Murder by Signature (1961)
A Film from the Artur Brauner Collection at Our Library
The documentary Murder by Signature (originally titled Eichmann und das Dritte Reich, or Eichmann and the Third Reich) uses archival images to create a panorama of Nazi antisemitism, culminating in the deportation of European Jews. One of the main figures responsible for the murder of six million human beings was the former SS leader Adolf Eichmann, who succeeded in going underground and fleeing to Argentina after the war. In 1961, he was tried in Israel and sentenced to death.
German-Jewish journalist and filmmaker Erwin Leiser educated the German public about the background of the crimes tried in Jerusalem with film clips of the trial and explanations of documents. Leiser also created his own film footage, including an interview with Hessian Attorney General Fritz Bauer – who at the time was preparing the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials. Produced by the Swiss film producer Lazar Wechsler and Artur Brauner, the film becomes a mute lament when the sound cuts out as the pictures of the deportations are shown.
Written and directed by Erwin Leiser.
Erwin Leiser, Gott hat kein Kleingeld. Erinnerungen (God Doesn't Have Any Small change: Memories), Cologne, Kiepenheuer & Witsch 1993, 160-166