Night after night I watch my World War One and World War Two documentaries. I just finished the BBC’s The World at War, 30 hours or so on WWII, surely as fine a piece of work on film as there has ever been. The writers got the Battle of Midway totally confused with the Marianas Turkey Shoot and got quite a bit wrong about Leningrad. But the series in general is magnificent. Laurence Olivier’s narration is subtle beyond belief. His command of the material is stupefyingly potent.
It offsets the puzzling use of Alger Hiss as an expert witness on Russian intentions in the War and John Kenneth Galbraith’s sneering words about Nixon. Well worth watching.
I watch these documentaries because I am compelled by the World Wars. Nothing like them has ever happened before or since. The full power of the world’s great powers mobilized to kill as many people as possible. And how they went at it!
Roughly 100 million killed in Europe alone, in both wars, the great majority in eastern Europe, six million of my fellow Jews, helpless noncombatants murdered to satisfy Hitler’s insane adaptation of Darwinian evolutionary theory.