Frederick the Great and the Enigma of Prussia

In the spring of 1945, Adolf Hitler retreated to the Fuhrerbunker located 16 meters below the streets of Berlin, the Russian army was closing in on the German capital and World War II was all but over but even in his last days Hitler refused to accept defeat, he continued to draw inspiration from the deeds of his hero, a legendary German leader who’s portrait was the only image to hang on the walls of Hitlers private shelter, he was Frederick The Great, king of Prussia.

2oo years earlier Frederick The Great has transformed Prussia into formidable military state, in the 19th century it was this iron kingdom that would create for the first time a single unified Germany and in the 1930s Hitler fused the glorious history of this old Prussia to his Nazi regime but this association would be a disaster for Fredrick’s reputation and for the future of Prussia itself.

In this film historian Christopher Clark re-examines the life and achievements of one of Germany’s most colourful and controversial leaders.

 

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