Watch now

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
101Trading Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available


The Nazis - A Warning From History [DVD]

 Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
Price: 5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 21 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details
Looking for Bargains?
Check out the DVD & Blu-ray Deals of the Week page to find this week's price-drops. Deals of the Week end on Sunday at 23:59.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Not what you're after? Check the BBC Store to see all the latest titles and offers. Learn more

Frequently Bought Together

The Nazis - A Warning From History [DVD] + Auschwitz - The Nazis And The Final Solution [DVD]
Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Producers: Laurence Rees
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 24 May 2004
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001MIQ94
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,586 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Arguably one of the most important documentary series ever made, 1997's The Nazis: A Warning from History sets out to show that, far from being a uniquely German aberration, Nazism fed upon and was fostered by the prejudices and lemming-like inclinations of ordinary people. Although culminating with the atrocities of the Holocaust, these programmes are equally good on the motives of otherwise perfectly normal people, who needed only the tacit encouragement of the regime to perpetrate horrors against their enemies, their neighbours, or their own family. When confronted with evidence of their Nazi past, elderly former party members are often unable to find any other justification for their actions than simply that they could get away with it. Far from being a monolithic dictatorship which compelled the citizenry to act in rigidly prescribed ways, the Nazi state just allowed people to give their worst inclinations free reign.

Hitler, it turns out, was a profoundly lazy man who rarely got out of bed before midday, and preferred to leave affairs of state to sort themselves out. He subscribed fervently to the doctrine of survival of the fittest as applied to all social and political matters, and actively encouraged in-fighting among his subordinates. The result was an organisational vacuum at the centre of state, which super-ambitious acolytes were only too eager to fill, often acting on nothing more than the Fuhrer's off-the-cuff remarks. One small example is revealing: after reading a letter from the father of a disabled child, Hitler agreed that it would be best for the boy to die. From this single statement arose a nationwide policy of euthanasia for all disabled children, carried out willingly and without compulsion by the doctors and "carers" themselves. It needed nothing more than the Fuhrer's nod. The message is clear and shocking: it happened in Germany, it could happen anywhere.

On the DVD: The Nazis: A Warning from History has six episodes spread across two discs. Picture and sound are standard TV quality; notable is the evocative use of Brahms's German Requiem as the series' theme. Other than subtitles, there are no extra features. -Mark Walker

