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World War II: Behind Closed Doors [DVD]

 Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 12.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

World War II: Behind Closed Doors [DVD] + The Nazis - A Warning From History [DVD] + Auschwitz - The Nazis And The Final Solution [DVD]
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Product details

  • Producers: Laurence Rees
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Nov 2008
  • Run Time: 344 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EVP842
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,932 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

For the first time on television, this series tells the true story of Stalin’s encounters first with the Nazis and then with Churchill and Roosevelt and, consequently, their enormous impact on World War II and, later, the fate of post-war Europe.

An enthralling mix of high politics – including the inside story of the Allies’ meetings at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam – and the dramatic personal experiences of those who bore the consequences of the decisions made by the powerful.

Astonishing dramatic reconstructions carefully sourced from archive material, reveal how the great leaders decided the future shape of the post-war world. These decisions had immediate and often harrowing effects for those on the ground. Their story is told through documentary footage, dramatic reconstructions and illuminating interviews – including contributions from former Soviet secret policemen, Allied seamen who served on the Arctic convoys and Red Army veterans who experienced hand-to-hand fighting on the Eastern Front.

Written and produced by award-winning film-maker Laurence Rees (Auschwitz – The Nazis & the 'Final Solution', War of the Century, Nazis – A Warning from History,) this series is a compelling new way of understanding the most secret and dramatic events of the Second World War.

Special Feature:
Interview with Laurence Rees Starring : Bob Gunton, Alexei Petrenko and Paul Humpoletz Documentary Director: Laurence Rees, Drama Director: Andrew Williams Written and Produced by Laurence Rees Sleeve photographs: © Getty Images (Stalin front & spine); © Corbis; © Alamy.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, very powerful documentary 12 Feb 2009
I loved every episode of the series. I admire Laurence Rees' approach to his work - every episode is exceptionally meticuliously researched, actors re-enacting historical figures are actually matching in their physical appearance the originals. I was astonished I could recognise Hans Frank, Governor of General Government in occupied Poland, in one of the actors even before captions with his name came. From that moment I was entirely convinced this is the series to watch. Good to know someone can be so meticulous about his work to chase around the lookalikes of historical, long gone figures, some of them of rather low importance. Another point was Katyn Massacre re-enactment in episode 1 - I believe it's a first time that horrendous crime was exposed in such a graphic way (except Andrzej Wajda's movie); technical details of execution show the highest level of professionalism in a historical research.
William Podmore's review seems to be biased. We all know the reality of Soviet Uniom, we all know abou terrible crimes Stalin and his stooges commited, we all know about scale of Gulag deaths, about Ukrainian hunger (Holodomor) in 1930's etc. We all know Stalin killed more his own citizens than Hitler. Stalin was a horrendous tyrant and one of the worst criminals in mankind history. It's undeniable.
So how someone can draw the conclusion that above documentary which only states obvious, in many cases well known facts to everyone, is a 'hymn of hate against the Soviet Union and Stalin in particular' is a total mistery to me. Well, I suppose some people still dream about communist utopia...
Five stars, that's my verdict...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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Most people are familiar with the battles of WW2 to some extent whether they are aware of the outcome, the timing or the combatants involved. But there was another dimension to this war - the political. Only some people are aware of this dimension but it is only subsequent to the collapse of Communism that many new aspects have been uncovered.

This DVD commences with the unexpected & unlikely alliance between Nazi Germany & Soviet Russia which had as its aim not only to dismember Poland but to divide Eastern Europe into various spheres of influence. Despite diametrically opposed ideologies, the Nazis & the Communists found that not only that it was marriage of convenience but that they were like minded due to the similar modus operandi. Little known or recently revealed facts are presented to portray this relationship.

However the bulk of this DVD comprising 6 episodes, deals with the uneasy relationship between the Allies - Stalin, Roosevelt & Churchill. From the outset, this would be a difficult relationship due to the fact that Roosevelt & Churchill instinctively understood that they were dealing with evil incarnate but that in order to defeat another evil viz Nazism, they would have to consort with this devil.

This results in many awkward situations where the Churchill & Roosevelt have to avert their gaze & ignore unpalatable facts. One such case was that of the discovery by the Germans of the Polish officers murdered at the express request of Stalin at Katyn Forest.

