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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
The Rise and Fall of the Fourth Reich
Plot:
A Nazi fantasy? In this weird tale, two scientists discover an aged and sickly Adolf Hitler in 1970's Mexico City. They begin to try and restore his health and youth through their experiments.
Episode:
0275
Air Dates:
First Run - May 16, 1975
Repeat - August 31, 1975
Repeat - October 10, 1980
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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22 Responses to Episode 0275


This presentation may be my all time favorite as the storyline is the excellent. Based on the actual events of Germany's Third Reich, Henry Slesar gives us a new and imaginitive twist to the story of Hitler. Please give this one a listen - I think you'll enjoy.

Did Adolph Hitler really take his own life in the bunker at the end of World War II? This speculative episode ponders the question: "What if Hitler faked his death and was found years later by a group of men who seemingly wanted to help him return to power?" This episode is well-acted, well-written, and has a terrific ending. I could listen to this one over and over. Genre: Science-fiction

Two scientists discover an old and dying Adolph Hitler hiding out in 1970s Mexico City. They experiment on him in an effort to restore his youth.

A sick, blind old man in a Mexican slum is Adolf Hitler... But dedicated men with extraordinary modern medical techniques have located the fuhrer and are restoring his health and his youthful vigor.

Listened to this episode after reading all the positive posts about it. It really is an excellent episode. Scientists and physicians seek to revive an elderly man on his deathbed who they call Furer. But why? WHat do they hope to accomplish? Will it work?

In another episode of the RMT calledThe Rise and Fall of the Fifth Reich, Walt Disney's head is defrosted and Mel Gibson is hovering above asking questions about the politics of filmmaking. How far fetched can an RMT writer get before he/she comes up with an episode such as this one? I'll tell you. The kind of writer I wish that I could be. About half-way through the episode, I actually thought to myself, "Man... I wish I had come up with this concept!" This is the kind of brilliant writing that makes this whole RMT experience more than a hobby, but just shy of an obsession. The descriptives in this episode were wonderful. The old, crusty building, the way the old man looked, and even how the narrator describes himself as a man with many names. As for the espisode itself, the production was nothing fantastic in that it utilized very little in the area of sound effects or music to enhance the drama. If anything, the music was a little too strong, in my opinion. This was the kind of episode that could have used (what Hitchcock described in the flim Psycho as) Black & White music (only violins and cellos). But the thing about this tale is that it did not need any kind of high-end audio production. The character dialogue filled every gap perfectly and in a sensical way, even when the story went out of lineage to flashback. I never felt as though I missed a beat or was interrupted. A flawless tale, perhaps. But most importantly about this show was that the writer used the most diabolical, sinister writing technique that an RMT writer could use: the absolute final moment twist ending. It's a surefire skill in writing that can only be used by the most confident craftspersons to blow the socks of the audience. And it did. I never saw this one coming. The build-up of the story took us down a tainted path which constructed our emotional deploration of these characters, only to flood them in our minds with herocism and honor at the very end. The ending was as unfair as an unmarked cruiser on the highway, but I suppose, just as effective in its purpose. I gave the show a high 5 for an incredibly creative and ingenuitive concept, wonderful writing, and par for course production. An excellent choice and one that I'm looking forward to hearing again. I'm curious to read what others have thought on this one. It seems to me there is certainly an underlying emotional contract assigned with this story, especially for anyone of the Jewish faith. In that the story of Jesus is the ultimate story of goodness ever told, the story of Hitler in harsh contrast is perhaps the ultimate story of evilness ever told. In any event, thanks for an excellent choice. Best wishes.

I'm not prepared to provide my review yet but I have the thoughts in my head and I'll be providing my comments in short order. I have to say, I read your review and I believe your work, and I use this term in the most respectful way, is terrific - fitting of this, my favorite episode.

The Rise and Fall of the Fourth Reich is my all-time favorite CBSRMT radio drama. It's one of the programs I remember hearing as a 12 year-old kid and it's probably the single most important reason I was drawn to find the CBSRMT as an adult. I selected it for our show of the week, on the 29th anniversary of its initial broadcast, because I believe this program deserves a bit of a special tribute. As a 12 year-old growing up in a small town in Wyoming, I truly didn't have the life experiences necessary to understand the magnitude of Adolf Hitler's horrific crimes against man. If I'm being honest with myself and with the rest of you, I really don't have the life experiences to imagine the suffering and violence of these crimes even now that I'm an adult - and I hope no one does. However, I think I'm adult enough to understand justice and I believe Hitler, in his final act of malevolence, deprived his victims of the justice they deserved when he cowardly took his own life. Fast forward to our radio drama and 1975. Henry Slesar crafted a terrific script that allows us to think, "what if?" Our author delivered us incredible characters and a rich texture to our radio drama by weaving his work into the real-life horror of the Holocaust. He took us down a path where the Führer is resurrected and revered only to reveal the true intentions of his neo-disciples. In the end, we are allowed a moment of delicious vengeance. But maybe it isn't vengeance we are allowed...maybe it's justice in it's purest form. From the History Channel's, "This Day in History" for May 16, 1943 (32 years, to the day, before our CBSRMT broadcast and 61 years, to the day, before our OTR review of the program)...the Warsaw ghetto revolt was finally put down with the destruction of the Warsaw synagogue. The revolt began on April 18 when Jews, walled into a stifling area after the massive German assault on the city, began a heroic armed revolt against their German persecutors. After all was said and done, 14,000 Jews were killed in the revolt or sent to the death camp at Treblinka and another 42,000 were sent to labor camps in Lublin.

