Hitler: The Lost Tapes of the Third Reich (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 2 - The Ascent - full transcript

After serving a short time in prison for leading a failed coup d'etat and being convicted of treason, Hitler returns to Munich with a vision for leading Germany to greatness.

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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 spent 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.

August 1st, 1936.

The opening ceremony
of the Berlin Olympics.

Over 4,000 athletes from 49 nations
process around the stadium.


The torch relay, a Nazi innovation,
reaches its climax.

What the Nazis did was
to look at the pageantry

of the Olympic movement,

they coupled that with
the pageantry of Nazism.

"We can blend the swastika
and the Olympic rings

"both literally and metaphorically,

"but also what we can do
is to show the world

"that with our sporting prowess,

"that is indicative of our now...
our political and economic prowess."

The star of the show
is the German Fuhrer.

100,000 cheer his arrival.

The cameras are all on Adolf Hitler.

This image is taken from the
Berlin Olympics in August, 1936,

and what you have is Hitler,
as head of state,

is patron of the Games.
That was his formal role.

And you've got a member of
the German Olympic Committee

on the right of the shot
and you've got the head

of the Olympic organisation
on the left of the shot.

They're wearing their kind of
chains of office

and they are looking,
these other two men,

like a very old form
of European statesmen.

And then you've got in the middle,
you've got Hitler

in his paramilitary uniform.

And around him you've got a
selection of men in army uniforms

and you've also got men
in SS uniforms,

somewhat more sinisterly here.

This tells the story of the new
European order that is emerging.

And Hitler knows that the eyes
of the world are not going to be

on these grey-haired old men who are
members of the Olympic Committee

or the German Olympic Committee,
he knows that the eyes of the world

are on him.
He's in the middle, he's in charge.

The Olympics effectively
have become a Nazi games.


Just eight years earlier,

Hitler's fortunes
were very different.

The Nazis were just one
of many small political parties.

Control of Germany
was a distant dream.

There's an election in 1928

and Hitler's Nazi Party
gets 2.6% of the vote,

which is irrelevant figures, really.

This is someone who's way
on the fringes of politics

and is not really commanding
much attention at all.

But of course, the following year,

you have the Wall Street crash
in October of 1929,

which pulls the rug out
of the German economy.

And with that goes
that political stability

that had been gained
through the mid 1920s.

In July, 1930, the German
parliament - the Reichstag,

was dissolved and
an election called.

The Nazis swung into action.

Hitler gave 20 big speeches
running up to polling day.

By Hitler's side was the man
responsible for shaping his image.

His official photographer,
Heinrich Hoffmann.

This is one of many unseen,
newly-digitised images.

Another Hoffman, taken at Nuremburg,
of an election rally.

And what you get from the picture
is everyone is staring at him.

This is a Messiah type figure.

The mist in the room

adds a tension for me.

And you get this lone figure
in the middle,

presumably all the crowd
are on the other side,

he's isolated by this mist,
by this fog.

It must have been a damp day

and people breathing
probably caused this mist.

But it's very, very austere

and kind of scary.

In many ways, the people here
that we see in focus

are in the bad seats because
they can only see his back.

The big crowd is on the other side
but the camera doesn't pick that up.

His black suit stands out.

Everybody else seems
to be in light colours.

Maybe it was a spring day.

There's a guy here in shirt sleeves.
There's a sort of summer hat.

But he's in the sombre black suit,

which all adds to the theatre
of oratory.

And he's obviously saying something
very serious at the time

and also winning votes,
getting support.

What Hitler offered was
a way out of the depression.

He promised that he would turn
around Germany's economic fortunes

and also turn around political life
to make Germany great again.

The election result
was the biggest shock

in German parliamentary history.

The Nazis went from 12 seats to 107

and became the second largest party.

No-one, including Hitler,

had expected such success.

But he was not yet in power.

In 1932, Hitler ran
for Reich President

against 85-year-old
Paul von Hindenburg,

who had just completed
a seven-year term of office.

Now, Hindenburg is the anointed
icon of all Germans.

He's really more than a president,
he's a monarch.

He's their greatest general
of World War I.

He is the personification
of Germany

and how do you as an ex-corporal
stand against a Field Marshal?

But this time, the Nazis
had a new propaganda tool.

The aeroplane.

Despite his fear of flying,

it enabled Hitler
to give 20 major speeches

from the Baltic to Bavaria
in less than a week,

speaking to almost
a million people.

