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World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West

  (Redirected from World War II: Behind Closed Doors)

World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West is a 2008 six-episode BBC/PBS documentary series on the role of Joseph Stalin and German-Soviet relations before, during, and after World War II, created by Laurence Rees and Andrew Williams.

World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis, and the West
World War II Behind Closed Doors.gif
DVD cover
Created byLaurence Rees
Andrew Williams
Based onWorld War II
German-Soviet relations
Narrated bySamuel West (UK)
Keith David (US)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes6
Running time300 minutes
Production company(s)BBC
Original networkBBC
First shown in2008
External links
Production website

It carries new controversial material which only became available to the public after the fall of communism from the Soviet archives, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Each episode lasts approximately one hour and features reenactments of the situations subject.



The 2008 film combines narrative-led documentary segments, interwoven by dramatic re-enactments, with actors representing main political figures of the period. The original narrative voice-over was performed by Samuel West, while Keith David, veteran of Ken Burns' PBS series, narrates the American version. Joseph Stalin is portrayed by Alexei Petrenko; Winston Churchill, by Paul Humpoletz; and Franklin D. Roosevelt, by Bob Gunton.[1][2]

The series delves into such matters as the British, American, and Soviet cover-up of the Katyn Forest Massacre; Churchill's agreement at Yalta that Stalin should keep his gains of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, including Poland's prewar Kresy (eastern borderlands); the Polish population transfers (1944–1946); and the betrayal or persecution of figures such as Marshal Georgy Zhukov, Vyacheslav Molotov, and John H. Noble. British historian Laurence Rees did the research compilation and lead writing for the series, and the drama was directed by Andrew Williams.[1][3]


# Title
1"Unlikely Friends 1/2"
Looks at the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 after the Battle of Poland together with the planning and start of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union of 1941.
2"Unlikely Friends 2/2"
Explores the relationship between the Soviet Union and Britain during the war, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and plans for a Western Front in Europe.
3"Cracks in the Alliance 1/2"
Features the Moscow Conference between Stalin and Churchill and two battles on the Eastern Front: Stalingrad and Kursk.
4"Cracks in the Alliance 2/2"
Covers the Teheran Conference, the first between the "Big Three", D-Day in France and the Warsaw Uprising.
5"Dividing the World 1/2"
Details the Battle of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, the Yalta Conference, the push to Berlin, and the victory over Germany from the perspective of Allied nations.
6"Dividing the World 2/2"
Focuses on Operation August Storm, the end to the Pacific War, the Potsdam Conference, the fall from grace of Zhukov and Molotov, the death of Stalin, to the eventual fall of communist influence with the Berlin Wall in 1989.


Companion bookEdit

Rees, Laurence (2008). World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West. Barnes & Nobles Publishing. ISBN 978-0-307-37730-2.

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit