The film begins with the First World War and ends in 1945. Without exception, recordings from this period were used, which came from weekly news reports from different countries. Previously unpublished scenes about the private life of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun were also shown for the first time. The film was originally built into a frame story. The Off Commentary begins with the words: "This film [...] is a document of delusion that on the way to power tore an entire people and a whole world into disaster. This film portrays the suffering of a generation that only ended five to twelve. " The film premiered in Cologne on November 20, 1953, but was immediately banned by Federal Interior Minister Gerhard Schröder in agreement with the interior ministers of the federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany.