Laurence Rees (born 1957) is a British historian. He is the former Creative Director of History Programmes for the BBC, a documentary filmmaker, and the author of five books on war. His documentaries and books on WWII are used as teaching aids in British schools.
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Rees was educated at Solihull School and Oxford University, and began his career as an editor on the BBC series Timewatch. He wrote, directed and produced the 1997 series The Nazis: A Warning from History, the 2001 series Horror in the East, and the 2005 Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'. He has won many awards for his television films, including a BAFTA, a Grierson Award, an International Documentary Award, a British Press Guild Award and a BANFF festival award. He also wrote, directed and produced the documentary, World War II Behind Closed Doors.
He also wrote the companion books to his series The Nazis: A Warning from History, Horror in the East: Japan and the Atrocities of World War II, The War of the Century: When Hitler Fought Stalin and Auschwitz: A New History. In 2006 he won History Book of the Year at the British Book Awards for his book on Auschwitz making him the first person to win both a BAFTA for a television series he has written, produced and directed, as well as a British Book Award for a book he has written.
His book, Their Darkest Hour: People Tested to the Extreme in WWII was released in September 2007 by Ebury Press. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Sheffield University for services to history and television. In May 2010 he launched WW2History.com, a subscription multimedia educational resource on World War II. In 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate (DUniv) by The Open University.
- 2012 The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler – producer and writer
- 2008 World War II: Behind Closed Doors
- 2005 Hitler's Place in History – executive producer
- 2005 Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution' – producer, director & writer
- 2003 Colosseum: Rome's Arena of Death – co-executive producer
- 2002 Christmas Under Fire – executive producer
- 2002 The Ship – executive producer
- 2001 Timewatch: Bombing Germany – executive producer
- 2001 Horror in the East – producer & writer
- 2000 Conquistadors – executive producer
- 2000 Sleeping with the Enemy – producer
- 2000 Hitlers Krieg im Osten – director
- 1999 War of the Century – producer & writer
- 1998 In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great – executive producer
- 1997 Tales from the Tomb: Lost Sons of the Pharaohs – executive producer
- 1997 Timewatch: Secret Memories, executive producer
- 1997 The Nazis: A Warning from History – producer, director & writer
- 1995 Crusades – executive producer
- 1995 Reputations: Pope Pius XII – the Pope, the Jews and the Nazis – executive producer
- 1994 Reputations: Beria – Stalin's Creature – executive producer
- 1992 We Have Ways of Making You Think – producer & writer
- 1982 Timewatch – editor
- The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler: Leading Millions into the Abyss. Ebury Press. 2012. ISBN 978-0091917630.
- World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West. Pantheon. 2009. ISBN 978-0-307-37730-2.
- Their Darkest Hour: People Tested to the Extreme in WWII. Ebury Press. 2007. ISBN 978-0-09-191757-9.
- Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'. BBC Books. 2005. ISBN 978-0-563-52296-6.
- Horror in the East: The Japanese at War 1931–1945. BBC Books. 2001. ISBN 978-0-563-53426-6.
- Rees, Laurence (1999). The War of the Century: When Hitler Fought Stalin. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-38477-9.
- The Nazis: A Warning from History. BBC Books. 1997. ISBN 978-0-563-38704-6.
- Cienciala 2010, p. 123.
- Laurence Rees official website
- WW2History.com From Hitler to Churchill – the history of World War Two
- Laurence Rees at the Internet Movie Database