Hitler: The Lost Tapes of the Third Reich (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 1 - The Austrian - full transcript

In the aftermath of WWI, an unknown Austrian named Adolf Hitler, who was a German solider in WWI, becomes a celebrity in Munich's burgeoning far right political scene. Before long, he's vying for control of the city, and Germany i...

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Adolf Hitler.

He is the architect of one
of the greatest disasters

the world has ever seen.

The most photographed leader
of the early 20th century.

He'd spend hours
in front of a mirror

practising different poses.

Every photo is a performance.

Hitler was photographed
from boyhood to the Blitzkrieg...

He wants to be at the front.
He wants to share the excitement.

He wants to smell the cordite.

..to the bunker.

These images reveal the secrets
of Hitler's inner life

and the people he led.

Hitler comes in and he tells you,
"You are important."

He tells you he has a plan,

and he tells you he knows what's
gone wrong, and he can fix it.

Featuring rarely seen
and newly digitised images,

this is the story of the rise
and fall of Adolf Hitler,

picture by picture.

frame by frame.

I think Hitler created an image
of political celebrity

that never existed before.

The manipulation of media,
the presentation of himself -

you can draw a line from that
to what film and rock stars

are doing today.

2nd of August 1914,

the Odeonsplatz, Munich.

Looking over the square
is a photographer.

He's looking for the perfect
newspaper shot of a crowd

celebrating the outbreak
of the First World War.

His name is Heinrich Hoffmann.

He was a portrait photographer,
and he was very well known for that.

He took pictures of artists,

of prominent people in Munich.

In the square,

Hoffmann takes a photograph.

It will become one of the most
famous pictures of the 20th century.

Among the crowd, his camera captures
a young man from Austria,

a painter unknown to Hoffmann...

..25-year-old Adolf Hitler.

He's down on his luck, shabby,
with discoloured teeth,

living in a single rented room.

Life is not going well for Hitler
in 1914.

He finds himself in Munich trying
to eke out this somewhat pathetic

existence, you know, trying to sell
a painting here and there.

So, actually, suddenly, the war
actually might give him a role.

Although seen by many
as evidence of a city united

at the prospect of war...

..Hoffmann's picture
is not what it seems.

The newsreel camera tells
the true story.

We see that a tram can move
at normal speed through the crowd,

and we see kind of restless people.

And then, the moment the military
band is starting to play,

and they realise
that they're being filmed,

people put on a show of support,
of jubilation.

And it is at that very moment
that Heinrich Hoffmann

took his photograph,

zoomed into this part of the square,

creating kind of the false image
of all of Munich

and, by extension, all of Germany

supporting the outbreak
of the First World War.

Hoffmann, pictured here
in the 1930s,

was later accused of doctoring
the photograph,

moving Hitler to the front
of the crowd

to make him look more important.

The photograph was just the start.

Adolf Hitler would become
one of the century's

most photographed men.

Born in 1889,

childhood photos are rare.

One of the most striking was taken
at his school

in the Austrian city of Linz.

Hitler wrote that he disliked
most of his lessons.

His only passion was art.

One of Hitler's teachers later
described him as lazy, cantankerous,

wilful, arrogant, bad-tempered
and lacking in self-discipline.

You really get the flavour
of Hitler's personality?

Look at that expression.

He looks really objectionable.

And like all schoolboys, you know,
there's a thuggish-looking one,

there's the sort of kind of
handsome chap at the bottom.

There's all the kind of cliche
stock characters.

And Hitler is the cliche
stock character schoolboy,

the kind of nasty little boy
who no-one really likes.

I struggle to see another boy
in that picture who looks

as friendless as that boy,
top right,

young Adolf.

Hitler's father, Alois,
was a customs official.

His mother, Klara,
was Alois's second cousin.

Even after they were married,
she called him uncle.

His father was very domineering,
but it was with his mother

that Hitler had a close
relationship, a loving relationship.

Their love was mutual.

Adolf carried her picture
with him until his death.

