The Hitler Chronicles Part 1 The Hitler Chronicles. Part 1

dir. Hermann Pölking-Eiken 2017 Germany 136 min.
2017 – IDFA Amsterdam
The first chapter of a three-part series on Hitler tells of his early years at school and college, his experiences on the front lines of World War I. In this part, we learn about Hitler's history up to the 1932 German presidential election.

(1889 to 1933). The “phenomenon” Adolf Hitler has not yet been fully explained. Based on the most extensive compilation of archive material to date, Hitler’s life story is depicted in detail against the social backdrop of the first half of the 20th century.

The film roots Hitler’s life story in a fifty-year period that will also be examined in parallel and provides the basis for understanding the person – if this is at all possible. The film relates the life of Adolf Hitler as it interacts with and responds to Austrian and German society as well as the national and international political trends and events during the first half of the 20th century. The film makes no attempt at a speculative psychological interpretation of Adolf Hitler’s actions, rise to power and criminal acts based on his personal background and the social circumstances.

The makers instead see the “Führer” as a welcome and willingly accepted “projection” of a large part of the German nationalist circles. In these traditionally authoritarian and ultimately “apolitical” sections of society, Hitler’s actions and those of his followers express and highlight a latent chauvinistic consciousness, which ultimately led to the catastrophe of World War II and the Holocaust. The writer and producer therefore consider it possible to avoid giving the viewer answers, to confront contradictory statements of contemporaries with others, including Hitler’s, and to limit the commentary to the hard and established facts.

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