Friday, February 19, 2010

Defending the Fuhrer

Hitler’s Bodyguard (Athena/Acorn Media)
This 13-part, 10-hour documentary looks at the Third Reich and Second World War era from a slightly different perspective. A thorough, endlessly fascinating historiy, this series is an absorbing overview of the thousands of men among various Nazi groups whose job was to safeguard the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, thanks to the constant possibility of his being an assassins’ target. Even though much of the information is not particularly new, the skillful presentation makes Hitler’s Bodyguard an important historical document.

Aside from the usual unnecessary recreations of events that mar many current non-fiction history programs—do we really need actors dressed as Nazis driving around in swastika-laden automobiles?—Hitler’s Bodyguard gives a suspenseful, exciting account of a glossed-over aspect of WWII study: who was responsible for watching over Hitler during a dozen years and more than 40 attempts on his life? There are no extras on any of the four discs—the lengthy series speaks for itself—although the set includes a short viewer’s guide. originally posted on

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