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2.4 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Black & White, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Examines the reality behind the seemingly well-structured and ordered Nazi party in government, and how despite the regimented displays and image of the dictator Fuhrer the actual rule of government was more haphazard. Covers the disposal of Rahm and bureaucratic set ups and rivalries within the main government building. Looks at how ideas and policies often came about through rival party officials jostling for influence and favour with Hitler and formulating policies based on what they thought he wanted and on vague ideas or statements from Hitler. It also considers how the Gestapo could not have worked so effectively without the support or information from the populace, and looks at many surviving examples of letters sent to the authorities denouncing neighbours or relatives, including an interview with a woman who wrote such a letter. Also looks at how the policy of official euthanasia for mentally or physically handicapped children and adults came into being and at attitudes to anyone who was 'different' in any way. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, ...The Nazis: A Warning from History - 2-DVD Set (UK)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
193 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and poignant 14 Nov 2005
This is one of the finest television documentaries I have ever seen. It probes behind the usual cliches and half-truths about the Nazis and presents a picture of the party that is altogether more disturbing. The documentary concludes that once in power the operation of some of their darker policies was facilitated by the assistance of lower party officials and ordinary Germans. This expounds the myth that all Germans were manipulated into compliance from the top down. Neither are the sentiments that fuelled Nazi policies restricted to Germany, as in one of the most disturbing parts of the documentary a Lithuanian man who volunteered without coercion to join a shooting squad and execute his Jewish neighbours is interviewed. This series is given weight by the latest scholarship and authenticity and emotive power by a multitude of interviews. The music and narration is also of the finest quality. The documentary will leave you better informed, but also asking some uneasy questions. It is divided into the following six chapters, each approximately 48 minutes in duration:
Helped Into Power - this chapter examines how the political and economic turmoil of the Weimar Republic assisted the Nazis into a position of power. The economic depression of the early 1930s and opposition to communism from senior German politicians are shown to be important contributory factors.
Chaos and Consent – shows that behind the public façade of a rigidly ordered Nazi party, the lackadaisical approach to administration of Adolf Hitler created a cloud of confusion in which ambitious Nazis could exert considerable power in the formulation of specific policies.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly Brilliant 22 Nov 2004
The Nazi's - A Warning From History is one which i only saw in its entirety this year on UK History. I found it an engrossing and fascinating series. From the outset the brilliant music featured in the credits create in the viewers mind a programme that is going to convey a story that is perhaps unsurpassed in its horror and of historys' main role as being teacher for us in the present and future.
The programme itself keeps the right balance on information, making very effective use of documents and eye witness testimony, explaining very effectively how the Nazi's came to power, and although we now view it as an evil regime, one witness at the time said it was 'paradise'. It weaves a story together that appears seamless and interlinked, tying events that occured in chance meeting between Hitler with a Nazi official or his recieving a letter asking for permission to get rid of a disabled child, and how these in turn led to the various events and policy of Nazi Germany.
Its a rare and powerful documentary that is still as watchable 7 years on. Thoroughly recommended to those with even a passing interest in history and perhaps as a reminder to those who believe that as a species humans are advanced as we really think. This will make you think again.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very important record to keep in mind 24 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This series, now shown 3 years ago still sticks in my mind as one of the profound documentaries I have ever seen. The 'Warning from History' is the story of a highly civilised democracy that turned into a violent military state. The warning lies in the fact that these events are not as much in history as we may like to tell ourselves for two main reasons. Firstly, it's not that long ago - many of the unrepentant interviewees who supported the fascist regime are alive and well and happy to discuss their feelings of the time. Secondly, they are ordinary members of society who were caught up in series of events that best served them as individuals and threatened them if they resisted. As ordinary selfish individuals, they responded and went along with the mainstream, ignoring the realities they did not like in the interests of their own survival. By mixing personal, sociological and historical vews, the history comes frighteningly into the present. We all live in a society on this knife edge. If we too were brutalised and threatened, we could and would turn on eachother to ensure our own survival. This video should be bought, remembered and shown to the next generation
Was this review helpful to you?
61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This series provides exactly what the title suggests, a warning to subsequent generations of how a group such as the nazis can subvert the large part of a nation. This message is as important now as ever. This series should be standard viewing for all school children so that they may learn also learn the lesson of allowing a charismatic figure such as Adolf Hitler to provide solutions that require easy scapegoats; as indeed the Jews were in this case. The suffering endured by the Russians is also remarkably palpable.

Unfortunately, it seems, the warning is easily forgotten (as recent events in the Balkans show).

Television as powerful and as informative as this is all too rare in an age where we tend to be obsessed by modern gadgetary and techniques. This series provides a truly memorable tour de force using the testimony of victims and oppressors alike. As would be expected, the futility of a war such as that which occurred between 1939-45 is all too apparent.

Dr. Steve McCabe
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very pleased
Published 1 month ago by dwayne hesler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant to teach from- lots of info that isn't available in school texts
Published 1 month ago by sheilaa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A warning from history is very apt,very harrowing , but have we learnt anything since the war ?
Published 1 month ago by rennie 42
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not what I thought it was but I cant complain about postage etc
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Derek Behan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by William Adamson
5.0 out of 5 stars First class interpretation of the era
Laurence Rees' knowledge of this period of German history is thorough and he conveys it well without histrionics or embellishment as so often happens. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Wiltshirebob
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series worth watching again and again
I first watched this series when it was first aired and it was so good it stuck in my mind and many of the examples can still be remembered. Read more
Published 2 months ago by DCheyside
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Series - But not in 16:9 Aspect Ratio
There's nothing I can add to all the other great reviews here. This really is a superb series - The music is particularly moving and the narration is excellent. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sonscope
5.0 out of 5 stars Synopsis of Evil
The DVD contains a thorough analysis of the Nazi regime. Nazism can almost be fully blamed for the infamous world war 2. A great piece of research.
Published 3 months ago by The Calvinist Reformer
5.0 out of 5 stars warning from history
it's a documentary about the most villainous gits to plague us, what's not to like? Laurence Rees documentaries are always a good watch and I very much enjoyed it.
Published 4 months ago by Mr Ropey
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
subtitles 1 8 Dec 2009
See all discussions...  
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions

Look for similar items by category