I watched all three parts when they were aired on TV.
I must admit I initially had no great expectations for it and had halfway expected it ot be just another hollow made-for-TV "event movie" (like the one on the Wilhelm Gustloff sinking from a few years back) or soapy melodrama (like the recent one on the Hotel Adlon), but was pleasently surprised and instantly hooked, even.
The three-parter follows the lives of five young Berliners, friends since childhood, through the war years of 1941 to 1945.
On the eve of the Russian campaign they meet up one last time to celebrate their friendship before their ways will part: Friedhelm, a young, sensitive man, has recently been called up for military service and is highly sceptical of the war. His older brother Wilhelm - clearly their father's favorite - is a promising young Lieutenant who had participated in the Polish and French campaigns. Having just finished her training as a Red Cross nurse, the patriotic Charlotte has volunteered for war service in military hospitals. Pretty young Greta is an aspiring singer and Viktor, her boyfriend, is a Jewish tailor.
Soon, their lives are to change dramatically: Friedhelm and Wilhelm face the hardships and dangers of Eastern Front combat and the Russian winter, witness the uncompromising brutality of both sides and are confronted with the nature of Hitler's race war first-hand. Charlotte has to deal with the woundeds' suffering and death on a daily basis. Viktor, having narrowly escaped the camps, will eventually find himself with Polish partisans, while Greta, exploiting an affair with a Gestapo officer - partly to try and help her boyfriend, but mostly to help her career - will be the one to rise the highest and fall the deepest.
All of them are profoundly changed by their experiences in very different ways and all of them will lose their innoncence. Not all of them will make it.
The film is very well made with excellent production values and a universally strong cast down to the smallest supporting roles.
It only has a few very minor weaknesses: Occasionally, cliché creeps in and the last part stretches credibility a bit by employing two highly unlikely chance encounters of two long-separated characters. Still, it's very good and, were it not for those minor flaws, could have been truly great.
I would definitely recommend it.