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  • Unknown Soldier [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Unknown Soldier [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details) Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 74 reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Refreshing 27 Jan. 2014
By Andrew Vickers - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found this to be refreshing because over the years many speak as though it was only the S.S. einsatzgruppen who did the bulk of the atrocities. I am an Army veteran who spent time in Germany and I am also a serious collector of vintage wworld war 2 medals and my collection is vast containing very rare decorations from the Germans and Russians. Veterans of the Army who I spoke to back in 1993 when I was in Germany told me of the killings that men in their unit took part in. They also showed me black and white photo's of Army troops executing civilians and also posing with the bodies. They sometimes also assisted the S.S. in getting Jews or slave laborers on the trains. The subject was very hush hush when I was in Germany but it has since come to light. There were too many soldiers from too many units who got involved. I became friends with a former member of the S.S, mountain infantry regiment Nord who fought the Russians near the artic circle. Read the book Black Edelweiss by former S.S. Nord mountain trooper who speaks about both combat and conscience and that even though they had fierce fights with the Russians in northern Karelia and the Vosges Mountains, he never witnessed one instance of atrocity between the German and the Russians, I am well versed in the S.S. units and Nord has not be put in the category such as Das Reich or totenkof. It's time for people to accept the truths that the Army was also responsible for killings. I make a point to acknowledge the soldier who fought hard for his comrades even when he knew the war was lost, but was no a part of any atrocities. The subject matter is delicate but must be told.
23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A great introduction to an important topic 15 July 2012
By Scholar&Gentleman - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a well-done documentary on the subject of the German Army and its participation in the Nazi genocidal project. Focusing on the 1995 Wehrmacht exhibition which first brought the crimes to public attention, it is an important introduction for those interested in the deep complicity of the Third Reich.

I must disagree with the top-rated reviewer. From a scholarly perspective, there is little doubt that the Wehrmacht was involved, AS AN ORGANIZATION in the Holocaust. MJG in his/her review simply focuses on a small attribution error in the exhibit that misidentified one Ukrainian perpetrator as a German soldier. The documentary does NOT focus on "isolated cases" nor should the crimes of the Wehrmacht be categorized as such.

Dear Amazon reader,
Beware many of the reviews here seem to be apologetic or unwilling to see the larger point which is that the German Army as an organization was a willing player in the crimes of the Third Reich.
79 of 105 people found the following review helpful
Subjective and uncritical treatment of the Wehrmacht controversy, little groundbreaking or new material. 7 April 2008
By MJG - Published on
Format: DVD
The subject of this documentary is the opening of the Wehrmachtaustellung (Wehrmacht Exhibition) in 1995, the now famous collection of photographs and documents that provided graphic evidence of German atrocities throughout the Second World War. What distinguished the exhibition from past scholarship on the 3rd Reich, was its depiction of the German Army, or Wehrmacht, as one of the main perpetrators of .the Holocaust - essentially no different from the SS, SD, or other Nazi organizations commonly associated with the brutality and mass murder of Hitler's regime. Although a full rehash of the Wehrmacht Exhibit isn't appropriate here, in short, the controversy that persists to this day is whether the photographs show individual acts of barbarism committed by German troops or, as the Exhibit maintains, irrefutable evidence of the German Army's complicity in Nazi crimes. In other words, are these photos proof that ordinary, rank-and-file German soldiers willingly, even enthusiastically, participated in mass murder? Or are these merely isolated cases that should not (or cannot) be distorted to represent the behavior of the over eleven million men who passed through the army's ranks?

Now to the documentary:

Scope: The film purports to provide an objective, balanced account of the Wehrmacht Exhibition, in particular the controversies over the exhibition itself, the public attention it aroused throughout Germany, and the circumstances of its premature closing due to inaccuracies among its photographs. In addition, the documentary attempts to further investigate the complicity of the Wehrmacht in Hitler's crimes and refute the notion that German Army had been a mere spectator, or pawn, during the Holocaust. To accomplish this, commentary from leading scholars, former Wehrmacht members, and Holocaust survivors would provide critique and broach a discussion on the merits and shortcomings of the exhibition.

Focus: From the outset, the film veers off topic from the original opening of exhibition and a discussion German atrocities and digresses to crimes committed by the SS, the first use of gas vans at concentration camps, and Auschwitz. Roughly 1/3 of the film consists of tangents on the mass murder of the Jews and the 3rd Reich's genocidal policies in the USSR and Eastern Europe. This desultory format is annoying at best - one has a hard time keeping track of the producer's arguments as the interviews and footage appear cobbled together with little forethought. Moreover, no new material is introduced about Wehrmacht atrocities during WWII.

Objectivity: This is by far the biggest disappointment. My hope was to see an unbiased, objective analysis of the Wehrmacht Exhibition and the subject of German war crimes under Hitler. I was looking forward to hearing feedback from historians and scholars advocating different viewpoints and walk away with new insights or at least a better understanding of the controversies this exhibit evoked. Instead, it was immediately clear which side the documentary took: while there was indeed a panel of respected history professors, authors, and politicians present throughout the film, without exception they were either directly affiliated with the exhibition itself or proponents of its overall message (I gave 2 stars because many of their arguments were compelling). Yet for counterarguments and critique against the exhibition, the film relies exclusively on soundbytes and interviews from right-wing (neo-nazi) politicians, angry, shouting skinheads, and a handful of disgruntled veterans. One gets the impression that those who disagree with the exhibition's thesis are either poorly educated or neo-fascist hooligans. Of the 10 or so professors and professional historians that appeared, not a single one offered any substantive critique, rather they lauded the exhibit or diminished those who disagreed with their views. The controversy and questions over Wehrmacht involvement in war crimes continue to this day. There are numerous journal articles and books written that by distinguished historians in Germany and the U.S. in criticism of the exhibition, and new research continues to emerge. As such, I expected a degree of critical dialogue and some back-and-forth debates. Very disappointing.

Conclusion: Ultimately - a letdown. One-sided, entirely subjective portrayal of the exhibit and the Wehrmacht itself, "The Unknown Soldier" doesn't offer any fresh insights or new arguments. Unfortunately, it's the only English language documentary on this topic to date.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
For everyone 13 April 2014
By Charlie Siefert - Published on
I thought that this documentary about the "Unknown Soldier" exhibit tied in with testimony, pictures, film, and reports from historians et al - was a very good introduction to the Holocaust of WWII, and would be excellent for younger viewers, esp. gradeschool or middleschool age kids to spark discussions with parents or teachers. Unfortunarely the show is German with English subtitles, but it is still a great programme.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Esoteric But Well Done 2 Sept. 2014
By johnw - Published on
This is good if you understand German and Germany. It mostly deals with Germans coming to grips with the role the Wehrmacht played in the Holocaust. The film title is a kind of double-entendre since "unbekannt" also means "unfamiliar", i.e. the children of Wehrmacht soldiers don't really know their own fathers. It has many gruesome scenes of atrocities, e.g. Babi Yar. Not for the faint of heart.
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