‘Laurence Rees has done more for good history on television in this country than anyone else. Over several series, he has examined the most terrible aspects of the Second World War with a passionate longing to understand, while rejecting facile moral judgment.’
Antony Beevor (Daily Telegraph, October 2007)
For the first time on television, this series tells the true story of Stalin’s encounters first with the Nazis and then with Churchill and Roosevelt and, consequently, their enormous impact on World War II and, later, the fate of post-war Europe. An enthralling mix of high politics – including the inside story of the Allies’ meetings at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam – and the dramatic personal experiences of those who bore the consequences of the decisions made by the powerful. Astonishing dramatic reconstructions carefully sourced from archive material, reveal how the great leaders decided the future shape of the post-war world. These decisions had immediate and often harrowing effects for those on the ground. Their story is told through documentary footage, dramatic reconstructions and illuminating interviews – including contributions from former Soviet secret policemen, Allied seamen who served on the Arctic convoys and Red Army veterans who experienced hand-to-hand fighting on the Eastern Front.
Written and produced by award-winning film-maker Laurence Rees (Auschwitz – The Nazis & the 'Final Solution', War of the Century, Nazis – A Warning from History) this series is a compelling new way of understanding the most secret and dramatic events of the Second World War.
“Laurence Rees, who has made so many classic TV histories… returns with this hugely impressive six-parter. It takes a fresh look at World War II…”, “An extraordinary series.” The Daily Mail
“This new BBC six-parter deploys recently released archive material, interviews with survivors of the era, and convincing dramatic reconstructions, to illuminate the diplomatic back-story. Excellent.” The Guardian
“…an illuminating series…” The Daily Telegraph
“Almost certainly the documentary event of the autumn and a Bafta contender…” The Sunday Times
“Absorbing and shocking too.” The Observer
“Laurence Rees… true to form, he has unearthed some remarkable material…” The Independent
Using fresh new research, dramatic reconstructions and documentary footage, this series on Auschwitz was produced for BBC2 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in January 2005. Written and produced by Laurence Rees, the series won the Grierson Award, the Historical Film of the Year award from History Today magazine, the 'Bulldog' award for the best of British television and a number of other awards.
In this two-part series, first shown on BBC2 in 2000, Laurence Rees turns his gaze to the atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers in World War II. In this incisive but accessible study, Laurence confronts one of the most dramatic and important historical questions of the twentieth century - why did Japanese soldiers behave as they did?
Laurence Rees uses access to Russian archives not available to the West before the fall of communism, dramatic interviews with witnesses who knew Hitler or Stalin, powerful archive footage and specially shot documentary material to tell the history of Hitler’s ‘War of annihilation’ on the Eastern Front between 1941 to 1945. First shown on BBC2 in 1999.
This six part series Nazis: A Warning from History originally aired on BBC 2 in 1997. It combined extraordinary archive film, specially shot documentary footage, and interviews with people affected by and involved in the Nazi regime. The series won Laurence a myriad of awards, including a George Foster Peabody Award, a BANFF festival award and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award.