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Undergångens arkitektur (1989)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | 13 October 1989 (Sweden)
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 »


Peter Cohen


Peter Cohen

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


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 October 1989 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Architecture of Doom See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Provocative documentary undermined in English version
30 April 1999 | by kev-22See all my reviews

"The Architecture of Doom" is the best surgical picking apart of Hitler's brain I've seen. It thoroughly examines Hitler's aesthetic worldview and how it could have lead to an artistic obsession to recreate the world to fit that vision. Its thoroughness is something Hitler himself might have admired! However, the power of this film is regrettably blunted quite a bit by the poor English narration. Perhaps Bruno Ganz's original narration with subtitles would have been better--though I haven't seen the latter to say for sure. In any case, narration is crucial in films like these (For a great example, listen to Trevor Howard in "Memory of the Camps"), and this lifeless, inflectionless reader really hurts a film that deserves a lot better treatment.

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