Of course, today, we look at this
black and white news reel footage

of Hitler in his aircraft and we may
think of it as being old-fashioned.

Forget all that. At the time,
in the early '30s,

a politician travelling around
a country in an aeroplane,

this is new, this is bold,

this is very radical,
this is very modern.

Hitler looks like the future.

Heinrich Hoffmann accompanied
the Fuhrer everywhere

and took photographs for newspapers
across Germany and the world.

He also provided a photograph
for a stark

and innovative election poster.

Hitler is looking at you

and he's asking you to have a
relationship with him, to trust him.

And there's lots of influences here.
Silent movies, of course.

He was a very big consumer of them.

The sort of powerful impact of the
white face on the black background.

One note, one message.

Here is the face of future Germany.

It's simple.
Dare I say it, trustworthy.

"This is what I am. Check me out.
I hide nothing."

Not looking at me
from below or above

but straight at you -
equal, eyeball to eyeball.

Hindenburg won the election.

Over 19 million Germans voted
for the old soldier.

Hitler came an impressive second.

13 million people
bought into the Hitler cult.

Hitler is about selling a fantasy.

Hitler is about selling a story
to the German people

and all he needs is for them
to buy it.

Whether it's realistic
doesn't matter.

What does Hitler want?

He wants power
and he'll say anything to get it.

In 1932, Germans went to the polls
five times

for presidential
or general elections.

Political divisions meant
that Germans had the choice

of 62 parties.

The Weimar Republic was in disarray.

As the leader of the largest
single party,

no-one could govern without Hitler.

Right-wing parties thought
they could use him

to defeat communists
and social democrats.

So what the establishment
politicians are doing in late 1932

and then early '33
is wanting to try and bring Hitler

and that sort of dead weight,
that mass of Nazi deputies

in the chamber, bring them on side
into some sort of conservative

coalition government
so that they can control parliament

and they can get their agenda

So they think they can use Hitler.

He knew that power
was within his grasp.

In January, 1933, Heinrich Hoffmann
met Hitler in a hotel in Berlin.

For a decade he had used Hoffmann
and his camera

to test out new suits,
new hats, new uniforms.

Now Hitler wanted to see how
he looked wearing something

appropriate for an establishment

We see Hitler looking
quite uncomfortable,

a little bit out of place.

I think the reason for this
is that here he is wearing

this very formal dress

complete with a top hat,

that would've been much more
the attire of the aristocracy

or the higher circles
in German society

and Hitler didn't come
from that background.

Hitler's a bit like a wolf
in sheep's clothing.

So here he looks respectable,
he's in formal dress,

he looks like perhaps
he could be trusted,

and yet nothing could be
further from the truth.

Soon after this picture was taken,

conservative politician
Franz von Papen

persuaded President Hindenburg
to make Hitler Chancellor,

with himself as Vice Chancellor.

To keep Hitler in check, the Nazis
would be outnumbered in the Cabinet,

with just two members.

Von Papen made a fatal error.

He said he would have Hitler
in the coalition government

and he would squeeze him
into the corner so tight

that the pips would squeak,

fundamentally underestimating how
canny an operator Adolf Hitler was.

Hitler was sworn in as the head
of the government, or Chancellor,

on the morning of
the 30th January, 1933.

Later that evening, he watched
from the Reich Chancellery

as hundreds of stormtroopers
marched past in celebration.

Nazi Propaganda Minister
Joseph Goebbels

described the day as a fairy tale.

But for Germany and the world,

it was the start of a nightmare.

On the 27th of February, 1933,

less than a month after Adolf Hitler
had been sworn in as Chancellor,

a young Dutch communist crept
into the German parliament,

the Reichstag, with four packets
of firelighters

and set it ablaze.

A disaster for German democracy,

An opportunity for Hitler.

Although Chancellor,
he was hamstrung

by being part of
a coalition government.

The fire was an opportunity for
the Party to change all that.

So they portray it as
an attempted coup

against their Nazi
coalition government.

The newspapers of the political left
are all banned overnight,

the Communist Party is outlawed,
so those politicians

of the Communist Party are sent
to the concentration camps.

Socialists are also put under
heavy restrictions at the time.

On the 21st of March,
Joseph Goebbels orchestrated

a special ceremony
showing Hitler as a statesman -

the man unifying the nation.

In the 1920s, Heinrich Hoffmann
had faked a picture

to make Hindenburg
and Hitler seem close.

He'd simply stuck a picture
of the President...

..onto a picture of Hitler.

Now Hoffmann had both men together
in his viewfinder.

No trickery was needed.

Two days later, the Reichstag
assembled at the Kroll Opera House -

their temporary home.

Intimidated by the SS outside,
the deputies passed an Enabling Act

that gave Hitler the right to make
laws without Reichstag approval

for the next four years.

They had voted
for their own abolition.

So already by the summer of 1933,

he effectively has dictatorial power
over Germany,

which is quite a remarkable
turnaround in less than six months.

The anti-Semitism at the heart of
the Nazi Party was now unleashed.

Assaults on Jewish businesses
and the beating-up of Jews

by the paramilitary stormtroopers,
the SA, became commonplace.

The moment a party takes over

a government which supports

anti-Semitic ideas,
these anti-Semitic ideas

became somehow legalised,

and therefore also more attractive.

You now can do things
without being ashamed of.

Before that, beating up Jews,
you know,

you would cross a borderline.

After 1933, no.

It's very difficult for me
to understand.

Actually, I can't understand it.

How can you beat up Jews
and sleep well at night?

Or, to take a more radical example,

how can you kill Jews
and sleep at night?

Photographer Heinrich Hoffmann,
himself an arch anti-Semite,

was not interested in capturing
images of SA violence

and thuggery.

This photograph was taken in
the cellar of the Brown House-

the Nazi HQ in Munich.

This is almost as kind of
Nazi as it gets

in terms of being surrounded
by his most loyal

and faithful comrades.

Some of them would have been
called the Alter Kampfer -

the old fighters, and I would
suggest that this man here

looks relatively old,
but a lot of them are quite young.

And a lot of these guys
may have joined the party

a little bit later, but they're all
wearing brown shirts.

So what we know is that they're all
in the Sturmabteilung, or the SA.

They look slightly uneasy

because, you know, Hitler is this
sort of God-like figure to them.

They're nervous.
Clearly they're nervous.

And they're also feeling honoured.

They look a bit stiff.
A little bit formal.

But they certainly are going to be
dead proud to be in this shot.

Look at that expression.
What does that remind you of?

That reminds me exactly
of that picture of him at school.

It's the same expression.

That friendless kid
in the back of the class

is now the ruler of Germany.

This is a man who's recently
become Chancellor

and there's a look in his eyes
that realises

the enormity of what he's achieved
and who he's done it for.

And he knows that all these men
in this room

are desperate for him to succeed.

It's quite a tableau.

Hitler wasted no time
in consolidating power.

His aim? To gain control of all
sections of German society.

So through 1933, '34 and into '35,
you have this process

that's known as Gleichschaltung,
or Coordination,

which is where any sort of rival
or even independent sources of power

within politics, within society,
are swiftly either removed,

outlawed, banned or Nazified.

So it would have effective oversight
over trade institutions,

sporting institutions, sports clubs.
It didn't matter what it was.

So you have this process by which
the tentacles of the Nazi state

spread into every aspect of life.

So this is the building
of the Nazi dictatorship.

The government department
responsible for shaping

public attitudes was the Ministry
of Enlightenment and Propaganda,

headed by Joseph Goebbels.

The mass rally was
a key propaganda weapon,

held at a purpose-built parade
ground in Nuremburg,

featuring music,

speeches and displays
of military might.

It starts with the build-up,

where stormtroopers
go down the aisle,

filling the air with eau de cologne,
spraying it.

And you have the music,
the orchestration

the marching along, the bearing
of standards, the singing,

but you also have
the special effects.

Hitler on his podium has
all these light work buttons

where he can create
all these lighting effects.

Hitler was always the star.

The focus of adulation
and the cameras.

Sieg Heil!

Film footage of the rallies help
explain Hitler's charismatic power.

The ranting Hitler is the only
Hitler which we know

but it's not actually what happened.

What you see is a process
of seduction.

He'd begin very softly and he'd
only gradually work up to the rant.

So it would be a brilliant
dramaturgic display

of gesture and vocalisation.

It would be an act,
a very self-conscious act,

which would climax
and the climax was the harangue.

It was this demented, mad,
eye-swirling, strange,

almost otherworldly
hysterical performance,

which can only be understood
as a climax.

