World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West

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World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis, and the West
World War II Behind Closed Doors.gif
DVD cover
Genre Educational
Created by Laurence Rees[1]
Andrew Williams[1]
Based on World War II
German-Soviet relations
Written by Laurence Rees[1]
Anjelina Keating[1]
Directed by Laurence Rees[1]
Narrated by Samuel West (English)[1]
Keith David (American)[1]
Composer(s) Alasdair Reid[1]
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6
Production
Producer(s) Megan Callaway[1]
Philip Dunn[1]
Sharon M. Hannon[1]
Burt Harris[1]
Tené Harris-Duckworth[1]
Editor(s) Alan Lygo[1]
Location(s) United Kingdom
Cinematography Jacek Petrycki[1]
Martin Patmore[1]
Sergey Astakhov[1]
Krzysztof Golabek[1]
Running time 300 minutes
Production company(s) BBC
PBS
Distributor BBC
Broadcast
Original channel BBC
First shown in 2008
External links
Production website

World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West is a 2008 6-episoded BBC/PBS documentary series on the role of Joseph Stalin and German-Soviet relations before, during, and after World War II, created by Laurence Rees and Andrew Williams.

It carriers new controversial material which only became available to the public after the fall of communism from the Soviet archives, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Each episode last approximately one hour and features reenactments of the situations subject.

Background[edit]

The 2008 film combines narrative-led documentary segments, interwoven by dramatic re-enactments, with actors representing main political figures of the period. The original narrative voice-over was performed by Samuel West, while Keith David, veteran of Ken Burns' PBS series, narrates the American version. Joseph Stalin is portrayed by Alexei Petrenko, Winston Churchill is portrayed by Paul Humpoletz and Franklin D. Roosevelt is portrayed by Bob Gunton.[2][3]

The series delves into such matters as the British, American and Soviet cover-up of the Katyn Forest Massacre; Churchill's agreement at Yalta that Stalin should keep his gains of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, including Kresy; the Polish population transfers (1944–1946); and the betrayal or persecution of figures such as Marshal Georgy Zhukov, Vyacheslav Molotov and John H. Noble. British historian Laurence Rees did the research compilation and lead writing for the series and the drama was directed by Andrew Williams.[2][4]

Episodes[edit]

# Title
1 "Unlikely Friends 1/2"
Looks at the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 after the Battle of Poland together with the planning and start of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union of 1941.
2 "Unlikely Friends 2/2"
Explores the relationship between the Soviet Union and Britain during the war, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and plans for a Western Front in Europe.
3 "Cracks in the Alliance 1/2"
Features the Moscow Conference between Stalin and Churchill and two battles on the Eastern Front: Stalingrad and Kursk.
4 "Cracks in the Alliance 2/2"
Covers the Teheran Conference, the first between the "Big Three", D-Day in France and the Warsaw Uprising.
5 "Dividing the World 1/2"
Details the Battle of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, the Yalta Conference, the push to Berlin, and the victory over Germany from the perspective of Allied nations.
6 "Cracks in the Alliance 2/2"
Focuses on Operation August Storm, the end to the Pacific War, the Potsdam Conference, the fall from grace of Zhukov and Molotov, the death of Stalin, to the eventual fall of communist influence with the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Cast[edit]

Companion book[edit]

Rees, Laurence (2008). World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West. Barnes & Nobles Publishing. ISBN 978-0-307-37730-2.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]