German Concentration Camps Factual Survey
German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (1945/2014) is the British Ministry of Information documentary about German atrocities and the concentration camps. Ordered in April 1945 by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, the film is an official documentary about German atrocities and the concentration camps compiled with footage shot by combat and newsreel cameramen accompanying troops as they liberated occupied Europe. It was to be the film screened in Germany after the fall of the Third Reich – shown to German prisoners of war wherever they were held.
Producer Sidney Bernstein assembled a team at the Ministry of Information that included Editors Stewart McAllister and Peter Tanner; Writers Colin Wills and Richard Crossman; and Alfred Hitchcock, who worked as Treatment Adviser. Making a long film about such an important and complex subject was difficult. Progress was slow and the film missed its moment. By September 1945, British priorities for Germany had evolved from de-Nazification to reconstruction and so the film was shelved, unfinished.
Described by critics as "an impressive and important piece of filmmaking, restored with intelligence and care by the museum," the film has been digitally restored and, with the assembly for the first time of the sixth and final reel, the Imperial War Museum has completed the film to the instructions laid down by the original production team in 1945.
Followed by a conversation with Toby Haggith, Senior Curator and Restoration Director of "German Concentration Camps Factual Survey", Imperial War Museum.
One of the accompanying events for the In a Foreign Country. Publications from the Displaced Persons Camps exhibition.
23 November 2015, 7.30 pm
Event in English language