In October 1934, around one million people were drawn to the Bückeberg in northern Germany. Hitler welcomes them for a celebration known as the National Thanksgiving Festival. The majority of Germans support Hitler's offensive anti-Jewish policies. Jews are openly discriminated against. The discrimination, disenfranchisement, and violence starting in the 1930s lead to what would later be remembered as the Holocaust.
Even though Germany's Nazism repeatedly leads to protests in many countries - especially in the USA - governments find it difficult to take action against the regime. At the Evian Conference in 1938, the indifference of many countries to the Jewish refugees forced to leave Germany at that time was evident. The regime of terror escalated even further the pogrom of November 9, 1938
What facilitated the rise of the Nazis?
With this 10-part documentary series "The Abyss - Rise and Fall of the Nazis" ZDFinfo is using the power of film to take a stand against ignorance towards the past. The project tells the story of the rise and fall of National Socialism from an international perspective, examining the causes of the rupture in civilization at the hands of Germans, which led from a crisis-ridden democracy to war and genocide.
Rare, and newly discovered film and photo footage, as well as 40 field-leading experts such as Richard J. Evans, Mary Fulbrook, Peter Longerich, Moshe Zimmermann, Alexandra Richie, and Götz Aly, offer new perspectives on the history between 1918 and 1948.
Based on the latest research, the series focuses on both the motives of the perpetrators, but also on the responsibility of a significant portion of the German people What facilitated the rise of the Nazis. What paved the way for the genocide of the Jews? This is the story of how humanity's darkest hour took place. The Abyss.