While the war ended in 1945, the violence did not. The survivors of Nazi atrocities as well as the victors wanted to hold the Germans to account. An organization called "Nakam" (Hebrew for Revenge) attempted to poison SS-officers. The plan fails.
The reckoning with National Socialism was inconclusive. Nobody knows whether the Germans really broke with the Nazis. Many perpetrators weave cover-stories or rely on clergymen to escape. Nevertheless: the abyss that the Germans brought into the world forced the creation of rules and international laws designed to protect humanity. Yet above all, the fight against such barbarism helped strengthened democracy
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.