By the age of 18,
both his parents had died.

Young Hitler struck out on his own
and tried to forge a career

as a painter, first in Vienna
and later in Munich.

Hitler has this aspiration
to being an artist

and this desire
to not be an intellectual,

but be someone who creates
and who thinks visually.

Now, in spite of those grand
aspirations, Hitler's paintings

were thoroughly mediocre.

They are sort of quaint,
oldy-worldy street scenes

and landscapes.

They hark back to a German
early-19th-century style

that Hitler greatly admired,
called Biedermeier,

which is really like the cuddly
domestic cousin of Romanticism.

But Romantic painters painted
impressive, spiritual,

awesome landscapes.

Biedermeier painters would paint
more domestic scenes,

people having nice picnics
in nature, and so on.

He applied to an art academy
and was rejected

and felt very aggrieved.

But that idea of him being
a creative genius who was thwarted

in his efforts, I think,
then explains how he comes to think

about politics
as a creative process.

Aged 25, Hitler, on the eve
of the First World War,

had little money,

few prospects.


The chance to fight for Germany
transformed his life.

He joined the Bavarian army
and served as a runner,

carrying messages from the front
to the regimental HQ.

Curiously, on most group photographs
that have survived of Hitler

during the First World War,
we see Hitler being on the fringes.

He stands on one side, and we can
kind of see he wants

to be part of the group,
but isn't quite part of it.

He doesn't appear to have been
particularly sort of interested

in the kind of bawdiness of male
military life, if you like.

He is considered a little bit
sort of asexual, a little bit weird,

a little bit of a loner.

This was clearly someone
who had difficulties connecting

to other people.

And in fact, he was never
promoted to a rank,

during the First World War,
which would have given him a command

over even a single other soldier.

25 years later, in June 1940,
shortly after his troops

had conquered France,

Hitler reunited with his old
comrades at the exact same spot

that first picture was taken.

The Geek,

the loner...

..was now in charge.

You can see it symbolically
in the way the photographs

are being choreographed
on how Hitler has moved

from being the man on the fringes
to being the central character,

the guy who,
according to the Nazi story,

single-handedly led Germany
out of misery.

After four long years,
the First World War ended in triumph

for the Allies.

Hitler isn't the only one
who, in November 1918,

just doesn't understand
what has happened.

How did this come to be?

We were winning the war.


There was the big March offensive
in 1918.

The Germans were gaining ground,

more ground than in the last three
years of the war,

and suddenly there was defeat.

So, in November,
the German war effort collapses.

There is a sense of confusion,

Suddenly, both sides stop fighting,

pretty much where they were
four years before.

So, that's why it doesn't feel
like a kind of natural defeat.

On February 26th 1919,

three months after the end
of the war,

photographer Heinrich Hoffmann
returned to the streets of Munich,

taking pictures of the funeral
procession of a politician

named Kurt Eisner...

..assassinated in the chaotic
aftermath of the war.

Once more, just by chance,

Adolf Hitler was in Hoffmann's

Again, he's on the edge
of a group of soldiers.

They were all paying their respects
to a man who was everything

he would later despise.

Kurt Eisner was a Jew
and a socialist.

Why Hitler was there is revealing.

Hitler is amongst tens of thousands
or hundreds of thousands

of Germans, who are actually kind of
drifting around a little bit,

who are trying out different
political ideas.

In the case of Hitler,
it seems that he was moving

between different
political movements

as long as they were supportive
of the nation.

By mid 1919, Hitler had decided
where his allegiance lay.

Right wing politicians
had his support.

He joined an Army propaganda unit,

ridding troops
of communist sympathies.

They had these motivation sessions
where soldiers were indoctrinated

by various speakers and professors
in patriotism,

an attempt, really, to salvage
German pride

through this, if you like,
heavy petting session.

Hitler came under the wing
of an officer in the unit

named Karl Mayr.

He thrived under Mayr's direction.

He very much talks to the people
he trains like a teacher

or a father.

