Hitler: The Lost Tapes of the Third Reich (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 3 - The Third Reich - full transcript

Hitler consolidates his power after becoming chancellor, turning Germany into a dictatorship. As the Führer, he quickly transform the country and claims a leading role on the international stage before pivoting towards expanding t...

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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, 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.

Throughout his political career,

Adolf Hitler presented himself as
"a good German".

He claimed that unlike two-faced
establishment politicians,

what you saw was what you got.

That was far from the truth.

It's very fashionable
for politicians today

to somehow use parts of their
private life and their personality

to sort of sell themselves
on the public/ political stage.

For Hitler, of course,
this is a problematic card to play

because his private life
is anything but normal.

That private life revolved around
two great secret loves,

two young women, whose lives
would end in tragedy.

In Munich, in the late 1920s,

Adolf Hitler's official
photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann,

took a series of pictures
of a teenager named Geli Raubal.

She was very outgoing, talkative.

She loved her life.

She wanted to be a musician,
a singer.

Geli was Adolf Hitler's niece,

the daughter of his half-sister,

Geli's father had died
when she was young,

so Hitler was made
her legal guardian.

In 1927, he suggested Geli
move out of her mother's house

and come to Munich to study.

Two years later, Geli moved into
his large apartment

on Prinzregentenplatz,
in the city centre.

She called him Uncle Alf.

She was only 19 years old,

and he was already 38,

an old bachelor.

He took her everywhere -

to party meetings,
to the restaurant, to the opera.

Hoffman observes that,
under Geli's influence,

Hitler's social life
becomes much more active.

You know,
they're like a normal couple.

And Hoffman also notes that,
actually, Hitler delighted

in taking her for a drive,

going for picnics
in beauty spots in the woods.

So, what you've got here is,
on one level,

what seems like a perfectly
sweet relationship.

By 1929, the year
Geli moved into his apartment,

Hitler had been leader of
the Nazi Party for eight years.

He kept his private life
strictly private.

The outside world
knew very little of Geli.

They lived intimately
in his apartment.

For a long time,

I thought that they had
no sexual relationship at all,

that this must have been a myth,
a legend.

But then I came across
a letter by Ilse Hess,

a very close confidante of Hitler.

And she stated, in the 1960s,

that she "experienced it all,"
she said,

and that obviously Hitler

had a sexual relationship
with Geli Raubal.

She also appears to have had
an affair with Hitler's chauffeur,

Emil Maurice, which, presumably,

would've put Hitler's nose
out of joint on numerous levels.

But there's certainly conflict
between the two.

She was, for him personally,
a weakest link, I would say,

because he couldn't control her.

He couldn't control
what she would say to others,

he couldn't control this niece.

And there was a constant conflict.

They were fighting a lot,
and she felt imprisoned with him.

On the 18th September 1931,

Geli shot herself
in her room at Prinzregentenplatz.

She bled to death.

For Hitler, by now the leader
of the second largest party

in the German parliament,

Geli's suicide had the potential
to wreck his career.

The left wing press,
particularly, comes out

with all sorts of scurrilous rumours
that they're having an affair,

that she was pregnant
with his child,

which is unsubstantiated,

but it doesn't stop them
from running with the story.

So, this is a profound political
embarrassment for Hitler,

and it's in 1931,
which is a time when he is really

the coming man of German politics,

so this is a profoundly
dangerous moment for Hitler.

The Nazi Party
claimed Geli's death was an accident

whilst playing
with her uncle's revolver.

The police launched
an investigation.

Hitler was in Nuremburg
at the time Geli died.

The police ruled out foul play,
so the scandal passed.

Hitler turned Geli's room in Munich
into a shrine.

On the anniversary of her death,

he would place flowers in front of
a bust he'd commissioned.

Heinrich Hoffmann said later
that had Hitler married Geli,

it would have changed
the course of history.

Hoffman was very suspicious
that had Hitler entered into

a kind of arena of domestic bliss,

he might have been restrained
by Geli,

and actually had he been
restrained by, you know,

a wife and children and all the
kind of normal family things,

that, actually, Hitler would've been
far less adventurous

as a political figure. He wouldn't
have basically gone to war so much.

And as Hoffman actually observes,
you know, it was these international

adventures, as he calls them,
that brought him to his ruin.

With Geli's death, Hitler and his
image-makers had learned a lesson.