I was blown away by this episode. Maybe the best plot twist in the entire series. You never see it coming. Yet it is so plausible when it hits you. This is truly masterful writing. One of the very best.

Oh yeah! Just listened to this one not too long ago. One of my faves! Great write-ups guys. The ending just blew me away the first time I heard it. If I remember correctly, there was still a lot of speculation in the 70s if Hitler actually made it out of Germany and was in hiding. Taking it in context, it was one of the Unsolved Mysteries and a huge curiosity back then. Slesar took the idea a nd ran with it. What an excellent script. For the record, I used to walk through and explore parts of the Fuehrerbunker and ventilation shafts right after the wall came down when I was stationed in Berlin. The bunker was located in what was known as "no mans land" between East and West Berlin. I think they built apartment buildings on that spot now.

This episode definitely falls into my top ten list. The fact that this is one I can listen to over and over again and still love it speaks to its excellence. The twist at the end makes it all the more interesting to listen to the episode again to see all the clues they were leaving for us along the way. The acting and writing are so well done that you can really visualize everything...the abandoned building, the old man being brought back to "life." Great choice!

The ending was great. I did not see it coming. So far this has been one of my favorite episodes of the week. I look forward to next week!!!!!! Thanks for providing such a great way of listening to RMT.

I completely agree that the clues Henry Slesar left us were surprising. When I listened to it the first time, I missed so much because the clues seemed to fit with the original plot line. The few things that were slighty askew didn't bother me at all. Subsequent listens made me scratch my head and wonder how I missed so much. I think it's interesting that you picked up on the description of the man with many names. In my mind, this must mean that "Gunter" had used many names to track down other Nazis prior to finding Hitler. I wonder how many were treated in a similar manner. It's great to have your participation and I'm glad you enjoyed this program as it's my favorite.

"The Rise and Fall of the Fourth Reich", a play on Shirer's masterpiece? Unlike "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", of which the 1500 pages contain the best single volume history this reviewer has read, our radio drama involves the rejuvenation of a different kind of Reich all together. Hitler is brought to power again, but only in his mind and only to a sufficient degree to allow his "benefactors" the satisfaction of tearing him down. It is a story about revenge. In the drama it is suggested, if memory serves, that it is about "justice"...well, ok, call it that if you like and if the terminology will help to you accept the action. It is revenge. "The angry, spiteful, or malicious return of an injury or wrong suffered; the deliberate and malignant infliction of injury or hurt upon a person in retaliation for a wrong or injury done by him". It is understood by many that Justice is right and Revenge is wrong. While this is no doubt true in many cases, particularly since Justice presumably involves judicial rendering, I do not think it an absolute. Individuals can and do take "justice" on their own hands and exact revenge. In my mind this is perfectly proper in our story here, as it is acted out on Hitler. Will this be healing or damaging to their psyches? Should they have forgiven and unburdened their hearts long ago of the hate? Are these men damaged and beyond repair, only able to gain satisfaction with revenge? It would be interesting to know. ..Technically, and all the components going into the show such as script and story were marvelous. I will leave that at that and again commend the CBSRMT for often going into places other forms of entertainment do not.

I listen to these episodes with a really harsh ear I guess. Then, after I read the posts I see I was too hard and missed something in the episode. This one did have a great twist I should have seen but didn't. I also wonder "Will this be healing or damaging to their psyches? Should they have forgiven and unburdened their hearts long ago of the hate? Are these men damaged and beyond repair, only able to gain satisfaction with revenge? It would be interesting to know." As horrible as the Holocaust was, I can't seem myself being able to kill someone for revenge. I just couldn't do it, I don't think. It does make you think, this episode. Hitler was creepy and crazy, but can this revenge really do any good for anyone? I really think this episode was deeper than I gave it credit for originally.

As I mentioned in my introduction post, I went 20 years between listening to the start of this episode, to finally hearing the whole thing. It was worth it.