And it is really him
who seems to have trained Hitler

to be a more effective orator.

Then, kind of miraculously,
Hitler transforms within weeks

or months, from being this guy
who is seen as an awkward loner

to a master orator.

And this is where his speaking
programme really begins,

sending hope, sending hatred
of the left, of the communists,

of all those that threaten
Germany's greatness.

So, he is really a Mr Motivator,
a motivational speaker,

and that's how he begins.

The future leader is starting
to fall into place.

What he lacks is a political party.

On September 12th 1919,

Hitler was sent into Munich by
Karl Mayr

to spy on a small,
extreme right-wing group

known as the German Workers' Party.

And he looks at them, and he's meant
to be sort of reporting back

on what trouble they might
be causing.

And he's listening
and watching their message.

And it's...actually,
something clicks and he's thinking,

"This is talking to me.

"This is telling me
what I want to hear."

Hitler has found his political home.

He will soon emerge
from the shadows.

Over the next 20 years,

together with Heinrich Hoffmann,

he will create the image
of a Fuhrer

that will both inspire...

..and terrify.

In 1921, a small
right-wing organisation,

the German Worker's Party
changed its name

to the Nationalsozialistische
Deutsche Arbeiterpartei,

or NSDAP, Nazi for short.

Adolf Hitler had joined
as member 555.

This was a con.

The numbers started at 501

to disguise the party's
lack of support.

Heinrich Hoffmann,
by now, also a fully paid-up Nazi,

photographed some
of the first members.

This is a great picture in many ways
because it shows us

the kind of demographic of early
members of the NSDAP,

the early Nazi Party.

And you just have to look
at the clothes

that these guys are wearing,

festooned with a very
early manifestation

of the swastika armband.

It doesn't look quite as refined.

And you can see they're all wearing
very different outfits.

If we look at this guy, here,
he's actually very well dressed.

Look at the wing collar.

And there's another guy
with a wing collar here.

So, that's suggesting he's sort of
probably from a more sort of

refined background
than, say, this chap here.

So, you're getting a sense,
in this picture, of the broad appeal

of what is only, at this stage,
a very small party.

A lot of these guys would
have seen combat.

They would have seen the horrors
of the trenches.

And they came back quite reasonably
from the First World War

and thought, "Well,
what was that all about?

"We feel betrayed.
We've lost a lot of friends.

"So, we want to get our own back."


By August 1921, Hitler
was the leader or Fuhrer

of the Nazi Party.

It's a very febrile atmosphere
in the politics of post-war Munich.

There's extremists on both sides,

almost violent atmosphere.

That's the world that Hitler's
sort of working in,

starting out as a politician.

One of the tricks that Hitler used
in this period was that he tried

to ration the use of his own image,

which shows this really quite
profound awareness

of the significance
of the public image,

to such an extent that he used
to send the SA, his Brown Shirts out

to sort of chase down
any photographer that he realised

had taken his picture.

And they would sort of take
the camera, smash the camera

to prevent the image
from being publicised.

So, he's deliberately creating
a mystique around himself

and around his own image.

Hitler's plan worked.

The Nazi leader was so elusive,

the satirical weekly magazine

tried to guess what he looked like.

But then, everything changes

when Hitler realised, in late 1922
and early 1923, that if he wants

to become the leader
of a political movement,

people really need to be able
to put a face to him.

Hitler turned to Heinrich Hoffmann
to take his picture.

It was a life-changing moment
for both men.

It becomes one of the most
significant relationships

of the Third Reich in terms
of the creation of propaganda,

the creation of Hitler's
public image.

Most of what the ordinary
Germans saw of the Third Reich

and of Adolf Hitler

came through the lens
of Heinrich Hoffmann.

So, he's crucially important
in that creation

of that public image.

To my mind, as a photographer alone,

he's up there with the pioneers
of photojournalism,

with Cartier-Bresson
and Robert Capa.

Some of his photography
from that period is remarkable.