There has to be a cuddly Hitler,

a soft Hitler, because of the
questions that have been asked

around the death of this young girl.

A safe, trustworthy
potential leader.

A version of the informal,
private Hitler

was deliberately constructed
in photo books,

with such titles as
Youth Around Hitler

and The Hitler Nobody Knows.

The vast majority of the photographs
were taken by Heinrich Hoffmann.

Empty albums could be bought
for one Reichsmark.

They were then filled with
photographs that came free

with cigarette packets,
or bought at corner stores.

So, this is a publication from 1935.

A cigarette cards album
entitled Adolf Hitler.

The images in here -
most of them photographs -

were selected by Heinrich Hoffman.

This particular album
belonged to my father,

Karl-Heinz Ruehl,
who was born in 1927,

who put it together
as a Hitler Youth in 1935.

And you can see just how carefully

my father then collected
and glued in these pictures.

For something geared primarily
towards children and youths,

the images are very powerful.

They were traded in schools, much
like football cards would be today.

In the 1930s, about a billion
of such cards

would have been in circulation
in Germany,

and about a million of these albums.

This was clearly a way in which

the Nazis were trying to spread,
to disseminate

a particular image of Hitler.

It's fair to say that my father, who
came from a petit bourgeois family,

like most of his generation,
he fell for the Nazis.

Thankfully, after '45, realised that
he had put his faith in a seducer,

in a destroyer,
in a racist dictator.

The Fuhrer was depicted
as a single man...

..alone, dedicated only
to his people.

I think Hitler found it very
important to be publicly perceived

as a single man
because that gave him

a tremendous sense of attraction
for German women.

And that's documentarily proved.

There are so many love letters
from ordinary German women

to Hitler through this period.

This is almost certainly
a result, in part,

of the way he had been staged,

the image of this bachelor
who was all-powerful.

It made him kind of the most desired
bachelor of Germany, if you will.

Face-to-face encounters with Hitler
often had a powerful effect.

One of the key components
of Hitler's physical make-up

and his image were his eyes.

People would often
refer to his eyes.

And I think that, you know,
on a black and white picture,

you don't see them, but on a colour
picture you do see them,

and people who met Hitler were,
instantly, you know, kind of

entranced or hypnotised by his gaze,

and his gaze had a lot to do with
the colour of his eyes.

One of the few colour portraits
of Hitler was taken by

a photographer named Walter Frentz.

He worked with director
Leni Riefenstahl

on Nazi propaganda films such as
Triumph Of The Will.

For his studio work,
Frentz sometimes used

a camera loved by
the advertising industry.

This is taken with a very,
very interesting camera,

a Bermpohl camera,

which, basically, is
a big wooden camera on a stand.

And it has three colour plates
within the mahogany camera -

red, blue, and green.

Very complicated. Someone like me,
who's not a great technician,

it would've frightened the life
out of me to use this camera.

But here you've got
three different entries of light

onto three different plates,
for want of a better word,

red, blue, and green,

and then go off to a lab
to be put back together again.

At the time, it was experimental.

It's how they thought
colour would be.

What happens now within film,
say Kodachrome,

which we've all grown up with,
in cameras, it's all in the film,

but these guys had to put it
together in the camera

and then reconstruct it.

Most portraits I've seen,
head on, he's in control.

This one, a little bit more

because he's not looking
at the camera,

but it's more the quality
of the colour.

One of the really good quality
colour pictures of him.

This now looks like
a contemporary portrait.

I'd have been pleased
with this of somebody last week.

Women were drawn to Hitler.

And despite the trauma of
the death of his niece Geli,

Hitler still wanted female company.

But any relationship
would have to be a secret one.

In a way, what we're seeing here
is something that runs through

Hitler's entire life,
which is the kind of,

I think, need for him
for female companionship.

Maybe not for sexual relationship,
or not necessarily even

a romantic one,
but for female companionship.

About six months after Geli's death,
Hitler turned to a young

lab assistant who worked at Heinrich
Hoffmann's studio in Munich,

who he'd first met
in October 1929.

20-year-old Eva Braun.

Hitler and Eva Braun's relationship
began in 1932.

Only a few of his inner circle
knew their secret.

Eva's official position was
private secretary.

The couple was only ever
publicly pictured together once -

a photograph Hoffmann took
at the 1936 Winter Olympics.

