TV : Documentary : TV quality : English
On June 22, 1941 the German Wehrmacht attacked the Soviet Union — “Operation Barbarossa” began. It was the largest battlefront in the history of the world.
Three million soldiers from Germany and its allies assailed four and a half million members of the Red Army, marking the start of a murderous campaign that was ultimately to claim thirty million lives.
Stalin was not ready to wage war. This war was the result of Hitler’s maniacal obsession with the idea of conquering new “living space” for the Germans to the east.
Decades earlier, in his book “Mein Kampf”, Hitler had already insisted on conquering Russia as a crusade “against world Jewry and Bolshevism”. And the criminally devastating campaign had been meticulously planned and prepared for since the summer of 1940.
The speed with which the Germans advanced in the first weeks after launching the attack was nearly unbelievable. At Hitler’s headquarters, Wolfsschanze in Rastenburg in East Prussia, a euphoric mood developed after the victories at the first major battles of Minsk and Smolensk, in which the Germans encircled their opponents.