37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Interesting eyewitness accounts,
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This review is from: Stalingrad  [DVD] (DVD)
I'd like to state, because some people might find it relevant, that this is the English version of an originally German television documentary by Guido Knopp, the "house historian" of the 2nd state TV channel in Germany (ZDF). This fact is not mentioned in the product description nor anywhere on the DVD cover itself.
I wouldn't have bought the DVD if I had known.
Luckily though, the documentary, or at least this English version, isn't bad.
This being a German production, the focus is clearly on the experiences of the German soldiers, with some Red Army soldiers and Stalingrad civilians receiving attention too. The Romanian, Hungarian, Italian, etc. troops only get a brief mention, and the Russian 'Hiwis' (who fought on the side of the Germans inside the 'Kessel') none at all.
Some minor issues I noticed were these.
Towards the beginning it is reported that, even though most members of the Wehrmacht at the time were probably unaware of any atrocities that were being committed by Germans in the east, at least some of them must have known about them. That is because in August 1941 (!) a 6th Army division was resting near where SS-Einsatzgruppe 4a was operating. Now, that may well have been the case, but what has it got to do with the battle of Stalingrad?
Also, in a scene some time later, one can see a soldier with a Waffen-SS helmet. As far as I'm aware, there were no Waffen-SS units involved in the Stalingrad operation, so I wonder where that bit of footage comes from.
Towards the end of the documentary it is declared that Stalingrad was the decisive moment in World War II. This seems to imply that because they lost the battle for Stalingrad, the Germans in consequence also lost the war. Or in other words, after Stalingrad it was no longer possible for Germany to win the war. I don't think that's true. While it certainly was a huge disaster for the German army in many respects, there are just too many factors involved which make it impossible to attribute the surrender over two years later to this event with such confidence.
But overall, and within the scope of the medium, I find the documentary rather good.
It says on the packaging that the program "addresses above all the viewer's heart, and not only his mind", and the individual accounts of the survivors, some of whom, so many years later, are still overcome by their emotions when telling their stories, manage to do that very well.
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Initial post: 26 Sep 2012 18:14:25 BDT
Tony Howard says:
Critically informative. Thanks
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