The Man Who Crossed Hitler (4 Stars)

The Man Who Crossed Hitler is a 2011 BBC film that has never been released to DVD…which is a cracking shame. There was no way of accessing it until recently when the Daily Motion uploaded it.

Set in 1930s Berlin, Hans Litten (Ed Stoppard) is a lawyer who can see a monster in Germany brewing, that Monster is Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s SA have been attacking the communists in the streets of Berlin. Litten is given the task of prosecuting a group of SA members who had done a particularly nasty crime – which had seen three people dead and 20 injured. Litten is given the idea of subpoenaing Hitler in the Tranzpalast Eden Trial, in an attempt to highlight that Hitler had full knowledge that the SA was committing these crimes and were sanctioned by himself. The effect would make the Nazi Party an illegal political organisation and therefore prevent them from remaining as a political party.

The film is based on a true story and Litten tried bravely to stand against the Nazi party a year before Hitler was made Chancellor. Had Litten been successful, it is likely that Hitler would never have been able to conduct the Holocaust and the Second World War, unfortunately Litten was not successful and he paid with his life. He committed suicide in Dachau Concentration Camp five years after being imprisoned within the brutal concentration camp system.

Being a Historian, I may at times be critical of certain aspects of films, especially ones that may attempt to show a perceived image of history which may not reflect the historical truth. However I think, when the media creates and helps spread a story, such of that as Hans Litten, it can be a very useful and powerful tool. This is a very good film depicting a heroic man who tried to stand…and if prove that not everyone willingly lay down and let National Socialism walk into power.


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