Im ganzen deutschen Reich
ist es nicht anders!

But if you consume
the whole experience,

the whole speech,
it was very, very different

to if you just see
the hysterical high points.

It's very important to grasp that

if we actually look at why
and how Hitler was so effective.

Die einzige Macht und alleinige
Macht ist Deutschland!

What does psychology say
about the way big rallies

with flags and fireworks
and marches and speeches,

how do these affect
the way that we think?

The research shows that this makes
us feel attached to our country

but in a specific way - in the way
of being attached to it as an idea,

a big, beautiful glittering idea,

but not as a practical list
of things.

So you're not attached to your
country in that you want to

improve taxation or infrastructure
around roads or anything like that.

You're attached to your country
in that you love the flag

and you love the name
and you love the music

and you are the greatest country
on Earth,

and you're willing to defend
against corrupt people

and outsiders who make
your country less great.

That's what the rally does.

It takes your mind off
that miserable, practical stuff

that no-one likes to talk about
and just tells you how great you are

and that you should celebrate that
and fight for that

and die for that
if that's what's required.


Not every German
could attend a rally.

The cinema gave the Nazis
the ability to spread the image

and message of the Fuhrer
to a wider audience.

Movie-going was hugely popular.

By the end of the 1930s,

over 600 million cinema tickets
were sold every year.

This was an audience
the Nazis could exploit.

They understand how important
the cinema is

because the cinema has this ability
to engage people on tap emotionally.

And it's that emotional engagement
that they want,

cos they want people to become
excited by his presence.

They would send projection
facilities to schools and clubs.

And you would sit there
and you would watch the newsreels

or the educational films,

which were basically all about
ideological persuasion,

and can be a perfect German
Aryan citizen.

The 1934 Nuremburg Rally was filmed
by a young actor and director

named Leni Riefenstahl.

Hitler gave her a large budget,

a crew of over 170 and suggested
the title of the finished film -

Triumph of the Will.

Every shot was carefully planned.

You see Hitler arriving at
the Reichsparteitag,

at the party rally,
in an aeroplane from above,

coming through the sky,
coming down to Earth.

And this is all what you need to
know about a leader and a redeemer.

And that's brilliant from
a cinematographic point of view.

The low-angle shot, looking up.
We're sitting in the cinema,

we're looking up to Hitler
on the screen,

behind a lectern,
on some kind of pedestal.

That's reverence. This empowers us.

That gives us a strong sense of
the greatness of the Fuhrer.

But then we are also given his POV -
his point of view.

We can see the masses at his feet.

So we're almost empowered,
we're given a sense of what he sees

and we're put in his shoes,
as a movie audience.

The other great innovation, I think,
that she brings

is the moving camera.

So, we see different perspectives
of Hitler all the time.

It's never static.

The camera seems to be constantly
in motion.

And at the same time,
it's a controlled motion.

And soon enough, we realise that
the camera might be circling,

but it's circling around Hitler.
Hitler is anchoring this movement.

And this is important,
ideologically, because

National Socialism wants to
present itself as a young, youthful,

dynamic movement, but it doesn't
want to be anarchist either.

Movement without control -
that's anarchism.

Youthful, forward-looking,
redemptive, dynamic,

but all centred on
and around Hitler.


Triumph of the Will played
to packed houses across Germany.

It was just one of many
Nazi propaganda films,

many of them violently anti-Semitic,
that were popular in the 1930s.

Nazi propaganda is not turning
good people bad.

People had already,
were already close to bad ideas

before the Nazi propaganda.
Nazi propaganda fostered these ideas

and also gave them the legitimacy
to go after these ideas.

People didn't have to be forced
to knock down Jews

or to steal from Jews.

It's more about fostering,
giving ideas more ground.

But it's not about
changing people completely.

Joseph Goebbels believed propaganda
was not just spreading ideology -

it was about communication
and entertainment.

Radio was a perfect way
to access every home.

Germans were fed a selection
of music request programmes...

..and Hitler's speeches.

Radio at the time was still
a sort of coming technology,

to some extent,

and what the Nazi regime did
already in 1933

was to produce subsidised
radio sets.

This was what was known as
the Volksempfanger,

which is rather a cheap radio set.

"People's receiver" is
the translation of its title.

And by 1939, you have something
like 15 million radio sets

being produced amongst
the German population,

and you also have communal listening
encouraged in workplaces

and schools and so on.
So, this became a crucial weapon.

So, a really integral part of
that seduction of the German people

was carried out by radio.

This is a newly digitised photo from
Heinrich Hoffmann's archive.

This time, no sign of Hitler,

but you sense he's in the room.

It's in a local village
or local town,

everyone listening to the radio.

And you can see in the middle
everyone's in focus

because a light is coming in through
the doorway and the window.

They're all nice and sharp. And you
can just sense their attention.

And the crowd on the edges,
which are all out of focus,

cos lenses only have a few feet
of depth field,

and the people in the middle
are sharp.

The people on the edges
are all out of focus,

but that adds tension
to the picture.

And I feel from it, they're
listening to something so serious.

There's no smiles. And their lives
are about to change.

Hoffmann took this photo

with a revolutionary lightweight
35mm camera,

made by the German company Leica.

This beautiful camera, which has
been so important to photographers

down the years, was invented in 1924
by Ernst Leitz.

The name Leica comes from
Leitz - "Lei-" -

and then "-ca" for camera. Leica.

And it was an instant hit

and also promoted the use of colour
film with Kodak and Kodachrome.

But this little beauty,
it's tough to use,

cos you've got to remember
several things.

You have a focusing ring, which
you have to focus the person on.

You have to make sure you load
the film.

You had to focus,
you had to cock the film,

and then you took a picture
with that lovely silence.

And it's a perfect piece
of engineering.

And to have this one from way back
in the '30 in my hand is...

..a wonderful feeling.
It just feels so right.

And all these years, we haven't
improved the ergonomics.

The guy was a genius.

Ernst Leitz ran a large factory
in the German city of Wetzlar.

He was a compassionate employer,
prepared to fight for his workers.

He liked nothing better than
at 7.00 in the morning

to walk up and down the factory
and speak to all the employees -

you know, "How is your family?"
"You need to borrow any money?"

And he was that kind of an owner.

The Leica camera was born out
of that concern

for the welfare of his employees.

In 1924, when the German economy
was in ruins,

Leitz feared he would have to
make staff redundant.

He thought of the project as being a
way of keeping the workers engaged,

of keeping the company going.

And so 1924, he gave the decision
to produce the Leica,

which was a risk.

You know, there were other
35-millimetre cameras,

but they were not
commercially successful.

The camera was an instant success.

Many photographers of note
bought one,

as did thousands of
middle-class Germans.

Ernst Leitz's company flourished.

But dark clouds were gathering.

Discriminatory Nazi laws introduced
after Hitler became Chancellor

had had an instant impact on
the Jewish citizens of Wetzlar,

especially the Nuremburg Laws
of 1935.

Nuremberg Laws are very important
because that's the moment

when Jews were turned, "legally",
in second-class citizens.

They lose all their civil rights.

Jews in the future in Germany
could be legally kicked out

of very many professions.
They lost all their rights.

They were not citizens any more.

Parents are bringing their sons
to the factory and pleading,

"Will you help us?"

And Leitz gives them
long-term apprenticeships.

Leitz didn't stop there.

Seeing the increased danger
his Jewish employees were in,

he arranged for them to find jobs
in Britain and the United States,

even paying the travel costs.

Not only was it difficult
to leave Germany,

but countries overseas were opposed
to bringing in Jewish people.

It was very difficult
for Jewish people

to get into the United States.

And blue-chip American companies
were anti-Semitic.

So, to get a job with Kodak
was difficult,

but here was a German company
with an agency in New York

that was very happily employing
lots of young Jewish people.

Ernst Leitz helped over 40
Jewish employees and family members

start new lives outside Germany.

The Nazis knew exactly what
Leitz was doing.

They had spies in his factory.

But Leica was important
to the regime.

Ernst Leitz and his company
did have some leverage -

number one, a world-famous company,
a source of pride for Germany.

Number two, he was a great exporter

and the Nazis were starved
for foreign currency -

and especially in the later '30s,
when they were re-arming.

In a way, there's a kind of a dance
or a tight rope act

in the relationship between
the regime and Leitz.

The Nazis have to be pragmatic
at this point

because they need the output of the
factory, in terms of the armaments.

As far as the world was concerned,

Leica was a model
Third Reich company,

obeying all the Nazi rules.

In the advertisements
for the Leica camera,

we see, for example, beautiful
Aryan women frolicking at beaches

and all sorts of sports imagery.