And it's really that toxic
political aspect,

that political legacy,
the political regime that he served,

it's that that has overshadowed

his brilliance as a photographer.

I mean, understandably so.

But we have to also acknowledge
how good a photographer he was.

Hitler and Hoffmann worked
side by side for years.

The photographer was a key figure
in the Fuhrer's inner circle.

They were an unlikely pairing.

Hoffmann was a total
opposite to Hitler.

He was very funny.

He liked to talk and he drank a lot.

He smoked.

But they both had been soldiers
during the First World War.

They had the same experiences,

and they both perceived themselves
as artists.

In 1923, Hitler commissioned
Hoffmann to take

a series of photographs

that he could distribute
as postcards

to help his fame spread.

This is a very formal portrait,

studio portrait, direct to camera.

Heinrich Hoffmann wrote of the time
when he was photographing Hitler

that he had three poses -

one hand on one hip,

and another pose
with two hands on two hips.

And the other one
would be the folded arms.

A strange thing for me
when I look at real pictures

of Hitler, it doesn't look
like Hitler cos I'm so used

to the film representation
of Hitler, played by everyone

from Charlie Chaplain
to Robert Carlyle -

often thin, weedy sort of guys.

But it's quite interesting to say

this is actually
what the man looks like.

What I get from it is a quiet
confidence in this picture,

and he doesn't look the sort
of scary monster figure

that we all have known
in later life.

This image of Hitler,
with the stern gaze

and the commanding pose,

was how he liked to be depicted
for the rest of his life.

Hoffmann's picture captured
something of Hitler's character,

but there was nothing better
than seeing him in action.

At beer-hall meetings,

Hitler would speak without notes
for up to three hours.

A photograph of him at one
of those early Nazi meetings

captures his outward energy
and aggression.

He's just given a speech.

He's wearing a white coat.

His parting, normally very well
preserved, is in disarray.

His hair is hanging down.

And you can get a sense
of what he's just done in there.

And he is, himself, still imbued
with the performance

he has delivered.

And you can see in his eyes
that sense of achievement,

that sense of mission.

And you can also see it,
to some extent,

in the eyes of the SA guards

who are standing on his sides.

In another photo from the time,

Hitler enters a hall with a whip
in his hand.

In these early meetings,
there would always be people

in the crowd who would say,

"You idiot,
what are you talking about?"

And they would sometimes try to get
on the rostrum and attack him.

On the way out, you know,
he would be assaulted.

Sometimes admirers would come
too close, too,

and he would use that to just
hit them.

It became a sort of a trademark
in those early years.

In every speech, Hitler raged
against Jews and Communists

and the government for signing
the Treaty of Versailles,

which penalised the country

territorially and militarily.

Germany, at the end of World War I,
is deliberately

and uncompromisingly punished.

So, in 1919, the signing
of the Versailles Treaty,

this is a belittling, a humiliation
of Germany on the world stage.

They now have millions of Germans
outside their border.

Their diaspora is enormous.

It's an unreconciled country.

And don't forget the reparations.

I mean, it was a great play
that was made for with the Nazis,

later on, that, you know,
the terms of the reparations,

even when they were modified,

"Well, it's going to take us
till 1988 to pay them off."

Hyperinflation in the early 1920s
wiped out millions

of people's life savings.

By 1923, a single US dollar
was worth 4.2 trillion Reichsmarks.

People are being paid twice a day
because the exchange rate

will have changed in the meantime

between lunch time and the time
you go home in the evening.

So, it was absolutely chaos
for ordinary people on the streets

of German cities.

And when infrastructure fails,
when money fails and people

can't afford to buy bread any more,

then they need to do something.

They need to react to it,

and they want to find someone
to blame for it.

They want to fix the situation.

That's the easy part.
People understand that.

We call that kind of realistic
threat in the psychology world.

The second part is perhaps
a little more difficult

for people to understand,
and it's kind of like a blow

to a country's ego,

a blow to the sense of where
they fit in the world.

"Am I still important?
Am I still great?

