( dpa ) - Nazi storm troopers and tanks heading through the streets or even the sudden appearance of the Fuhrer at mass rallies would seem to be at odds with modern Berlin, which since the implosion of communism more than 18 years ago has become one of Europe's most vibrant capitals.
But in recent years, the German capital has emerged as a major backdrop for a wave of new films and TV documentaries exploring the horrors of the Third Reich which have underscored the moves by German filmmakers to take control of their history 75 years after Hitler's rise to power.
The flood of movies and documentaries have included stories about an elite Nazi school as well as the life and times of propagandist Joseph Goebbels with the themes of many of the movies also making a break from the portrayal of the Second World War and the Nazis by British and Hollywood directors.
In addition there has been a movie about a rebellion by Jewish prisoners' wives and women forced to work as prostitutes for Germany's wartime army along with an at times chilling documentary- interview with Hitler's wartime secretary, Traudl Junge in Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary.
German-born Marc Rothemund's Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, which is about two young students, Scholl and her brother, Hans, who were members of the White Rose resistance group during the Nazi years, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006.
More controversial was Jewish director Dani Levy's Mein Fuehrer: The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler, a comedy about the Nazi leader that met with scorn from some critics. Swiss-born Levy has lived in Berlin since 1980.
That said, however, new films about the Nazi leader have been a feature of the recent raft of movies produced in Germany and have helped to shed fresh light on the country's National Socialist history.
Indeed, it was Der Untergang (The Downfall) by Hamburg-born director Oliver Hirschbiegel portraying Hitler sinking into madness during his final 12 days trapped in his Berlin bunker that helped to spark a new debate in Germany about the terror and hate unleashed by the Nazis.
The Downfall's Oscar nomination in 2005 was sign of how "we attempt to bring a new perspective to German history," said Hirschbiegel.
Germans have rarely been shy to delve into the darker side of their nation's past, but for many Germans the portrayal of Hitler as a human being disintegrating physically and mentally as his 1,000 year Reich crumbled around him was particularly troubling if not harrowing.
As a sign of the impact of the film in Germany, many Germans sat still in their seats for minutes after screenings of The Downfall, quietly watching the credits roll past.
This was especially the case for older Germans who were brought up in an era when discussion at home or school about Nazism was essentially taboo and who have been startled by the new information about the Hitler regime that has emerged as a result of the wave of new films and documentaries.
Vienna-born Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters described the audacious and bizarre plan conceived by the Nazis to snatch victory from the allies by undermining the economies of their wartime enemies by pumping out millions of worthless British and American banknotes.
With Ruzowitzky's film putting the spotlight on another aspect of life under National Socialism, the movie showed that because of the importance attached to the mission by the Nazis the counterfeiters enjoyed a relatively comfortable and privileged life compared to others detained at the same camp near Berlin.
The sense of a new generation of German movie-makers seeking to film their nation's history has made new incursions by Hollywood into the Nazi past controversial if not unwelcome.
In particular this was demonstrated by the reaction to Valkyrie about the plot led by Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg to assassinate Hitler which was filmed in Berlin and directed by New York-born Bryan Singer.
Germany marked the 60th anniversary of the 1944 assassination attempt with a batch of documentaries and docu-dramas which critics saw at the time as an important turning point in how Germans handled their history with German actors playing the leading figures in the key events in the nation's past.
Whatever Stauffenberg's intentions would have been had he managed to kill Hitler, the anniversary of the assassination attempt helped to transform Stauffenberg into one of the few German heroes of the Nazi era.
As result the filming of Valkyrie stirred up a fierce debate in Germany when Hollywood actor Tom Cruise was selected to play the role of Stauffenberg.
Apart from an American playing such a sensitive role, Cruise is also a very prominent member of the Church of Scientology, which the German authorities are highly critical of.