Eva was in the row
behind the Fuhrer.

She's not the First Lady
of Germany at all,

so she's kept very much
in the background.

So he made political capital out of
presenting himself as a single man,

but at the same time,
in his private life,

he had Eva Braun at his right arm.

And he wanted that sort of
element of domesticity,

to some extent, that she provided.

Hitler's choice of Eva
exposed the hypocrisy

at the heart of the Nazi leadership.

The image of the ideal
Nazi woman was

no alcohol, no cigarettes,
no make-up, no French perfume.

And Eva Braun did all this.
She didn't smoke,

but she loved make-up.
She had expensive clothes,

she had parties,
so she lived a privileged life,

spoiled by Hitler.

She got everything she wanted.

Eva was a passionate photographer.

She took hundreds of pictures of
friends, family, and her boyfriend.

Some even showed
the Fuhrer wearing glasses,

which the German people never saw.

Hitler doesn't want any idea
of weakness

to leak into his corporal image.

And so Hitler
curates his photographs

and he chooses them.
And he's absolutely ruthless

about what he won't allow
in the public domain.

No sign of weakness allowed.

Some of Eva's less private
photographs were bought by her boss,

Heinrich Hoffmann,
to be used by newspapers.

Hitler made sure Eva was given
the latest cameras.

She's using the best technology
of the time

because she's kind of got access
to the best technology

cos her boyfriend is running
the country

and her boss is his photographer.

So, the technology that she uses
is absolutely at the forefront

of the technological developments.

Photographs showing Eva Braun using
a 16mm cine camera survived the war.

But, at that time, there was no
trace of her finished home movies.

There could be a treasure trove
of images of Hitler.

In 1972, a film-maker named
Lutz Becker

discovered that the films had been
found in the last months of the war

by American troops, and handed over
to the US National Archives.

The trail led him to a vault
of uncatalogued 16mm film

in a hanger outside Washington, DC.

He starts searching through it and
it's like something out of a movie,

he finds this kind of heap
of rusting, discarded,

old film canisters.

Some of these canisters have got
German labels on them.

He opens up the first can,

takes out a few frames
and he holds them up to the light.

And who does he see?
None other than Hitler.

These are Eva Braun's home movies,
and Becker has found them

and he's rescued them from obscurity

after decades
sitting in this hanger.

The films revealed Hitler's private
world for the first time.

Lutz Becker was part of a team
making a documentary

called Swastika,
explaining Hitler's rise to power.

Eva Braun's home movies
were included in the finished film,

together with rare
Nazi propaganda footage.

The documentary premiered
at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.

One member of the film's team

was future Oscar-winning producer
David Puttnam.

I thought we were going to have
a press conference after this,

and there's going to be people
who are going to be offended,

or people will say,
"Why did you do that?"

And we basically
had our explanation.

What we're trying to suggest
is that societies can be

wildly misled if you put your faith
and your trust in the wrong people.

Some of the audience
at the screening hated seeing

a side of Adolf Hitler
they'd never seen before.

The reaction occurred at a moment,

I think this is very,
very, very significant.

It occurred at the moment
when Hitler is shaking hands

with a group of women.

And one little girl starts crying,
and Hitler pats her cheek

and then holds her head.
And at that moment,

someone in the audience

Who knows? It could have been
someone whose life had been wrecked,

maybe had been a member of the
Resistance. So, who knows?

Something snapped and, weirdly,

the purpose of the film
was to try to say,

"Do you realise that Hitler
sold himself as

"an empathetic, sympathetic,
you know, good guy?"

You've just fallen absolutely
straight in into it, in that

you've missed the point.
The point is that that audience,

or for that moment in Germany,
watching that moment,

were absolutely taken in.

To me, to this day, it's an amazing
irony that instead of leaning

forward and saying, "How clever,"
people actually couldn't bear it.

Now, by this time, cushions
have been slung at the screen.

I should think two thirds
of the audience walked out.

The response was a total
misunderstanding of what we were

trying to achieve, cos God knows,
if you look at the rest of the film,

you can't, at the end of the film,
think, "Oh, Hitler was a good thing
for Germany.

"That was a...
that was a great idea." I mean,

at the end of the film, you're
looking at a nation destroyed,

absolutely destroyed, but they
couldn't wait to get to that point.

Future screenings of
the documentary became impossible.

