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WW II: Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West

Friday, May 1st, 2009



A gripping new history of World War II—one that is full of surprises, even for those familiar with this history—will be featured Wednesdays, May 6, 13, and 20 from 8-10 p.m.


Drawing on material available only since the opening of archives in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, WW II: Behind Closed Doors re-examines the key decisions made by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt during the war. As the truth about Stalin’s earlier friendly relationship with the Nazis is laid bare, a devastating and surprising picture of the Soviet leader emerges.

Each episode consists of carefully researched dramatic reconstructions of key encounters with Stalin, but the emotional core of the series is the remarkable new testimony obtained from nearly a hundred witnesses from the period. Former Soviet secret policemen talk frankly for the first time about their repressive work; American seamen reveal how they braved the Arctic convoys; and Red Army veterans talk of how they killed Germans in hand-to-hand fighting on the Eastern Front.

The series spotlights high politics—including the inside story of the meeting of “The Big Three,” Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill—at Tehran and Yalta; Roosevelt’s illness and death during the war; and subsequently, Harry Truman’s meeting with Stalin and Churchill at Potsdam. Revealing for the first time on television what went on “behind closed doors,” the series will change the way viewers think of this most vital period of history.


For further information contact Janet McGrath, (309) 495-0593 or janet.mcgrath@wtvp.org 


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