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Series Premiere

Apocalypse: World War II: Season 1

1x01 Hitler's Rise to Power (1933-39)

  • 2009-09-08T18:35:00Z on France 2
  • 60 mins
  • France
  • French
  • Documentary, War

Germany. 1939. When almost nothing seems to stand in his way, and with the USSR as his ally, Hitler invades Poland. Britain and France declare war while the U.S. maintains its neutrality. “The Phoney War” begins as millions of civilians wait to see if the conflict will resolve itself and Germany builds up its arsenal. The Aggression features fascinating, colourised footage of Hitler as he visits the Austrian village where he grew up (and the children still run barefoot), as well as footage shot by Eva Braun, his mistress, of the Führer relaxing at his Alpine chalet. Witness haunting images of the persecution of the Jews in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland, Stalin’s gulags for political prisoners, and the magnificent city of Strasbourg emptied of its residents. Watch heart-felt good-byes as French soldiers leave loved ones at Gare de l’Est train station in Paris and civilians – young and old – as they prepare for air raids by donning gas masks. As Hitler continues his conquest of Europe, he invades Holland and Belgium and plans to make a surprise “sickle cut” through the dense Ardennes Forest, leaving the Allies with little chance of escape.