Later on, we see things with more of
a military emphasis.

This is the public side,

which is very much in contradict
with the private side

of helping persecuted people.

Even during the war,
with the borders closed,

his dangerous work continued.

Leitz's efforts turn to helping
political opponents of the regime

and also employees and local towns,

people who get in trouble
with the Nazis for making,

for example, remarks or even jokes
about the Nazi leadership.

Leitz fought the regime
until his factory was liberated

by American troops in 1945.

It had been a dangerous game,
full of bitter irony.

Leitz himself is this
compassionate humanitarian,

who is helping all manner of
persecuted people

in all sorts of ways.

And yet his camera, the Leica,
is beloved by the Nazis

and is used by their chief
photographers, such as Hoffman,

to record anti-Jewish propaganda
and the glories of the Reich.


In Germany in the 1930s,

it was impossible to escape
the face of the Fuhrer.

It was part of everyday life.

Hitler's image was present in almost
all public buildings -

so if you went to an office,
to your town hall, local council,

in most school classrooms as well.

Hitler's image is present
in all print media.

It's depicted in most newspapers,

and newspapers at this time are
routinely featuring illustrations.

That might be Hitler
at public events,

but it might also be these sort of
features about, you know,

"Getting to know the Fuhrer
as a real man,

"a good, relatable German."

Thanks to the 1936 Berlin Olympics,

Hitler's face became known
around the world.

Nazi propaganda depicted him

as a benign ruler of
a revitalised nation.

People came back from Berlin and
said that Germany was a great place.

That was Hitler's biggest victory.

Almost all the photographs
of Hitler at the Games

were taken by his friend and court
photographer, Heinrich Hoffman.

One of his most famous pictures of
the 1930s was one of the smallest.

And it made Hitler very wealthy.

When Hitler becomes head of state,
like a lot of heads of state,

he appears on the definitive
postage stamp.

In some ways,
that's not that strange.

But what's interesting about the
fact is that Hitler actually makes

a vast amount of money by his
likeness being on postage stamps.

The portrait is taken by Hoffman

and it's licensed to
the post office,

and there is a royalty collected
by Hitler

on every stamp that was produced.

So, this stamp actually makes Hitler
a very wealthy man.

Hoffmann claimed he saw the German
Postmaster General hand Hitler

a 50 million Mark cheque, money made
from the proceeds of the stamps.

I think it tells you quite a lot
about the hucksterish, gangster-like

nature of the regime that Hitler,
like a classic tin-pot dictator,

is trying cream as much cash out of
his own people as quickly as he can.

It's the kind of quick buck morality
of a gangster.

For the majority of Germans,
Hitler was a trusted figure,

who held out the promise of
a better future.

This scrapbook, made by the mother
of a Berlin family,

shows how much Hitler and the Nazis
were part of their lives.

It starts with the birth
of her child in May 1935.

And it looks like a purely private
kind of documentation

of family life.

And then suddenly, we see completely
different themes emerging.

So, in this double spread here,

we see pictures, maps, flags
about the Olympic Games,

which were in Berlin in 1936.

We have all these incredibly kitsch
stickers about Christmas -

Father Christmas,
little angels and so on -

but then we also have
similarly kitsch stickers

that show members of the German
Wehrmacht and even the SA

presented as this kind of
quaint, colourful collage,

so there's clearly here a sense
that the regime,

and even its military forces,
can be pulled into this kind of

child-centred world of the idyllic
and the perfect German life.

In the family scrapbook are also
pictures of the Fuhrer,

emphasising his place
in German history.

So, here, we have a postcard
of Frederick the Great,

who was an 18th-century Prussian
king and great military leader,

directly underneath a picture of
Hitler watching the Olympic Games

and next to a postcard that shows
a picture of Hitler

opening one of the first
German motorways.

He's a personification of what
National Socialism is about

and the fun, new times
it is promising

to politically aligned families
like the one who made this album.

Hitler's image was also used to sell
a leisure organisation

set up in 1933 called
Kraft durch Freude -

or "Strength Through Joy".

KdF organised Germans' free time

strictly in line
with Nazi principles.

By the late 1930s, it had become the
world's largest tourist operator.

But alongside holidays, there were
a range of other activities,

sporting clubs and so on.

So, the emphasis is very much
as the motto indicates -

that joy, enjoying yourself
is a positive and valuable activity.

It contributes to
your inner strength

and makes you the ideal
Nazi citizen.

