The Rise of the Nazi Party reveals step by step how the National Socialists exploited the economic turmoil of their time, got into power in Germany in 1933 and then led their nation into a nightmare of everyday brutality, genocide and military defeat.
1. The Misfits Gather Adolf Hitler finds his political destiny in the post-war turmoil of Munich. He quickly dominates a fringe party and builds it into the Nazi Party. He recruits infamous men to the cause including Herman Goering and Heinrich Himmler and they plot to seize power in a dramatic coup known as the Beerhall Putsch. 2. Becoming Respectable After his failed coup and trial in 1923 Hitler realises he will not gain power through violence alone. He must become respectable. Along with his new propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels he starts creating the illusion that the Nazis are a mainstream democratic political party. 3. Seizing Power Hitler seizes his chance to turn the German population against the democratic Weimar government by promising a brighter future during the Great Depression. 4. In Power Adolf Hitler wins power by promising jobs and economic recovery. But he has another secret agenda: to rid Germany of the Jews and prepare the nation for war. On April 1st 1933, a boycott of Jewish-owned shops is launched by the Nazis. But the German people flout it - they simply aren't ready yet for Hitler's own brand of anti-Semitism. Hitler realises that, if he is to push through his real agenda against the Jews, he must first win the Germans' hearts and minds and do something about the economy and the lack of jobs. 5. Preparing for War In November 1937, Adolf Hitler summons his generals and unveils his military plans. Germany will annex Austria and the German-speaking lands in Czechoslovakia and the Sudetenland. Over the following years, the army will move east and seize Poland and the Soviet Union. It's a programme of territorial expansion he has promised the German people since the 1920s. 6. Hitler's Biggest Blunder Spring 1941 and Adolf Hitler is at the height of his power. He's conquered most of Europe; in Germany he's a national hero. Yet the war is about to change and the German people will soon discover that much of what they're being told about it is a tissue of lies. 7. The Final Solution This episode identifies how Hitler and the Nazis groom the German nation, making them complicit in the worst genocide in human history: the slaughter of some six million Jews. 8. Plots and Delusions By 1944, everything is going badly for Adolf Hitler. With defeat after defeat, his public image as an all-wise genius who is leading the German people to victory is no longer believable. In addition, the German people don't know that he is secretly cracking up. 9. End Game By January 1945, the writing is on the wall for Nazi Germany. Allied armies are advancing from all sides penetrating deep into the heart of the one thousand year Reich. They can't win and the man who has taken them to war is finished. At just 55, Adolf Hitler - a prematurely aged wreck of a man dependent on pills - advocates fighting to the end. Safe in his bunker beneath the Berlin streets, he has lost touch with reality and is making ever more erratic decisions. 10. Aftermath In the closing months of the war, as the Allies advance through Germany, they make a gruesome discovery; they discover the concentration camps and death camps that are proof of the systematic wholesale murder of millions of people by gassing and by forced labour under starvation conditions. As the scale of the atrocities becomes apparent, it seems that almost every German is implicated. The Allies need to undo years of Nazi indoctrination and prove to the German people that everything they believe in and have been acting on is wrong.