The Secret Life of Hitler (1958, B&W): The monstrous infamy of Adolf Hitler secures his place as a pivotal figure of the 20th century and a timeless embodiment of evil. Yet few know the other side of the man who lived out most of the war in "The Eagle's Nest," his mountain retreat near Berchtesgaden, surrounded by young women and faithful pets. It was here that Hitler met, wooed and wed an athletic young girl named Eva Braun, who ultimately shared her bed and body with the most bloodthirsty dictator of the modern era. Adolf and Eva married on April 29th, 1945, as the Allied armies closed in on their Berlin bunker, far from the comfort of the Eagle's Nest. They committed suicide together the next day.
Produced for American television in 1958, The Secret Life of Hitler uses actual footage shot by the Nazis, as well as Eva's own home movies, first examining Germany's build-up to blitzkrieg before taking the viewer "backstage" to see the paradoxically playful and carefree life lived by Eva and her friends. Oblivious to the rampant violence, suffering and death that consumed much of humanity, they sunbathed by mountain lakes as the rest of the world burned.
The Smashing of the Reich (1962, B&W): Rarely seen military archival footage highlights this fascinating and vivid film that details how the Allied Forces retook Europe from the iron grip of Nazi tyranny. The extended sequence covering the liberation of Paris is especially compelling, packed with a visceral and emotional power. Writer-Director Perry Wolff combines brilliant editing, effective sound effects and an evocative original score to raise this documentary above the highly politicized and propagandist fare that followed World War II.