For all their
anti-capitalist rhetoric,

the Nazi learned a lot of their
lessons about political propaganda

from the techniques of
commercial advertising.

So, the idea that through
a product or a leisure opportunity,

we are not just buying a moment
of happiness or enjoyment,

but we're also buying a sort of
fantasy of how we want to be,

the fun-loving, confident person
that we fantasise about.

So, this is very much what
Nazi propaganda picks up on,

this idea of propaganda
as a promise of a future

and a vision of a better self.

One of the most popular
selling points

of the Strength Through Joy movement

was the promise of a vehicle
for all, the "People's Car" -

or Volkswagen.

The Fuhrer, a long-standing
car enthusiast who couldn't drive,

was used to promote it.

So, the brochures that advertised
the People's Cars

always started with a kind of
foreword by Hitler.

And it showed Hitler with
the prototype of the car,

but it was part of a product range
of the Fuhrer being seen

as the provider of the goodies
for the nation.

Germans were encouraged
to save money to buy the car.

Even that scheme had
an ideological motive.

In order to get one of these cars,
Germans had to invest quite heavily

into a savings or sort of
coupon scheme.

The idea is that saving
is authentically German,

a virtuous, solid activity, as
opposed to buying things on credit,

which is a sign of
international finance, capitalism,

Jewish banks and all that.

Through rituals like these,
the desirable practice,

like saving towards
an anticipated joyous future,

were embedded into everyday life.

In April 1938, motor engineer
Ferdinand Porsche

gave Hitler a birthday present
of a model of a People's Car,

later nicknamed the Beetle.

This picture is quite fun
in some ways,

cos you've got Hitler chortling over
a Beetle with Ferdinand Porsche,

and they are looking the fact that
the engine's in the back.

It's one of the first things that
everybody notes about the Beetle.

I think when you look at
this picture of Porsche,

it does remind you of the fact that
Hitler and his relationship

with industrialists was so important
to him.

We always think about
Hitler's mass appeal.

You know, we think of those crowds
and those rallies,

but actually part of Hitler's
path to power

and so much of his retention
of power is related to the fact

that he actually groomed
these industrialists,

he got them on side.

But of course, if you sort of
step back from that picture,

from the kind of jollity,

actually, the story of the birth of
the Beetle is a classic story

of kind of Nazi
overreaching ambition

and actual deep incompetence.

Only 600 of the People's Cars
were ever finished.

And despite its populist promise,
most went to the Nazi leadership.

In 1942, the British used
this photograph

in hundreds of propaganda leaflets
which they dropped over German lines

in North Africa.

Below it, mocking Hitler's slogan
"Strength Through Joy",

was a photograph of dead German
soldiers next to the Kubelwagen,

the military version
of Porsche's car.

Production of the Volkswagen stopped
in 1939, as Germany geared for war.

The Nazis had been expanding
the air force,

army and navy since the mid-1930s.

Rearmament was responsible
for the bulk

of the nation's economic growth.

On February the 14th, 1939,

the pride of the German fleet,
the battleship Bismarck,

was ready to be launched.

Hitler travelled to Hamburg
for the occasion.

Even before a shot has been fired
in the Second World War,

he's very much at the top
of his power.

You can see the adulation
on these chaps' faces.

It's like they're meeting
a pop star.

These are Hitler's generation
of men.

These are also Hitler's kind of
social peers in many ways.

They come from a similar lower
middle class,

maybe more artisanal background,

so Hitler identifies with these
people and they identify with him.

For them, Hitler is their saviour.
They owe him their jobs.

Look how neatly this man's jacket
is pressed.

Look at that.
That is not common for the time,

to have your workman's jacket
neatly pressed and ironed.

You better believe that
his wife knew that morning

he was going to meet his Fuhrer,

and he was going to look
his darned best.

And you can see in the background
here, you can just see Goering,

the familiar, sort of somewhat
rotund features of Goering.

These men feel that they've turned
Germany around,

and these are the men for whom
they've done that.

And these men
are genuinely grateful.

Just a few months later,
Germany would be at war.

The loyalty of these men, encouraged
by images of a benign Fuhrer

and nurtured by years of propaganda,
would be severely tested.

Hitler is lucky. He is also clever.

But most of all,
I think he's a gambler.

But as any gambler will tell you,
you can't carry on taking big risks

and expect to get away
with it forever.