The Rise and Fall of the Fourth Reich is my all-time favorite CBSRMT radio drama. It's one of the programs I remember hearing as a 12 year-old kid and it's probably the single most important reason I was drawn to find the CBSRMT as an adult. I selected it for our show of the week, on the 29th anniversary of its initial broadcast, because I believe this program deserves a bit of a special tribute. As a 12 year-old growing up in a small town in Wyoming, I truly didn't have the life experiences necessary to understand the magnitude of Adolf Hitler's horrific crimes against man. If I'm being honest with myself and with the rest of you, I really don't have the life experiences to imagine the suffering and violence of these crimes even now that I'm an adult - and I hope no one does. However, I think I'm adult enough to understand justice and I believe Hitler, in his final act of malevolence, deprived his victims of the justice they deserved when he cowardly took his own life. Fast forward to our radio drama and 1975. Henry Slesar crafted a terrific script that allows us to think, "what if?" Our author delivered us incredible characters and a rich texture to our radio drama by weaving his work into the real-life horror of the Holocaust. He took us down a path where the Führer is resurrected and revered only to reveal the true intentions of his neo-disciples. In the end, we are allowed a moment of delicious vengeance. But maybe it isn't vengeance we are allowed...maybe it's justice in it's purest form. From the History Channel's, "This Day in History" for May 16, 1943 (32 years, to the day, before our CBSRMT broadcast and 61 years, to the day, before our review of the program) the Warsaw ghetto revolt was finally put down with the destruction of the Warsaw synagogue. The revolt began on April 18 when Jews, walled into a stifling area after the massive German assault on the city, began a heroic armed revolt against their German persecutors. After all was said and done, 14,000 Jews were killed in the revolt or sent to the death camp at Treblinka and another 42,000 were sent to labor camps in Lublin.

- One of the best uses of the cornucopia of RMT/CBS music ever, IMO. Tremendous. Just tremendous. - I love the chemistry between the late Robert Dryden, the late Joe Silver and the very living (he's doing the radio spots for lendingtree.com). - Dryden was fascinating as he played an old German attempting to speak spanish with a Mexican accent. - Yes, GREAT scriptwriting. I love learning things. Fuehrerbunker? What a line: "The lips that had once blared out martial music loud enough to stir the world had vanished into a black, toothless hole."

I know that most CBSRMT fans love this episode as much as they love Ep. #0957-HICKORY, DICKORY, DOOM. But to me, this is so-so. Henry Slesar wrote a bizarre, yet interesting tale on how Hitler's alive and able to live after WWII. SPOILER ALERT: the Twisted plot happens at the 38-minute 30-second mark. E.G. Marshall got straight to the point with his narrations in all 3 Acts. If this written for THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Rod Serling would've done a terrific Prologue & Epilogue on this. The sound effects were okay, but nothing fancy to know that this story take place in the 1970's. As for the music, they should've used the horrific tunes from the 3rd Act of Ep. #1245-THE JUDGE'S HOUSE. Listen to that bone chilling music while playing this episode where Hitler begins to rise again and that will give you goosebumps. Last but not least, the voice talents of Paul Hecht (as Gunther Binder), Joe Silver (as Dr. Hans Bundershaff), and Ken Harvey (as Dr. Stiller) were satisfactory. Robert Dryden (as Adolf Hitler) was good, but would've been better if he spoke with a thick German accent like Louis Turenne when he played Hitler in Ep. #1355-ADOLF AND EVA. But still, it's a fantasy tale that's worth checking out.

I have a special fondness for this one. Slesar was a great writer. My personal story with this one goes like this- I was listening to it late at night, back in 1980 when it was rebroadcast. So late, that I feel asleep before act 3. For many years I wondered what had happened, until finally getting to hear the end 18 years later when I downloaded it.

. I know that most CBSRMT fans love this episode as much as they love Ep. #0957-HICKORY, DICKORY, DOOM. But to me, this is so-so. Henry Slesar wrote a bizarre, yet interesting tale on how Hitler's alive and able to live after WWII. SPOILER ALERT: the Twisted plot happens at the 38-minute 30-second mark. E.G. Marshall got straight to the point with his narrations in all 3 Acts. If this written for THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Rod Serling would've done a terrific Prologue & Epilogue on this. The sound effects were okay, but nothing fancy to know that this story take place in the 1970's. As for the music, they should've used the horrific tunes from the 3rd Act of Ep. #1245-THE JUDGE'S HOUSE. Listen to that bone chilling music while playing this episode where Hitler begins to rise again and that will give you goosebumps. Last but not least, the voice talents of Paul Hecht (as Gunther Binder), Joe Silver (as Dr. Hans Bundershaff), and Ken Harvey (as Dr. Stiller) were satisfactory. Robert Dryden (as Adolf Hitler) was good, but would've been better if he spoke with a thick German accent like Louis Turenne when he played Hitler in Ep. #1355-ADOLF AND EVA. But still, it's a fantasy tale that's worth checking out.

Last time I had heard this was 2009 when I was working on taxes lol. I have a special fondness for this one. Slesar was a great writer. My personal story with this one goes like this- I was listening to it late at night, back in 1980 when it was rebroadcast. So late, that I feel asleep before act 3. For many years I wondered what had happened, until finally getting to hear the end 18 years later when I downloaded it.

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