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A Necessary War
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
After a haunting overview of the Second World War, an epoch of killing that engulfed the world from 1939 to 1945 and cost at least 50 million lives, the inhabitants of four towns -- Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; Waterbury, Connecticut; and Luverne, Minnesota -- recall their communities on the eve…
When Things Get Tough
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
By January 1943, Americans have been at war for more than a year. The Germans, with their vast war machine, still occupy most of Western Europe, and the Allies have not yet been able to agree on a plan or a timetable to dislodge them. For the time being, they…
A Deadly Calling
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
In fall 1943, after almost two years of war, the American public is able to see for the first time the terrible toll the war is taking on its troops when Life publishes a photograph of the bodies of three GIs killed in action at Buna. Despite American victories in…
Pride of Our Nation
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
By June 1944, there are signs on both sides of the world that the tide of the war is turning. On June 6, 1944 -- D-Day -- in the European Theater, a million and a half Allied troops embark on one of the greatest invasions in history: the invasion of…
FUBAR
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
By September 1944, in Europe at least, the Allies seem to be moving steadily toward victory. "Militarily," General Dwight Eisenhower's chief of staff tells the press, "this war is over." But in the coming months, on both sides of the world, a generation of young men will learn a lesson…
The Ghost Front
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
By December 1944, Americans have become weary of the war their young men have been fighting for three long years; the stream of newspaper headlines telling of new losses and telegrams bearing bad news from the War Department seem endless and unendurable. In the Pacific, American progress has been slow…
A World Without War
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
In spring 1945, although the numbers of dead and wounded have more than doubled since D-Day, the people of Mobile, Sacramento, Waterbury and Luverne understand all too well that there will be more bad news from the battlefield before the war can end. That March, when Americans go to the…
Dear Uncle Adolf: The Germans and Their Fuhrer
More than any other documents, it is the personal private letters written by the German people to Adolf Hitler that provide the most intimate details of the Third Reich. A treasure of more than 100,000 such letters was recently found, hidden in a secret Russian archive. The uncensored letters, which…
The Siege of Leningrad
In 1941, Hitler ordered the German Army to invade Russia. The Nazis raced across Russia's heartland until they reached Leningrad - the cradle of the Bolshevik Revolution. But the city did not fall quickly to Hitler's troops. Instead it resisted. The siege of Leningrad began on September 8, 1941 and…
Fuhrer Cult and Megalomania
"Even the pyramids," Hitler told his protege, architect Albert Speer, "will be dwarfed by the stone and concrete masses I plan to erect." By early in the twentieth century Nuremberg was regarded as the most anti-Semitic city in Europe. By 1929 Hitler had decided to make Nuremberg the "City of…
Nazi Law: Legally Blind - The Manipulation of Law Under Hitler
A sobering look at how Hitler and the Nazi party manipulated laws to further their hate-filled agenda. People who were considered physically or racially inferior or disloyal to the state were deprived of their rights and often their lives under these Nazi laws. When Germany was ultimately defeated, Nazi leaders…
Garbo the Spy
The Allies called him Garbo. The Nazis dubbed him Alaric. Both sides in World War II were sure Juan Pujol Garcia was their man. In reality, Pujol was a double agent - and his final allegiance was to the Allies. From the comfort of Lisbon, Garbo fed false information to…