No single event in the history of the Second World War has left such a traumatic mark on German consciousness as the catastrophic defeat on the banks of the Volga in 1942/43. On the 60th anniversary of the battle, BROADVIEW TV in association with ZDF portrayed the collapse of the German Sixth Army in a moving three-part documentary which was nominated for the International Emmy Award in 2003.
The Battle of Stalingrad, which cost the lives of at least a million German soldiers, Red Army troops and Soviet civilians, was the bloodiest of the decisive battles in the "war of extermination" which Hitler had unleashed. The annihilation of the German Sixth Army brought home to many Germans with a terrible shock the fact that, despite the propaganda which filled their ears, the war would inevitably be lost in the end. For both Germany and Russia, Stalingrad signified the psychological turning point in World War II. This three-part documentary, employing previously unreleased film footage and brutally frank statements from survivors on both sides, explains exactly how the catastrophe came about and describes the gruesome consequences of the battle for the soldiers and the inhabitants of the city.