"Is German still an important

These are questions that are harder
to pin down in some ways,

but they really matter, and things
that seem to threaten that,

in your mind, we call that
symbolic threat in psychology -

the idea that our culture
is being eroded,

or our place in the world
isn't as important as it was.

Those things also matter,
and those things also lead people

to feeling negatively
towards other groups of people

and toward being hostile
towards those groups of people.

In January 1923,
on the outskirts of Munich,

the Nazis held their first
party rally.

Heinrich Hoffmann was there
to record the scene.

Heil! Heil!

The so called Hitler salute
was now part of every Nazi event.

So, it comes from, originally,
ancient Rome

via Mussolini's fascist Italy.

It's adopted by the Nazis.

It's used as a sort of standard
greeting between party members.

Hitler, incidentally,
he has a curiously sort of

limp-wristed version, often
in response to people greeting him

with this sort of straight arm.

He often used to boast
to his secretaries about how long

he could hold his arm up.

Presumably in his mind,

this was some show
of his own virility.

Heil! Heil! Heil!

For all the show of strength
at the January rally,

one Hoffmann picture revealed
the weakness of the party.

Hitler had yet to perfect his image
of a leader in waiting.

On these pictures, he looks like
someone who just had walked by.

He was in civilian clothes,

a civilian trench coat

with a walking stick, a hat.

He doesn't look like a leader.

The man photographed in the snow
is a long way from power.

It's really tempting to look back
and think, "Well,

"there's an inevitability
from 1919, 14 years later

"to Hitler walking
into the chancellery."

It's simply not like that.

The Nazi Party is one of many
of these small, somewhat angry,

buzzing little political parties.

And Hitler is just one of, frankly,
a lot of other kind of very angry

men on stages, shouting
into the smoke of beer halls.

Let's not think that this
is definitely going to happen.

This is not inevitable
by any stretch of the imagination.

In late 1923,

post-war Germany,
known as the Weimar Republic,

was weakened by economic chaos
and political extremists.

Hitler decided something drastic
needed to happen if his ambitions

were to become reality.

The previous year in Italy,

Benito Mussolini's fascist party
had staged a so-called march on Rome

and taken control of the government.

Hitler believed he could
do the same.

To his mind,
if he could seize power,

starting in Bavaria, and carry out

his own effective march on Berlin,

then he could take power.

He could end that political
and economic chaos

of the Weimar Republic.

He could start to put right
some of those things

that he was complaining had gone
wrong in the previous five years.

This was his moment.

In what would become known
as the Beer Hall Putsch,

Hitler tried to hijack
a public meeting where he knew

the three men who ran Bavaria
would be present.

They refused to join his march
on Berlin.

The following day...

..while Heinrich Hoffmann
took pictures of the SA

getting into position
and blocking the streets,

the real action was taking place

Hitler and a war veteran named
General Ludendorff led a column

of 2,000 Nazi stormtroopers
into the Odeonsplatz.

He hoped the people of Munich
would join his cause.

This was a last chance saloon
for Hitler.

They meet the guns
of the Bavarian State Police

on the Odeonsplatz.

14 Nazis and four policemen
were killed.

Hitler fled.

He later lied he'd carried
a child to safety.

He was arrested two days later.

Hitler, in many ways, was lucky

that no photographs have survived
of the scene.

So, that allowed his propaganda

to create paintings of the scene

that were as dramatic and as heroic
as they possibly could have been,

and that would tell to Germany
and the rest of the world the story

of how Hitler risked his life
to save Germany.

The Beer Hall Putsch is a disaster.

There's no other way to describe it.

And actually, this looks to many
outside the Nazi Party

as both the end of the Nazi Party

and, actually, as the end
of Adolf Hitler as a realistic

political figure.

In March 1924, Hitler
and General Ludendorff

and the other rebels
were tried for high treason.

Not wishing to miss out on a story,

Heinrich Hoffmann smuggled
a camera into the courtroom.

Pointing the lens through
the buttonhole of his coat,

he took a surreptitious picture.

