Hitler on Trial

Hitler on Trial

The True Story

DVD - 2015
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Meet Hans Litten, the brilliant young lawyer who dares to cross-examine Adolf Hitler in a Berlin courtroom in 1931. Litten's goal: to expose Hitler's true character and murderous plans, and halt the rapid rise of the Nazi Party. His reward: the red-hot hatred and fatal revenge of a hostile witness. It sweeps you into this little-known, true story of collision between the future Fuhrer's blatant contempt for the law, and Litten's brave but futile attempt to save German democracy.
Publisher: London :, BBC,, [2015]
Call Number: DVD F HITL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (90 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,stereo,Dolby digital 2.0,rda
video file,DVD video,region 1,rda


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Jun 28, 2018

Hitler on Trial (as this docudrama is called in North America) is a bit smart, a bit funny, a bit suspenseful, but also quite a bit dry. The first half especially feels like a stuffy attempt to dramatize the people shown, mainly by putting what they feel into the script instead of into the scene. For this part of the movie, the fact that the actors are painfully British and not at all German makes the film even harder to enjoy.

As the titular intrigue begins, however, things become more suspenseful and engaging. With Hitler in the courtroom, the fact that the scene is played out by clearly British, English-speaking actors allows the English world to experience Hitler's rhetoric in a new way and try to imagine what it would be like to confront.

What says a lot about this film is that the 1-hour documentary included on the DVD is exponentially more interesting and moving than the film itself. I actually recommend you borrow this DVD just to watch it. Nonetheless, Hitler on Trial makes a good effort to bring an often forgotten part of Nazi Germany's history - the time Hitler was confronted with his contradictions in court - to life.

Jan 31, 2018

Jews in Germany accounted for about 1% of the total population of the country at that time, yet accounted for 10 to 15 percent of the positions in government administration, banking and media. They were a nation apart. Yet the Jewish peoples existed just fine for many decades before WW 1. What happened during WW 1 to account for this sea change in the larger society's view towards Jews as a group? One has to wonder. It's interesting to note that the first act of war that would later become WW2 was a 1933 boycott on German goods and services from the international Jewish concerns, a boycott that came at a time when 7 million were unemployed in Germany, and having the effect of suppressing international trade by some 10%. (See headlines from that period).

There are a lot of facts and historical context that gets overlooked in much of this history we are shown, yet discovering this stuff only makes one hungry for more discovery. No mention of Haavara in the accompanying documentary for example. In the film only a very vague indication of the broken society that was Berlin during the Weimer years, only a couple of shots of scantily clad barmaids and no mention whatsoever of the massive decadence that was going on, that for 10 American dollars you could quit literally get anything you wanted to satisfy your darker tastes. Drugs, all kinds of prostitutes, the (not so) underground sex clubs, the decadent literature and pornography, the widespread Marxist elements, etc. Weimer Berlin was the center of all of this. Yet little or no mention in this movie which was set in that time and in that place. Little or no mention of the Treaties of Versailles, St. Germain or Balfour. No mention of the German economy being artificially and irresponsibly stimulated a by massive influx of foreign debt, then being allowed to crash when the 1929 stock market crashed by suddenly cutting off access to that debt/capital. All this story does is use the standardized, agreed upon outline of events to, in a typically fromulaic manner, build an incomplete story that is palatable for wider audiences.

Jan 08, 2018

A simple but understanding film about how some people will do anything to bring peace and humanity to its country and stop a tyrant. After watching this, I understand more about the history of Hitler and Germany people in that period

Feb 06, 2017

The comment below nailed most of what I was going to say. Ian Hart is amazing as Hitler as a slippery politician, who could be made to sweat on the witness stand. Hart also played one of Hitler's English followers in Stephen Frears's movie Liam -- each film has something to say about the other, and watching both would make for an interesting, political evening. And, unfortunately, Spielberg will never make that documentary/movie hybrid. The contrast between what Germany was, and what it became is just too sad.

Feb 07, 2016

The DVD contains a film about a Jewish lawyer who tried to expose Hitler to the German public before Hitler took over the country. The DVD also includes a long documentary of what happened to the lawyer when his actions failed to convince the German public that Hitler was not a good person for the world. The film was very good. With more money and with a director like Spielberg, the two parts could have been melded into a film that I would possibly rate as a masterpiece.


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Jun 28, 2018

4minute thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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