When British troops liberated the German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in April 1945, their horrific discoveries were documented by army and newsreel cameramen. So powerful and damning was their footage that propagandists quickly determined that it should be used – alongside Soviet and American footage – to create a documentary which would condemn the Nazi regime and shame the German people into acceptance of Allied occupation. At the Ministry of Information in London, Sidney Bernstein assembled an expert team that included Alfred Hitchcock, who worked as treatment adviser. By September 1945, however, British priorities for Germany had evolved from de-Nazification to reconstruction and so the film was shelved, unfinished. Following the original filmmakers’ directions and drawing on seventeen hours of rushes, IWM has now restored and completed this brilliant and thought-provoking film.
Event/ This screening will have a short introduction by Dr Toby Haggith, Director of the restoration at Imperial War Museums and will be followed by a short Q&A session.