (1960)

Den blodiga tiden (original title)
"Mein Kampf" presents the raising and fall of the Third Reich, showing mainly the destruction of Poland and the life Hitler, which is told since he was a mediocre student and frustrated ... See full summary »


Erwin Leiser


Maurice Croizat (French commentary), Erwin Leiser




Credited cast:
Claude Stephenson Claude Stephenson ... Narrator (English version)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Louis Arbessier Louis Arbessier ... Récitant / Narrator (French version) (voice)
Heinrich Brüning Heinrich Brüning ... Himself (reads statement) (archive footage)
Friedrich Ebert Friedrich Ebert ... Himself (inspects Weimar troops, lies in state) (archive footage)
Alfred Frauenfeld Alfred Frauenfeld ... Himself (meets Papen in Vienna) (archive footage)
Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage)
Inge Hvid-Møller Inge Hvid-Møller ... (Danish Narrator)
Paul Klinger ... Narrator (German version)
Jean-Claude Michel Jean-Claude Michel ... Récitant / Narrator (French version) (voice)
Franz Pfeffer von Salomon Franz Pfeffer von Salomon ... Himself (archive footage)
Walther Rathenau Walther Rathenau ... Himself (writes at his desk) (archive footage)
Henning Skaarup Henning Skaarup ... (Danish Narrator)
Marinus van der Lubbe Marinus van der Lubbe ... Himself (on trial, in shackles) (archive footage)
Franz von Epp Franz von Epp ... Himself (archive footage)


"Mein Kampf" presents the raising and fall of the Third Reich, showing mainly the destruction of Poland and the life Hitler, which is told since he was a mediocre student and frustrated aspirant of artist living in slums in Austria and Germany, until his suicide in 1945 after being the responsible for the death of million of people, and the destruction of Europe. All the footage is real and belonged to a secret file of Goebbels, inclusive with many very strong scenes filmed by Goebbels himself. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


THE TERRIFYING RISE AND RUIN OF HITLER'S REICH! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Documentary | Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Sweden | West Germany


German | Swedish

Release Date:

21 April 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mein Kampf See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Minerva Film AB See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


  • Best documentary (San Francisco's Golden Gate Film Festival, 1960)
  • Filmbewertungstelle (Wiesbaden Film Festival, 1960)
  • Syrena Warszawska (Warsaw Film Festival, 1961).
See more »


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User Reviews

The Coles Notes Account of WWII
20 December 2011 | by hoganismydadSee all my reviews

While competently put together, this film is woefully short on details. It is possible that by 1960, the year this film was made, there simply wasn't the wealth of information available about this point in history that there was in later years, but this is unlikely. Of what they do show, the viewer is left with the distinct sense that so much more is there for the telling. The invasion of France is given barely a sentence. The focus mainly stays on Hitler's rise to power and then shifts mainly to the occupation of Poland. This, in and of itself, is not problematic, but perhaps the film should have been just about that one particular aspect of the war. By trying to cover everything, so much is missed that a disservice is done to the audience. Additionally, the opening crawl which sets out the editorial bent of the feature does not age particularly well. We don't need to be told Hitler was a monster, nor that he was one of us, a human being. This kind of theatricality seems to undermine the dark subject matter which is eventually revealed.

Still, this documentary accomplishes much. It still contains some of the most jarring and unforgettable war imagery of any documentary film ever made on this subject. In particular, the Nazi-shot footage of the Warsaw ghettos, the scenes of the concentration camps, the kangaroo court, down to the raving Nazi judge, which Germany used to justify the mass murder of Hitler's traitors, as well as some incredible footage of the razing of major cities which were pivotal turning points of the war: Warsaw, Berlin, and Stalingrad. The atmosphere during various Hitler speeches is also very well-captured and gives a sense of the gravitas with which he seemingly hypnotized an entire nation. For these scenes alone, the film is absolutely worth watching.

That being said, the almost tabloid approach to the content and heavily editorialized narration dampens the credibility of the picture almost from the word go. The definitive WWII documentaries are still, nearly forty years since their release, the "World at War" films, narrated by Laurence Olivier, which aired in Britain in 1973. In twenty-six separate parts, they have the time to truly investigate and attempt to make sense of humankind's worst and most violent protracted affair. Directed in far less a heavy-handed fashion than Mein Kampf, they set a gold standard which has still not been touched.

If you are NEW to WWII study, Mein Kampf is a perfectly adequate start. But it does not go nearly deep enough. Start here, and keep going.

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