The subsequent trial,
for many politicians,

would have seen the end
of their career.

And indeed, the New York Times
at the time said that actually

this is the end of Hitler.

"That's the end of you."

Against the odds, the trial
was a triumph for the Nazi leader.

The other defendants played down
their role in the Putsch.

Hitler exaggerated his.

He is very happy to admit
that he did what they say he did,

that he carried out treason.

But he says that it was in the name
of a higher ideal,

which was Germany.

Hitler was given a lenient sentence
of just five years

and sent to Landsberg Prison.

It seemed that his 15 minutes
of fame was over.

But Hitler had other ideas.

Suddenly, then, to be put in prison,
he's forced to have a period

of contemplation, of reflection.

It gives him time to think.

He's a bit like Napoleon.

He never quite knows when to stop.

There's this constant
whirring and burring.

Heinrich Hoffmann wanted to take
a propaganda photograph

of Hitler in prison.

But cameras were forbidden.

Despite this, a portrait of Hitler
in his cell emerged.

Looking surprisingly well dressed
for a prison picture.

The Bavarian jacket,
the shirt and collar.

But the strange thing
about this picture -

Hoffmann says that he smuggled
a camera in and gave it to a guard.

Now, this guard is probably one
of the best photographers

I've ever known
in the prison service,

because this is a very, very good
photograph, given that it's 1924.

It looks to me as though
it's on a tripod.

So, how do you smuggle a tripod in?

The picture is very good.

The lighting is an old trick
that lots of us photographers use

as the window light.

He's looking out the window
to get light on his face.

And with respect,
if you ask someone,

"Can you just grab a picture
for me?"

there'll be something wrong with it.

A pole will be coming
out the top of his head,

or his eyes will be closed.

It's just too perfect.

It's a striking photograph,
and I doubt whether a guard

would have taken it.

So, I think there's the hand
of Hoffmann on this,

and he just wanted to create
the drama with the crowd.

The Governor of Landsberg Prison
had supported the Putsch,

and so let Hitler live in luxury.

He was allowed visitors.

Over 300 came to see him
during his incarceration.


Landsberg proved to be,
in Hitler's words,

"My state-paid university."

He read scores of books
and wrote a vicious

political manifesto and memoir,
which he called

Four And A Half Years Of Struggle
Against Lies, Stupidity
And Cowardice.

The publisher suggested My Struggle,

or in German Mein Kampf.

There's a literary genre
in 19th-century Germany,

which is called the Bildungsroman.

"Roman" is novel, and "bildung"
is building or becoming.

So, they're stories
of self-becoming,

and they were centred around a young
male protagonist

who goes through life, has various
important experiences,

and his character and worldview

formed through those experiences.

And this is what big sections
of Mein Kampf tap into.

It's a very personal story
of Hitler's growing up

and reaching particular
political views or conclusions

through this lived experience.

That's not to say that it's
a coherent narrative at all.

In fact, much of Mein Kampf
is borrowed from a huge range

of sources, and that was another
main function of that book.

It was to show how
National Socialism supposedly

grows out of existing
and much-loved traditions,

a kind of cultural canon.

The Bible is cited
and Cicero is cited.

So, all of this serves to ground
the outlandish and crazy

and abhorrent conclusions
that Hitler presents in that book

to show this as deriving
from a very familiar

and acceptable cultural canon.

Hitler's two main goals
when he wrote Mein Kampf

were turning Germany
into a superpower state

and ridding it of Jewish influence.

The origins of Hitler's
defining obsession with Jews

were in plain sight.

A few weeks before the failed
Beer Hall Putsch,

Hitler had given an explosive
interview to a Catalan journalist.

They discussed what was to be done
with the Jews,

and Hitler told the journalist
at the time

that it would be best
to kill all the Jews,

but that he had looked at it
from all sides

and had concluded
it was just impossible.

Therefore, they had to go
for the second-best solution,

namely to drive Jews out of Germany.

But he also made it very clear
that it would have been preferable

to kill all the Jews.