Our distributors pulled out.
That's what happened.

We suddenly had a film
that no-one wanted to distribute,

they didn't want riots
in their cinemas.

And then in France, you had this
anti-fascist group actually stealing

a print of the film
and they kind of unwound the reels

and they wrapped them round this
monument to the victims of Nazism.

On another occasion, a bomb
was actually found in a cinema

where Swastika
was going to be shown,

but it failed to go off.
So it attracted, let's say,

a lot of negative attention.

Eva Braun's home movies shocked
audiences in the 1970s

because they showed Hitler
displaying affection.

They also revealed he had
a close inner circle of friends.

The area around Hitler
was full of people,

full of friends,
men and women who really liked him,

who were convinced of his ideas,
who supported him,

who accompanied him.
But the notion that this man

was a loner was very attractive
to the German people after 1945.

With this kind of demonising Hitler,

they could easily distance
themselves from Hitler,

from the Nazi state and the crimes
that were committed by the Nazis.

These home movies challenge our very
idea of who the Fuhrer really was.

You have to view Hitler
as an insecure climber,

as an insecure person
who needed others.

He needed a circle of people
who confirmed his actions,

who confirmed him as a leader.
This was very important for Hitler.

The role of the Fuhrer
was just a role.

There is a huge difference between
the Fuhrer on the stage

and the person Hitler, in private.

Eva Braun's silent home movies

were shot mostly
in the mid-1930s at the Berghof,

Hitler's mountain retreat at the
Obersalzberg in the Bavarian Alps.

He originally bought it
with royalties

from his sales of Mein Kampf
in the late 1920s.

It was initially very small, it was
one of numerous Alpine residences

up there on the Obersalzberg. And
then it was subsequently enlarged,

to the extent that by the late
1930s, it's a huge complex.

It has its own sort of
military installation behind it.

It became very much a sort of
a second power base, really,

after Berlin from the mid-1930s

Hitler preferred to govern
from the Berghof

and meet foreign dignitaries there,

such as British Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain

and the Duke of Windsor,

before his abdication,
King Edward VIII.

The Duchess said later, she couldn't
take her eyes off Hitler

and admired his "great inner force".

Important foreign guests
never met Eva Braun.

She wasn't included
in official photographs.

But behind the scenes, she was
a key figure in Hitler's household.

She was the princess there.

She decided who got an invitation
to private dinners.

They had to tolerate her

because no-one could dare
to challenge her position.

She became more and more important
with the years,

she was kind of the centre of this
inner circle at the Obersalzberg.

Life for Hitler and his entourage
at the Berghof in the late 1930s

had a regular schedule.

It was dictated
by the Fuhrer's daily routine.

Hitler led always
a Bohemian lifestyle.

He was not punctual.

So, he was not a constant
hard worker in an office.

Hitler slept late, sometimes
not getting up until noon.

This meant that any guests
who were there weren't allowed

to have baths in the morning,

should the water in the pipes
disturb him.

He took a breakfast of two cups
of warm milk, ten biscuits

and half a bar of chocolate, before
going into his first meetings

in the Great Hall with his advisers
and with his collaborators.

Photographer Walter Frentz

took many pictures of Hitler
during the Second World War...

..including at the Berghof.

Here, we can see a sense of the
scale of the size of the room.

Also, the size of those
big picture windows

that gave a very scenic view
of the Bavarian Alps outside.

Actually, in the summer of 1940,
at quite a high point,

not only in his domestic policy,
but also his foreign policy.

So, he's actually looking
quite relaxed,

addressing four of his inner circle,

who are standing looking attentively
at what he's telling them.

Many of Hitler's guests
disliked his late routine.

It was a lot of waiting there
and talking,

at the Obersalzberg.
And you see this

on Eva Braun's pictures,

the circle sitting there
and talking to each other.

Lunch would be quite a simple meal,

particularly because Hitler was
a vegetarian himself,

so he often just had
a plate of vegetables.

And he took the opportunity
to talk about

the benefits of a vegetarian diet
to those around him.

After lunch,
Hitler would go for a walk.

In the early years at the Berghof,

he would greet the crowds
who flocked to the Obersalzberg,

encouraged by the cult
of the Fuhrer.

Almost in an act of pilgrimage, they
would line up outside the fences

at the edge of
the Obersalzberg estate

and hope that Hitler would come down
to sort of greet them

and say a few words
and pat their children and so on.

