- Directed by Simon Deeley, Matthew Hinchcliffe, Vicky Matthews, Guy Smith, Ashley Morris, and Chris Roberts
- Written by Simon Deeley, Matthew Hinchcliffe, Vicky Matthews, Ashley Morris, Chris Roberts, and Guy Smith
Hitler’s Circle of Evil is an in-depth look at the members of Hitler’s inner circle. It goes into how they came together and the almost Machiavellian way of things among them.
I have a thing for World War II documentaries. I just enjoy them mostly because of how pivotal that time was. It was quite probably the most significant point of the 20th century as well as being one of the most important points in global history. It set the stage for so much of what is even occurring to this day. We are still dealing with the repercussions.
Hitler’s Circle of Evil discusses the rises and falls of the assorted significant members as well as their backgrounds. Some of them were rather pathetic individuals that found glory and purpose in being connected to Hitler. Others had purpose and perhaps even glory before becoming involved but once they became involved just became pathetic individuals. Pathetic and evil. The one thing they all had in common was that they saw connecting to Hitler as a way to fulfill their dreams and achieve power.
Their identities became intertwined with that of Hitler, and they became so desperate to be closer to him and obtain his favor that they appeared to have lost much of themselves in the process (if they had much to begin with). It is clear once he lost the ability to lead and then killed himself that largely they did not know how to function with that portion of themselves gone.
Whether intentional or not this is also a disturbing commentary on humanity in general. These handful of people managed to take control of a nation and do terrible things not only to their own people but to people across a good chunk of the world. What does that say that so few could cause so much damage?
From what I can gather this aired on the History Channel in New Zealand and Australia but is available only on Netflix in the United States. The History Channel in this country would rather run marathons of Ancient Aliens than run anything else. I miss the days when you could actually learn something about history from the History Channel.
The narrative in Hitler’s Circle of Evil is accomplished via a mix of interviews with experts as well as dramatic recreations. The narration can be a bit dry, but the engaging and disturbing information and history makes up for that to the point you have difficulty pulling away.
Hitler’s Circle of Evil major flaw is that there are points where it appears to not only reuse footage but reuse narration as well. I am not talking at the beginning of an episode that may offer a recap but reuse in the midst of a follow up episode. For example they may be discussing Rudolph Hess following an episode that featured Albert Speer but in that Rudolph Hess episode in its midst they use a word for word and clip by clip bit about Hess when it intersects with Speer. It may have been economical, but it is ill-advised in this day and age when you can marathon an entire season. Either use different footage or perhaps even reward the dialogue.
Despite that issue Hitler’s Circle of Evil is a gripping and very interesting documentary series. Depending on where you are check it out.