As the western leaders had differing views on how to handle Stalin due to their fear - in my view highly unlikely - that the Russians would either be defeated or alternatively pursue peace with the Nazis, they pandered to Stalin.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deals within deals 9 Aug 2010
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I highly recommend this DVD to anyone who has any connection with, or interest in the second world war.
Based only on transcripts and interviews with participants of events, both aggressors and victims, it presents a chilling and hitherto unseen perspective of the conflict.
All too familiar images and histories of the war are dimmed by the dealing that went on between the Super Powers at the time.
Be pepared to adopt a new viewpoint after seeing this DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Amazing Docu-Drama 23 Feb 2012
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Laurence Rees never ceases to amaze at creating these WW2 docu-dramas and this is no exception. If you found 'Auschwitz, the Nazis and the final solution' of particular interest then your going to like this.
This time, Laurence Rees centres this drama around Stalin!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COUPLE THIS WITH THE 'SOVIET STORY' 27 Mar 2011
I am sorry W Prodmore has a problem with this series. It is one of the best of its genre for a long time. The re-anactments, sometime I normally avoid,have been very well done for a change.
May I suggest W Prodmore gets himself the DVD 'SOVIET STORY' and sit down and watch it. It will open his eyes a lot wider to the horrors of the Soviet System that murdered untold numbers, probably approaching 75 million during Stalin's lifetime of terror alone.
Remember always the NKVD ,later the KGB, ran training camps for the Gestapo, showing their methods of Gulag construction and running, and worst still, the finer acts of the cruelest methods of torture ever known to man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History at its best 18 July 2013
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The DVD did arrive loose in the package but was not damaged. Excellent documentary and added to my collection of BBC Laurence Rees documentaries. A thoroughly needed addition to this period of history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rees and the Gray Areas of History 17 Aug 2012
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This outstanding series presents, without the lurid propaganda usually present in such endeavours, an amazingly objective assessment of WWII as it relates to the three primary figures of the allied alliance. What makes Rees' presentation different is the 'second-level of history' information usually reserved for objective revisionist-style histories; i.e. the history that the public is not usually aware of, or if made aware will tend to pass off as not conforming to the customary interpretations we grow up with, or are taught in school, or are exposed to in the traditional media, who tend to reduce complex periods and events in history to a few slogans or phrases, easily tossed off and never much thought about. Such is the way that common cultural interpretation and understanding of great events become part of the collective consciousness.
In 'Behind Closed Doors', we first see how Germany and Russia, after forming an alliance, invade and then divide up Poland. Ostensibly, this is what causes the declaration of war by Britain and France (although only against Germany!), though no defense of Poland is militarily possible or even anticipated. Later we will see that Poland is shamefully betrayed and lied to by the West, and the country given in toto to Russia; the final insult to Poland being that in the Victory Parade held in England, survivors of the Polish Army units that suffered great losses fighting with the West against Germany are not even invited to the parade for fear of upsetting Stalin. Such an outcome makes a mockery of the Atlantic Charter, which was held up as representing the objectives and ideals of the West in pursuing the war.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting illustration of Russian treachery.
Younger members of society may think of the recent situation in Crimea as a great surprise. Viewing this excellent 2 dvd disc set will identify that this is just part of the normal... Read more
Published 8 days ago by David Hoggarth
5.0 out of 5 stars How Stalin got his way
Describes in great details how Stalin succesfully managed to strike deals with Hitler, Churchill and Roosevelt and succesfully grab all of Eastern europe. Read more
Published 3 months ago by C. Nielsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, interesting, exciting, surprising
Highly recommended and interesting docu-drama about WO II in mostly central en East Europe.

In the past many books have been written about WO II from only one country's... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Koos
5.0 out of 5 stars very hard hitting film, an honest account.
have already written a quite a bit which wasn`t used, so will not be doing so again, brilliant film the truth.
Published 15 months ago by Davina C. Hendrie
5.0 out of 5 stars An Event to Remember...
I have conscience that I'm just one more, repeating the same things others have already said about this Doc. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paula Torres
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
Published on 18 Mar 2011 by A. Hussain
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening History
This film documentary just shows how people can be taken in by other people's history and our own. Polish pilots were told not to discuss politics(Stalin) in British pubs during... Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2010 by Mr. L. Stringer
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