In that sense, I believe
there is a direct line of continuity

between the early 1920s
and the Holocaust.

Hitler left Landsberg
in December 1924

after serving only five months
of his sentence.

Hoffmann was waiting
with his camera.

He wasn't allowed to photograph
Hitler outside the prison,

so they found somewhere
that looked the part.

Few noticed the deception.

Hoffmann sold the picture
to newspapers across Germany

and around the world.

It was in the car after this picture
was taken that Hitler told Hoffmann

he planned to start the party
again from the beginning.

Violent revolution was not
the answer.

Hitler realised, to a people
who are so legitimacy seeking

as the Germans, so culturally
conservative as the Germans,

so civic minded as the Germans,
there must be legitimacy.

He has to do it through
the ballot box.

So this becomes the quest.

With the political change came
an image change, a makeover

for the Fuhrer.

So you see a restaging of Hitler
on his release from Landsberg,

where it's about trying to achieve
a normalcy, a self-image that isn't

going to frighten the bourgeoisie.

Something that is going
to appeal more generally.

So, yeah, he's going to have his
SA, his thugs, his paramilitary,

but there's going to be
a detachment -

Hitler and his image
is going to be separate from that

because that is the only way
he's going to be able to take

the majority, or at least
a significant minority

of Germany, with him.

It would be a difficult task.

Support for far-right-wing
parties was declining

and the Weimar Republic
was achieving what Hitler feared -


In 1924, the Nazis had only
32 seats out of a possible 472

in the German parliament,
the Reichstag, in Berlin.

Hitler needed a base to relaunch
the party.

Heinrich Hoffmann offered Hitler
rooms in one of his old photographic

studios in Munich.

Hitler relaunched the party
as a national organisation involved

in democratic politics.

But happy to use violence
and intimidation

against its opponents.

What we see emerging over the next
few years is Hitler building

together this team of people
who he really thinks

can help him achieve power.

And you've got three really dominant
personalities here.

You've got Heinrich Himmler,
whose qualifications

were being a chicken farmer.

But actually what he now
finds himself being is head of

what was called the protection
squad, the Schutzstaffel, or SS,

that essentially had been born
out of the Stormtroopers.

Then you've got this much more
enigmatic figure in the form

of Rudolf Hess,
who was Hitler's deputy.

You've then got this very sinister
figure indeed, the man who's

going to end up becoming
the propaganda chief

of the Third Reich.

And that, of course, is
Joseph Goebbels.

For two years after his release

from prison, Hitler was banned

from speaking in public,

much to his disgust.

The Nazis still had access
to the public through their

own newspaper -
the Volkischer Beobachter.

The paper was filled with stories
of Nazi triumphs, and importantly,

photographs of Hitler.

If you look at the Volkischer
Beobachter, most of the pictures

were actually taken by Heinrich
Hoffmann, who was completely

indispensable to Hitler.

And Hoffmann made a small fortune
actually selling pictures of Hitler

to supporters and other
newspapers all over Germany.

Like all narcissists,
Hitler was completely obsessed

with how he looked.

So if he buys a new suit or a hat,
or any sort of uniform, Hoffmann

photographs him wearing it so Hitler
could see how he looks on camera.

And then once, looking
at the pictures, it's only

then that Hitler decides to wear
that new outfit in public.

He can manage, he can stage
manage his image, important

for, really, a man who was
oh so very average to look at,

even the way he moves,

the way he looks.

He's hardly an Aryan pin-up.

So he has to make sure
he curates that image.

He needs to work that image

so it plays for him
and it hits the right note.

Despite Hitler insisting
they were to be destroyed,

many rejected photographs remained
in Hoffmann's archive,

unseen for decades.

In August 1927, with the ban on
public speaking finally over,

Hitler went to Hoffmann's studio
for an unusual photoshoot.

The Fuhrer wanted to improve
his performance on stage.

So he asked Hoffmann to take a
series of pictures so he could see

which poses were the most effective.

As Hoffmann worked,
a gramophone played recordings

of Hitler's speeches.


He's learning how he looks
to a huge audience.

He's practising.

He had the nous to use a camera
to record it, but he's also

using mirrors to see how he looks
from the side, and trying to create

this power, this mystique,
this figure

who's going to speak to
thousands of people,

so you've got to get it right.

And various gestures, some gestures.
work, it's all in the hands.

Even though I can't hear him,
I sense his voice and the power.

And he's practising - how does that
look to the person in row Z?

And it's a very scary time,
and these are scary pictures.

Soon after these photographs
were taken, Hitler led a Nazi

rally in Nuremberg.

He was always aware of the camera.

Free to speak once more,

Hitler tried out the poses
perfected in Hoffmann's studio.

The large rallies were deceptive.

Few Germans were interested
in the revamped Nazi Party.

They struggled to recruit
new members and even

to finance the rallies.

Hitler's attacks on the Weimar
Republic no longer hit home.

The currency had stabilised
and the economy had recovered.

Then in October 1929, there was
a dramatic turning point in Hitler's

political fortunes,
and also his private life.

In September, Heinrich Hoffmann
had opened a new studio in Munich

and hired extra employees.

One was a young girl named
Eva Braun.

He took pictures of his new
assistant posing in his office.

When Eva Braun started her work at
Hoffmann's studio,

she was the age

of Hoffmann's daughter Henriette,

and she became friends
with Henriette

and her brother, Heinrich Jr.

These were kids, teenagers,
who had fun together,

who played together.

The story goes that when they
first met, Eva had no idea

who Hitler was.

Based on statements by Ilse Braun,
the sister of Eva Braun,

one day in October 1929 at
Hoffmann's studio,

Hoffmann introduced Eva to Mr Wolf,

and the three had a meal
in the studio,

and he offered her to bring her home
afterwards, and she refused.

So Hoffmann then, so it's said,

asked her if she recognised
this man, and she said no.

And he said, "But didn't you know
this is Hitler, our Adolf Hitler?"

Our Adolf Hitler was 40.

Eva was just 17.

She would become a permanent
figure in his life.

And 16 years later, they would die
together as husband and wife

in the bunker in Berlin.

In October 1929, shortly
after Hitler met Eva Braun,

an economic storm hit Germany.

Across the Atlantic, the New York
stock market suddenly collapsed.

This was a global crisis.

But Germany, whose post-war recovery
had relied heavily on international

was particularly hard hit.

Millions were unemployed.

This was a national trauma
the Nazis could exploit.

If you have a system with repeated
crashes where things are repeatedly

going wrong, what you might end
up with in that case is a sense

of a loss of control, which above

and beyond the negativity itself,

starts to affect people.

So it's not just that things

aren't going well.

It's that the rules don't work.

It's that you're not sure
what to do.

It's that you've done everything
right, you didn't commit any crimes,

you got a good job, and yet, life
isn't what it's supposed to be.

And this loss of control
affects people.

And psychologically, it makes
you more likely to vote for someone

who gives you a quick, easy,
bite-size, straightforward answer,

something that will just fix
everything and get it all done

and make life better for you.

That is a danger of
that loss of control.

It increases the appeal
of a particular kind

of dangerous, authoritarian leader.

The Nazis still had less than
3% of the vote.

But they had a leader who was
a recognised, distinctive national

figure, thanks to many years
of Heinrich Hoffmann and the party

carefully crafting his image.

Now you've got people looking
around going, "Hold on a minute,

"this Weimar Republic thing,
this isn't working for us.

"Is there a new way?"

And they look at Hitler
and he offers that in spades.

By 1932, the Nazis would be
the biggest single party,

and Hitler one of the most
photographed men on the planet.

Heinrich Hoffmann
was just getting going.

During the Third Reich, it would be
his photographs that would create

the public image of Hitler
and of a new revitalised Germany.

Once in power, Hitler's vicious
ideology would be unleashed

with terrifying results.