In the evening, Hitler and his inner
circle watched German films

and films from abroad,
many unreleased.

Hitler loved cartoons
and Hollywood adventure films.

He'd make running comments,

sometimes walking out
if he didn't like the story.

Hitler had his own suite of rooms
at the Berghof.

Eva Braun had exclusive access.

What was special
with Eva Braun's room

on the Obersalzberg
was the connecting door

to Hitler's rooms, so they could
see each other secretly.

There is no proof of what kind of
relationship they really had,

if this really was
a sexual relationship,

because their relationship
was, I would say, hidden,

and they could do
whatever they wanted

secretly on the Obersalzberg.

Hitler's sexuality is another part

of Hitler's private world that
that has long been discussed

and fought over by historians,
and indeed even psychoanalysts.

I think that he certainly had
problems forming relationships.

And I think it's likely to say he
had problems with sexual intimacy.

In 2010, an old medical report
from the 1920s surfaced

that offered a vital clue
to Hitler's sex life.

After being found guilty of treason
following an attempted coup

known as the Beer Hall Putsch,
in Munich in 1923,

Hitler was examined by a doctor
at Landsberg Prison.

The medical report said that
Hitler had a birth defect,

an undescended right testicle.

This may have affected
Hitler's attitude to sex.

The point here is not just

whether or not he could physically
have that kind of relationship,

but also how he thought
about himself

and what he would have seen
as his imperfections.

That is also borne out
by the fact that

Hitler never really wanted
to undress,

not even kind of
in front of his physician,

or in private. Even with Eva Braun,
there are all these images

where Eva Braun is wearing
a bathing suit,

but Hitler is still in a suit.

It's perfectly plausible
to argue that he thought

of himself
that he wasn't quite normal.


News about Hitler's
secret medical condition

somehow made it to Britain.
It inspired a bawdy song

about Hitler having "just one ball",

which was first sung
by British soldiers in 1939.


One possibility is
it's absolutely coincidental

that whoever created the song

thought that he was
just making things up.

But it is equally plausible,
and maybe even more likely,

that British intelligence
had learned from someone close

to the Nazi leadership that
Hitler only had one testicle.

This would not have been
a widely known medical fact,

but it certainly would have been
in his prison file.

That file was, in fact,

seen by people who later shared
information with intelligence.

It seems that the song
is part of information warfare,

where British propaganda

deliberately leaked confidential
information that they had received

through intelligence.


In 1936, 47-year-old Hitler

became increasingly obsessed
with his health.

He started to have
frequent stomach cramps

and developed eczema on both legs.

His official photographer,
Heinrich Hoffmann,

introduced Hitler to his own doctor,
Theodor Morell.

Dr Theodor Morell
is this both fascinating

and repugnant figure.
He's often forgotten today,

but, actually, he's at the heart
of the whole kind of

Third Reich soap opera, if you like.

He was this sort of
corpulent, sweaty,

physically really unprepossessing

who also smelt really
badly of body odour.

Eventually, he ends up
striking gold by actually having

a man he would always call
"Patient A"

as one of his patients. And,
of course, Patient A was none other

than Adolf Hitler.

As Hitler avoided
medical examinations,

he liked Morell's preferred healing
methods of pills and injections.

You name it, Dr Morell
prescribed it to Hitler.

You know, he had his own sort of
almost proprietary vitamin drugs

that he would give Hitler, which
almost certainly did no good at all.

He gave him experimental forms
of penicillin,

he gave him, effectively,
what we'd today call speed.

He would prescribe all sorts of
drugs for all sorts of ailments,

that either Hitler may have had,
or Hitler may not have had...

..and created new dependencies
that you then needed other drugs

to deal with the effects
of the drugs you prescribed.

Even in official photos,
Hitler looked increasingly frail.

So, what you're ending up
by the mid-1940s,

there's no other word -
Hitler, under Morell's care,

became a junkie.

Eva Braun's home movies
offer an insight

into Adolf Hitler's private world
and the people he saw as friends.

What we see in these private films
is people having fun.

They're having
the time of their life.

And we would not waste one
single second to watch these films

if it was not about those people
we see in there.

We see just normal people,
making normal things,

and it shows us that we are not
talking about monsters,

even if what they were doing
is monstrous.

