2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 57 minutes
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The final year of Nazi Germany, as seen from its collapse under the Soviet Union’s brutal offensive, is the subject of this curious documentary.  Working from a mix of German and Russian newsreel footage, the film details the Red Army’s strategy in pushing eastward across Poland and the Nazi hierarchy’s increasingly desperate attempts to regain the military upper hand.

Some of the information presented here rarely comes up in U.S. history textbooks, such as the massive evacuation of German civilians from Polish and Baltic territories and the role of Soviet women soldiers in the frontline conflict.  The film also provides very rare footage of several crucial events of the war’s final months, including an aerial view of the firebombing of Dresden and a behind-the-scenes study of the Yalta conference.

However, the film’s consideration of history is decidedly skewered: outside of the Dresden footage and a brief citation of the struggle in the Ardennes, there is no mention of American or British military operations leading up to the fall of Germany.  Also, the film goes out of its way to detail the level of German civilian casualties during the conflict, but there is no mention of the liberation of concentration camps by the Allied forces.

It is difficult to blame the film’s director for these omissions, since this DVD is released without any directing credit. Go figure!

Posted on August 26, 2010 in Reviews by

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