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Drama reconstruction: Stormtroopers in uniforms post Hitler posters on wall.
Courtesy of 72Films Ltd
Drama reconstruction: Stormtroopers in uniforms post Hitler posters on wall.

Stream or tune in Tuesdays, Nov. 10 - 24, 2020 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

RISE OF THE NAZIS, a new three-part forensic examination of how Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party seized power in 1930s Germany, will premiere on Tuesday, November 10.

The series, which melds dramatic reconstruction with archival footage and interviews with historians, offers an intimate analysis of how the country’s liberal democracy was transformed into a violent dictatorship in four short years.

Narrated by Kate Fleetwood, the series documents how the Nazification of Germany in the early 1930s was helped by the miscalculations of politicians who believed they could control the demagogic Hitler and his followers even as they radically remade German society.

Drama reconstruction: Hitler in office meeting, swastika uniform.
Courtesy of 72Films Ltd
Drama reconstruction: Hitler in office meeting, swastika uniform.

The program also reveals the power struggles between prominent Nazis as they transformed Germany into a ruthless police state, allowing Hitler to elevate himself from Chancellor to the dictatorial Führer of the Third Reich.

Historians and experts, including Professor Sir Richard Evans, General Sir Mike Jackson, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and Ash Sarkar, take viewers inside the minds of key historical figures of the time to explore what may have motivated their actions. Each episode reveals one of the many resistance stories from this period.

RISE OF THE NAZIS is a particularly poignant look at the fragility of democracy and the institutions that are intended to protect it, examining the individuals and establishments that quickly collapsed as Hitler and his allies further consolidated their power.


Episode 1 “Politics” airs Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV - Learn the chain of events that propels Hitler from the fringes to the heart of the government. After leading a failed coup in 1923, he turns the Nazis into a legitimate, mainstream party and plots to overthrow Germany’s political elite.

Episode 2: “The First Six Months In Power” airs Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV - Discover the measures Chancellor Hitler takes to dismantle the German state. The Nazis have the power to ban free speech, books are burned, and Jewish people, gay people and those holding anti-Nazi beliefs begin to disappear.

Episode 3: “Night of the Long Knives” airs Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV - See how Hitler finds himself caught between Germany's president and the Nazis' power base. His advisors persuade him to destroy the Nazi stormtroopers and their leader -- one of his oldest friends -- to make the SS Germany's only paramilitary force.

Watch On Your Schedule:

RISE OF THE NAZIS will be available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV and Chromecast.


A 72 Films production for BBC, the series is directed and executive produced by Julian Jones, and executive produced by David Glover and Cate Hall.