But these were very well-educated
people who know how to dress,

know how to eat cake,

how to make coffee
and enjoy their life.

At the same times,
they were going after Jews.

And this makes it so frightening.

Many of Hitler's associates
who Eva Braun filmed relaxing

at the Berghof were responsible
for unspeakable crimes.

Heinrich Himmler is the individual
most closely

associated with the Nazi Holocaust.

He was the leader of the SS,
the Schutzstaffel.

The SS were responsible

for running the labour
and extermination camps.

Himmler also oversaw the creation

of the so-called Einsatzgruppen,
the mobile death squads,

who were responsible
for about a third of the murders

that constituted the Holocaust, so
this operated well beyond the camp.

In these two roles,
Himmler essentially oversees

the murder of over
six million people.

Martin Bormann coordinated
the building of the Berghof

and worked as Hitler's
private secretary.

Now, that doesn't sound
very important,

but it is crucial in a regime

where there's so many
competing voices,

so access to the Fuhrer
has huge influences on policy,

who gets to make policy,
so Bormann's channelling

who got to speak to Hitler
and who didn't

crucially shaped policy
in the Third Reich.

Hitler relied on him
because Bormann was a hard worker.

And when Hitler said something,

"Oh, I would like to have
this and that,"

Bormann was the one
who wrote it down.

He made it an order
of the Fuhrer.

So Bormann became very powerful.

Heydrich was the chief
of the Reich Security Main Office

so, basically, overseeing policing
and security operations

in Nazi Germany, that included his
directing the infamous Gestapo.

Heydrich also chaired the
Wannsee Conference in 1942,

where the so-called Final Solution
was decided upon.

A number of plans had been
discussed that was about

the deportation and the removal
of the Jewish populations.

And, really, it's at
the Wannsee Conference

where the decision is made
that only the mass murder

of every single Jew Nazi Germany
can bring under its control

is the "solution" to that problem.

Karl Brandt worked alongside
Theodor Morell

as Hitler's personal doctor.

Fearing serious injury
after an assassination attempt,

Hitler took Brandt with him on every
journey, at home and abroad.

Brandt was the kind of man
Hitler liked.

He looked like the perfect Nazi.

With the beginning of the war,

Brandt, more and more,
became a special envoy for Hitler.

And when Hitler ordered
the killing of disabled

and sick people,
adults and children,

and Brandt himself was the one
who did the first lethal injection.

Of all Hitler's inner circle,

the closest to the Fuhrer
was Nazi architect Albert Speer.

After the war,
he claimed to be a technocrat,

not to have believed in anything,

and not to have known anything.

But throughout his career

he was massively involved
in the persecution of the Jews.

He started as an architect.

He also was in charge
of building the Reich Chancellery.

He also helped to stage
the party rallies.

He also was involved
in building the Olympiastadion.

Hitler perceived himself
as an architect.

So, Speer was kind of his alter ego.

He saw in Speer himself,

and these two men were very close
and, at the Berghof,

he spent hours, Hitler with Speer,

looking at models,
talking about architecture.

He had huge plans, both at Berlin,
which he wanted to rechristen

Germania, he had huge plans for his
hometown of Linz. And he would dream

and he would envisage
what they would look like.

Film producer David Puttnam met
Albert Speer in the early 1970s.

He said that when he was
designing Germania, the new Berlin,

it was a vast model they created

in the basement of the Chancellery.
And he said, "I used to sleep there.

"I had a camp bed there." He said,
"I woke up and there was

"someone in the room." He said,
"I could see a flashlight."

It was Hitler in his dressing gown.

And he was leaning down
with a torch, looking down streets,

this street, and then that street.

Speer took the opportunity
to tell Hitler

about all the equipment
and materials he needed

to be able to finish
the new Berlin.

Hitler said to Speer,
"You don't get it." He said, "Look."

"Look," he said. "That's just about
cement and building.

"This is the dream."

He said, "This is good enough
for me." And he said,

"What I realised was that, in a
sense, he was off with the fairies.

"He wasn't interested in the issues
of how to build a new city.

"It was how to plan a new city,
is what interested him."

Architecture was the closest
Hitler came to a hobby.

Thanks to the photographs
of Heinrich Hoffmann,

as far as the world was concerned,

the Fuhrer spent his free time
getting close to nature.

