World War II and all the events around the Holocaust are things from history that everyone should learn about, to become aware of the monstrosities that were going on before, during and after it. It is one of the most horrifying and painful historical periods and one that has been written and talked about in numerous books and speeches. There are countless movies on the mentioned topic and many platforms contain titles that should be seen. Our list covers the 20 best Holocaust movies on Netflix you need to watch.
The Forgotten Battle (2021)
What it’s about: This Dutch war drama takes us to 1944, and it tells the story of a British glider, a Dutch boy on the German side, and a Dutch female resistance member who all end up together involved in the Battle of the Schelde. We will follow their different choices, but all with the same ultimate goal: freedom.
Why you should watch it: If you want to learn something more about the not-so-famous Battle of the Schelde, this interesting drama is a perfect choice since it gives us a very good insight into this true story. It is a hidden gem among better-known movies about the Holocaust, with good performances and storytelling.
Final Account (2021)
What it’s about: Documentaries are, most of the time, a very good way to learn about historical events and stories. This is a very good documentary that brings us closer to the untold stories about the last living generations of Hitler’s Third Reich. These are untold interviews that raise important questions and topics about national identity, authority, and their role in those horrible crimes.
Why you should watch it: If you love documentaries in general and are always eager to know and learn more, this is a movie you shouldn’t miss. It is educational, and it gives answers to some questions that haven’t been answered before.
Riphagen – The Untouchable (2016)
What it’s about: This biographical war drama talks about Dries Riphagen, a Dutch traitor who helped the Nazis steal all Jewish treasures for himself. He was responsible for destroying numerous resistance groups, completely uninterested in the way they would appear in front of others and devoid of any emotions toward their search for justice.
Why you should watch it: It is always interesting to learn more about people who choose to be monsters next to monsters and try and see what drew them to behave that way. This is an interesting portrayal of this evil man and a story that you might not have encountered before, so it is also something new to learn about.
Hitler: A Career (1977)
What it’s about: This is an extremely interesting and important documentary, told in a pretty hectic way, telling us the story of the Third Reich and Hitler’s rise. It is analytical and full of details, and it gives us all the information about Hitler’s unbelievable power and the way he managed to manipulate the masses and take advantage of all their weaknesses.
Why you should watch it: Even though the majority of us are well-informed about Hitler’s personality and the dreadful things he was responsible for before and during World War II, there is always something new to learn about him. If you are interested in the psychology behind his crimes and decisions, this documentary is definitely a good starting point to learn more about him.
#Anne Frank: Parallel Stories (2019)
What it’s about: This is an interesting historical drama with Helen Mirren in the leading role, about five women who survived the Holocaust. The story of Anne Frank is the starting point for the destinies of these five women who had a similar path but fortunately managed to survive. We will learn more about Anne’s life through photos and posts on social networks.
Why you should watch it: If you want to learn about Anne Frank from a somewhat different point of view, this is a movie for you. It is a modern outtake on this heartbreaking story, probably filmed to make it more approachable to the younger generations.
Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis (2021)
What it’s about: This is an interesting and very original short animated documentary that tells the story of a group of young Jewish refugees who find themselves in a secret POW camp near Washington, D.C., in the most intense period of World War II. They will very soon discover that the prisoners are Hitler’s most skilled scientists.
Why you should watch it: If you are ready for something completely different and probably knew about World War II, this documentary is a perfect choice, with its weird but extremely intriguing topic. It will give you an insight into those camps where Nazi scientists were interrogated and questioned by American Jewish soldiers.
My Best Friend Anne Frank (2021)
What it’s about: This is the story of two girls, Hannah and Anne, who were best friends in Amsterdam before Hannah was taken away and imprisoned at camp Bergen Belzen. A few days before her liberation, Hannah starts going back to that time, reminiscing about their friendship, and soon finds out that Anne is also in the camp, separated by a wall. But Hannah is leaving tomorrow.
Why you should watch it: This is a somewhat different point of view in the story of Anne Frank. It is told from her best friend’s perspective, giving us some new information about this young girl. The performances are outstanding, and the overall experience is satisfying, bearing in mind the complexity of the topic itself.
My Führer – The Really Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler (2007)
What it’s about: This action comedy is set in 1944, where we meet Hitler as a physically and mentally destroyed person who is now taking advice from Goebbels. It is like a parallel universe where Hitler lacks confidence and can’t react in any way everyone has heard he used to.
Why you should watch it: Before you decide to see this satire, get prepared for a story you definitely wouldn’t expect. If you can detach yourself from reality and art, you might find some amusing moments here, but if you want to leave the past as it was, maybe you should skip this flick.
The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)
What it’s about: This is a biographical drama set in 1939 Poland, somewhere before Hilter’s invasion of the country. We follow Jan Zabinski and Antonina Zabinska, who work at the Warsaw Zoo and whose lives will drastically change when the capital is bombarded and attacked by Germans. Their zoo became a refuge for Polish-Jewish people, despite Nazi threats.
Why you should watch it: This wonderful true story is a must-see not only for the ones interested in World War II but everyone who wants to witness the heartwarming story of two altruistic individuals who decided to risk their lives for others.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (2018)
What it’s about: This lovely story is set in the aftermath of World War II, and it takes us to Guernsey Island, where a young writer forms a lifetime relationship with its unusual residents. When Juliet Ashton learns about the experiences of the residents of Guernsey during the Nazi occupation, she decides to travel there and gather all the confessions in order to write a book about them during that period. Juliet couldn’t even dream of falling in love with this place and all the people who lived there.
Why you should watch it: This beautiful romantic war drama is an adaptation of the even better novel of the same name, and it is a huge recommendation for everyone who wants history, drama and romance all at once. It has a lot of heart and soul, and despite its serious topic, it will leave you with a warm feeling, full of compassion and love for those interesting and lovely characters.
