TV : Documentary : TV quality : English
When the Red Army crossed the Berlin city limits on 21st April 1945, they entered a city devastated by war; the tired inhabitants living in ruins and fearfully expecting the revenge of the victors.
But the resistance of Nazi fanatics remained, with child soldiers being sent to their deaths in the ‘final battle’ against vastly superior Soviet forces. Hitler’s orders to defend the capital were followed to the last.
By April 29th Soviet troops were just 500 metres away from the Reichstag. The day after, raiding patrols entered the building. Although the red flag had already been raised on the roof, fights within the building continued.
However, witnesses, both Russian and German, agree that the battle for the Reichstag did not happen in the manner in which it was later portrayed in numerous Soviet feature films.
In this programme, previously unseen archive material from Russian sources sheds new light on the battle for Berlin. The film documents the fate of people who lived through the nightmare, whether as civilians or soldiers, portraying stories of misery and desperation, delusion and fanaticism which, 60 years on, they are still unable to forget .