In 1933, the year
Hitler became Chancellor,

he was Time Magazine's
Man Of The Year.

The cover reflects Hitler's love
of the outdoors.

It's not a very good painting,
to be honest,

but it's certainly sort of depicting
a kind of friendliness about him.

This is meant to be the picture of
a nice man at rest in his garden.

And, look, there's a faithful dog
in the background.

Everything about this image
is radiating a kind of simplicity,

a kind of homeliness, a kind of
decency, despite the uniform.

He's on what looks like
some sort of nice garden chair.

What message is that sending out?

It's, "You're a regular guy, you
know, at the weekend, relaxing."

So, it's a weird blend of the
dictatorial and the very homely.

Hitler's choice
of a mountain retreat,

and the length of time
he spent there,

shows that his public love
for nature was genuine.

That passion had
a political message.

Much of Nazi ideology was not new.

It was a kind of perversion

and extreme radicalisation

of many things that were

already there in German culture.

And part of this cultural canon,

if you like,
is the supposed German ability

to immerse oneself in nature and
draw a kind of spiritual strength

from communing with nature.

So, we see this in Hitler's
performances for the camera,

but this is also something
that's taken up by millions

of Germans who are, in this period,

running around
with their own cameras,

making their own photo albums,
all the way through the Third Reich,

millions of albums that depict
the Sunday outing, the holiday,

and always very closely modelled
on what Hitler's doing.

It was that same ability
to commune with nature.

The Holocaust museum in Washington
has in their collection

a series of photographs
taken by Karl Hoecker,

second in command at the
Auschwitz extermination camp

in occupied Poland.

I mean, they're astounding

because we don't have that many

photographs taken at Auschwitz.

The album includes a day trip
on July 22nd 1944,

to the Solahutte,

a forest resort in the heart of
nature for Auschwitz guards,

to reward them for their
so-called hard work.

It was built in the style
of a Black Forest chalet,

and this, in itself,
is really significant.

It conjures up an image
of the ideal, typical German,

forested landscape
with its characteristic,

vernacular architecture,

that kind of prefigure
the ideal world

that the Nazis were trying to build
in the East.

Karl Hoecker took pictures
of a group of SS female auxiliaries,

who worked as
communication specialists.

These woman believed
that as "good Nazis"

they were entitled to enjoy nature.
They were merely copying the Fuhrer.

So, we see SS staff from
the Auschwitz camp system

relaxing on their time off,

sometimes joined by family members
in deck chairs,

enjoying the sunshine, performing,
having a good time.

And one of the spectacles
that's put on

is a blueberry eating competition.

So, blueberries are picked in
the forest around the Solahutte,

and then everybody's sitting
on the terrace

and they're having a competition
about who can finish

the bowl of blueberries first.

One of the women
is pretending to cry

with her bowl turned upside down.

And she's crying because she's got
no more blueberries left,

which, of course,
makes it even more heinous,

that it's this sort of
playacting and performing.

You know, blueberries
were unimaginable

to the people who were imprisoned
and being put into gas chambers.

The eerie subtext of all of this is,
this is 1944,

when the extermination camp

is running at maximum capacity.
Much of the area around Auschwitz

is filled with a thin coating
of white dust,

which comes out of the crematoria,
the human remains,

they're staging their blueberry
eating competitions

in the middle of that.

The smell, also, must have been
quite unbearable.

It's that ostentatious, aggressive,
fun in spite of it all,

because of it all,
because of the violence.

This is not an innocent retreat.

This is literally in the shadow

of the greatest genocide
of human history.

In January 1945,

only six months after these
Auschwitz photographs were taken,

the camp was liberated.

Over one million men, women and
children had died in Auschwitz.

In April, Hitler's mountain retreat,
the Berghof,

was destroyed by the Allies.

The terraces where Eva Braun filmed
were wrecked.

The Great Hall
became a popular location

for American troops
to take souvenir photos.

In the previous six years,

a different side of Adolf Hitler
had been shown to the world...

..the fanatical warlord.

He himself had gone through
this baptism of fire

during the First World War.

And he saw it as something
that had strengthened him,

that had given him
his mission in life.

And I think he saw the same thing
for the German people.

War was something that would
harden them, that would make them

the new Germany that would be
strong and lead Europe.

It was Germany's baptism of fire.

He sees himself as a master
tactician - he's simply not.

He was completely deluded.