Spying on Hitler’s Army – Channel 4

Broadcast Date: Sunday 2 June 2013 at 8pm on Channel 4

Spying on Hitler’s Army reveals perhaps the most damning evidence of the German Army’s complicity in Nazi war crimes. It explores  how Britain bugged the conversations of the German Generals at Trent Park during WW2. Length 60 mins. Produced by October Films. Helen Fry is inteviewed for the documentary because of her recent book The M Room: Secret Listeners who Bugged the Nazis.

Premiere viewing on pbs in America 1st May 2013. Trailer: http://video.pbs.org/video/2363160202

Official Channel 4 Press Release:  http://www.channel4.com/info/press/programme-information/spying-on-hitlers-army-the-secret-recordings

Extract from Channel 4 Press Release: “This powerful docu-drama tells the story of one of World War Two’s last secrets – an audacious British intelligence operation to listen in on the private conversations of 10,000 German POWs without their ever knowing they were being overheard.  The prisoners’ unguarded reminiscences and unintentional confessions have only just come to light, but prove once and for all just how closely the German army were involved in the atrocities of the Holocaust.  In this programme, they’re dramatized – word for word – from the original transcripts.

British intelligence requisitioned three stately homes for this epic task, and converted each into an elaborate trap.  The 100,000 hours of conversation they captured provided crucial intelligence that changed the course of the war, and revealed some of its worst horrors – from rape to mass executions to one of the earliest bulletins from the concentration camps.  But when the fighting ended, the recordings were destroyed and the transcripts locked away for half a century.  Only now have they been declassified, researched and cross-referenced. Nicholas Farrell (Secret State, The Iron Lady) leads the cast playing the real-life German generals who were held at one of the houses – Trent Park in Middlesex. Secreted away in basements and attics were the listening rooms, filled with state-of-the-art recording equipment. The recordings were meticulously transcribed – both the words and the tone in which they were delivered; they were circulated right up to Prime Minister Churchill. This film recreates the key moments captured in the transcriptions of this extraordinary covert operation which remained a secret for more than 50 years.”

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