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Nazi Death Squads

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Time of Reckoning
After being judged at the Nuremberg trials, the majority of those responsible for the murder of nearly 1.5 million Jews would walk free in the 1950s.

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Funeral Pyres
Faced with the advancing Soviet troops, Nazi Germany decides to have the bodies of death camp victims dug up and burned in graves.

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Carnage continues from September to December 1941. After the EZG's intervention, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Baltic states are declared "Judenfrei": free of Jews.

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Mass Graves
The armies of the Third Reich invaded the USSR on June 22, 1941. Mobile commandos, the Einsatzgruppen, were following their advance to Stalingrad with the mission of eliminating all Jews on the conquered territories.

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Nazi Death Squads is an insightful and deeply troubling documentary series that was aired on the American Heroes Channel (AHC) in 2009. This hard-hitting series offers a comprehensive examination of the role, function, and heinous activities of the notoriously infamous Nazi Death Squads during World War II. The series seeks to strip away the veils of secrecy and misinformation surrounding the operations of these units, providing viewers with an unvarnished account of a dark chapter in human history.

The series is akin to a journey into the darkest recesses of the Nazi regime, focusing specifically on the Einsatzgruppen — mobile paramilitary death squads that were integral to the Nazis' genocidal plan. These units were responsible for the mass murder of Jews, Roma, Communists, and other groups deemed undesirable by the Nazi regime — a precursor to the better-known Holocaust atrocities in concentration and extermination camps.

Nazi Death Squads unflinchingly exposes the inhumanity and calculated brutality of these special units. Rather than presenting a sanitized or muted version of history, the series showcases the grim reality of the Einsatzgruppen’s atrocities in stark relief. The narrative is powerfully driven by historical footage, expert commentary, and heart-wrenching testimonies from survivors.

The series doesn’t just limit itself to the recounting of the horrifying actions of these squads alone. Instead, it delves deep into the psyche of those involved, attempting to unravel the shocking ease with which ‘ordinary’ men could transform into ruthless killing machines. This exploration is handled with nuance and sensitivity, avoiding sensationalism, and focusing squarely on the historical facts and psychological insights.

While many documentaries and series skirt around the specifics, the creators of Nazi Death Squads have made a conscious decision to confront the atrocities head-on. Each episode unfurls with a relentless intensity, documenting the efficient and ruthless systems of extermination put in place throughout Europe, revealing a stark and horrifying portrait of systemic genocide.

Also at the heart of the series is a careful analysis of the complex network that enabled such large-scale, systematic murder. This includes insights into the bureaucratic and logistical apparatus that backed the Einsatzgruppen — a chilling reminder of the far-reaching complicity involved in perpetuating the Holocaust. Furthermore, the series delves into the lesser-known and often overlooked genocides perpetrated by these squads, underlining just how extensive and pervasive their reign of terror was.

While the content can be distressing to confront, the series maintains an objective, informative tone throughout. The aim is clearly not to exploit but to educate, making viewers aware of the depths of depravity that humanity can sink to in the right (or rather, wrong) circumstances. This is an important piece of historical programming that resonates strongly in the current climate of rising hate crimes and xenophobia, reminding us of the dire consequences of unchecked hate and prejudice.

Nazi Death Squads delivers more than just an excavation of brutal historical facts. It offers an unvarnished, meticulously detailed, and deeply unsettling glimpse into an aspect of the Holocaust that has been shrouded in relative obscurity. By demystifying the operations of the Einsatzgruppen, providing much-needed context, and shining a light on the complicity of ordinary people, the series compels viewers to confront the chilling reality of genocide that has been largely overlooked or understated by mainstream narratives of World War II.

In the realm of war docuseries, Nazi Death Squads stands out as a potent reminder of the human capacity for evil when ideology blinds morality. This is not an easy watch, but it is an essential one. Each episode pulls back the curtain a little further on a rarely shared piece of history, ensuring that these atrocities are never forgotten and serving as a sobering reminder of the grave consequences of hate and intolerance. As such, it stands as a grim but necessary testament to the darker side of humanity, and a powerful call to vigilance against the persistent dangers of extremism, bigotry, and indifference.

Nazi Death Squads is a series categorized as a new series. Spanning 1 seasons with a total of 4 episodes, the show debuted on 2017. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.2.

Patrick Desbois
Nazi Death Squads is available on .