Oliver Stone Seeks to Put Adolf Hitler “In Context” In Showtime’s “Secret History”

Controversial filmmaker Oliver Stone has a new mission: in his upcoming Showtime series “Secret History” he wants to put 20th century German dictator and Nazi mass murderer Adolf Hitler “in context.”

Director Oliver Stone’s upcoming Showtime documentary miniseries “Secret History of America” promises to put mass murderers such as Stalin and Hitler “in context.”

“Stalin, Hitler, Mao, McCarthy — these people have been vilified pretty thoroughly by history,” Stone told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Pasadena.

“Stalin has a complete other story,” Stone said. “Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any single person. We can’t judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and its been used cheaply. He’s the product of a series of actions. It’s cause and effect … People in America don’t know the connection between WWI and WWII … I’ve been able to walk in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes to understand their point of view. We’re going to educate our minds and liberalize them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions … Go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM. Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated.”

He plans to walk in Hitler’s boots in a segment in a 10-part Showtime series that he says will zero in on events that “at the time went under-reported, but crucially shaped America’s unique and complex history of the last 60 years.” This will include a slew of vital 20th century events such as Harry Truman’s decision to drop the A bomb on Hiroshima. Stone argues that you can’t really approach history “you cannot approach history unless you have empathy for the person you may hate.”

So THAT has been the problem all of these years.

In fairness to Stone, some of his films have not quite been as good/bad (pick the one that fits your political bias) as the advance billing suggested. It’s worth withholding judgment until the series airs, although that won’t stop him from being denounced ahead of time by those who hate him for political or artistic reasons.

Let’s just hope that in the end people don’t decide that this would be a fitting theme song for his take on Hitler:
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11 Comments

  1. Sounds very interesting. I like Stone's work.

  2. “This will include a slew of vital 20th century events such as Harry Truman’s decision to drop the A bomb on Hiroshima. “

    OK — Hitler and Stalin were fine folks, badly misunderstood, or “made” to do what they did, while the USA was an evil warmongering capitalist-imperialist radicialist global enterprise. That would be suitable.

    The Bomb decision (which was wrong [tm]) no doubt can be part of a related Movie Kit that's sold to school districts.

    [grin]

  3. Dropping the “Bomb” on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not a war crime.

    By forcing the Japanese to surrender, it saved an estimated one million American lives. My father being one of them. Our incendiary bombings of Tokyo killed more people than the atomic bombs.

    Besides the barbaric war crimes of the Japanese military during WWII against civilians alone in Nanking China killed far more than both nuclear bombs. Though the conquering Japanese Army was greeted by the civilian population of Nanking as conquering heroes, the Japanese lined them up and killed them for bayonet practice. Three Hundred Thousand of them. Men women and children. I won’t even mention what they did on the Korean peninsula.

  4. Stone is a fine director and lends fine expertise to his craft. If he could only do it without political bias, then he'd be a “great” director. But alas, that's not to be.

    Like Joe…. I'll reserve critique until after it airs, but judging by his other “revisionistic” works, I'll not expect much.

  5. Thank you Father_Time, for another relevant piece of history that the revisionists would rather have forgotten.

  6. If he could only do it without political bias, then he'd be a “great” director. But alas, that's not to be.

    Would you care to explain to me how it's possible to produce any art without political bias, or write any history without political bias?

  7. I hope that he doesn't forget this little detail when discussing Hitler.

  8. “Would you care to explain to me how it's possible to produce any art without political bias, or write any history without political bias? “

    History is extremely tough to present without bias. But it is possible. It takes a conscious effort that most in the media/entertainment business do not have the fortitude for.

  9. History is extremely tough to present without bias.

    Name one historian who has written about the Civil War who is not biased. Either they think that it's a good thing that the North won, which is a bias, or that it is unfortunate that the South lost which is another bias. It is literally impossible to write about history without a bias… Just because with the Historian's particular bias does not mean that he does not have a bias.

  10. Ken Burns' documentary was pretty down the middle. He neither loaded up the Union gloryist profile, nor played the Southern sympathy card. It presented both sides well. That is one historian who presented history the way it should be presented – simultaneous or chronological presentation of both sides.

    So you and I agree about the existence of bias in history. Where we disagree upon is on what is considered good history. It is out there. All you have to do is look. Oliver Stone “ain't” it.

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