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This film charts the stealty rise of the Nazi party in the wake of World War I, as witnessed from the perspective of a neutral bystander. Rather than offering a contemporary interpretation of history through narration and interviews, filmmaker Lutz Becker allows the disturbing saga of German fascism to unfold on its own terms. The rise of the Socialist National Party is depicted almost exclusively in newsreel footage and clips of features from the period. The result is a kaleidoscopic view of the German people 1918-1933, suffering the economic and human devastation of World War I, experiencing the rebirth of its culture and economy during the Weimar Republic.