The Last Days (1998)
What it’s about: This is a war documentary that tells the story of five Hungarian Jews who survived imprisonment in Auschwitz. They were among 425 000 Hungarians who had to be deported or killed during the big Hungarian cleansing. We will listen to their stories about the horrors they had to endure as a result of the Nazis’ “Final Solution”
Why you should watch it: One of the most difficult-to-watch documentaries on World War II but also one of the best and most interesting. It is dark and depressing, covering the period at the end of the war when Hitler wanted to get rid of as many Jews as possible. It is a very educational piece and one of the most significant documentaries about World War II.
What it’s about: On the run and hiding, the four Bielski brothers manage not only to provide for themselves but also for many other fleeing Polish Jews. They know the right people and who to trust from the Soviet partisans and manage to do the impossible, find food and weapons for numerous women, men, and children, young and old, in the middle of the dark and cold woods during some of the most terrifying moments of German-occupied Eastern Europe.
Why you should watch it: This difficult and heartbreaking story about four brothers who find themselves in the deep forests of Poland and Belarus occupied by Germans is one of the most memorable movies set in World War II. It is an interesting story told in an even more interesting way, with brilliant performances by Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jaime Bell.
The Resistance Banker ( 2018)
What it’s about: This biographical war drama tells the story of an Amsterdam family banker, van Hall who, during the Nazi occupation, accepts to help the resistance. He is in charge of financing them with fake credits, and soon he becomes one of the key people in various needed operations, but this will not be that easy anymore since the SS is starting to get closer to him.
Why you should watch it: It is always encouraging to see movies about different types of heroes. This one is about a hero who worked from the underground but made a huge impact during World War II. Van Hall was one of the greatest names among WWII resistance heroes, and this movie brilliantly depicts his courage and sacrifice.
The Photographer of Mauthausen (2018)
What it’s about: Another biographical history drama, this time set in an Austrian concentration camp where we meet Francesc Boix, a Spaniard whose sacrifice will be remembered and written about. Boix is a young inmate who was, together with many other Spanish soldiers, exiled from Spain by Franco after the Civil War. He is a photographer whose hobby will make him one of the most important people inside those dangerous walls since his photos will be some of the most crucial evidence about the Nazi behavior there.
Why you should watch it: Based on a true story, this movie is not only a drama about a remarkable man but also an intense thriller that will constantly keep you guessing. You will be on the edge of your seat most of the time due to its intriguing story, twists, and very good acting.
Run Boy Run (2013)
What it’s about: This drama centers on an 8-year-old boy named Srulik, a refugee from a Warsaw ghetto, in 1942. All alone, his attempts to survive will start in the forest and then on a farm as a Christian boy named Jurek. Even though he is safe now, due to his changed religious ways and ordeal, he is about to lose his Jewish identity.
Why you should watch it: This is an extremely interesting and intense drama, a heartbreaking but wonderful story about courage during the horrors of the Holocaust. It is told from a somewhat different perspective, being told from the perspective of a child, which makes it even more emotional and gripping.
What it’s about: This movie brings us the story of Hitler’s last days, told by his final secretary. He gives his confessions in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII. There are a few more perspectives from various characters who will face us with Hitler we didn’t have a chance to see before.
Why you should watch it: This is one of the best German movies ever, and it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Even though it didn’t win, it is still one of the most famous European movies from 2000. It has been described and viewed as pretty controversial for revealing Hitler’s human side, but it still gained popularity and received praise, especially for Bruno Ganz’s interpretation of Hitler himself.
Suite Francaise (2014)
What it’s about: Michelle Williams, Margot Robbie, and Kristi Scott Thomas star in this romantic thriller drama about a French villager Lucile Angelier and a German soldier Burno von Falk. It is set during the early years of Nazi occupation in France, where young Lucile found solace and comfort in this handsome and gentle officer who was staying in her mother-in-law’s home.
Why you should watch it: This is an interesting love story that shows some more shocking facts about the Nazi regime. Their soldiers were allowed to live in villagers’ homes, despite their role in the war. It is much more than a war story, and it shows us that people can’t choose right from wrong when their heart is in question.
Schindler’s List (1993)
What it’s about: This movie is inspired by true events about Oscar Schindler, a vain and greedy businessman who turns his factory into a refugee for Jews. This heartbreaking story is proof that there is good in some people, even in the toughest and most unlikely moments. Schindler managed to save 1100 Jews from being gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Why you should watch it: This is one of the greatest and most unforgettable movies about the Holocaust and World War II, which can’t be missed. It will make you angry, sad and emotional at the same time due to its story and magnificent performances, led by Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes.
What it’s about: This is a beautiful and remarkable love story that happened in a German concentration camp in 1944. We follow a Polish prisoner who rescues his Jewish girlfriend, and they manage to escape the camp. But during all the chaos, they are separated and convinced that the other is dead. Thirsty years later, a 52-year-old woman finds out her lost Polish love is alive and is determined to find him.
Why you should watch it: Simply because it’s beautiful, heartwarming, and heartbreaking at the same time. The part with the past is especially stunning, with the story and the performances, and it all rounds up nicely at the end of the movie, making it worthwhile seeing.
Woman in Gold (2015)
What it’s about: Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds star in this biographical drama about Maria Altmann, who is struggling to get hold of a world-famous painting of her aunt that was taken away by the Nazis during World War II.
Why you should watch it: This is a story about the spite and pride of a woman who didn’t only want to obtain what was rightfully hers but also claimed justice for all the atrocities, destructions, and deaths committed by the Nazis. It is an interesting movie with good performances and a strong message.