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Auschwitz - The Nazis And The Final Solution [DVD]
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Auschwitz has a unique place in history. It is where the largest mass murder ever recorded occurred. It is hard to grasp how and why such a chilling place existed. This untold story of Auschwitz marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the camp.
"We need to make an attempt to understand how and why such horrors happened if we are ever to be able to stop them occurring again." Laurence Rees
Written and produced by BAFTA Award winning producer Laurence Rees, and using fresh new research, Auschwitz offers a unique perspective on the camp in which more than one million people were ruthlessly murdered.
The series follows the trail of evil from the very first origins of Auschwitz as a place to hold Polish political prisoners, through the Nazi solution for what they called 'the Jewish problem', to the development of the camp as a mechanised factory for mass murder. It interweaves exceptional new testimony from camp survivors and members of the SS with archive footage and drama reconstructions of some of the key decision-making moments.
The series is the result of three years of in-depth research, drawing on the close involvement of the world experts on the period. It is based on nearly 100 interviews with survivors and perpetrators, many of whom are speaking in detail for the first time.
Sensitively shot drama sequences, filmed on location using German and Polish actors, bring recently discovered documents to life on screen, whilst specially commissioned computer images give a historically accurate view of Auschwitz-Birkenau at all its many stages.
The computer animated images are based on plans from the Auschwitz construction office, which were captured after the war, eye-witness testimony and aerial photos.
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Top Customer Reviews
This 6 part series focusses on the emergence of Auschwitz as a detention centre for political prisoners and eventually its transformation as a killing centre for the Jews of eastern europe. It's flawless in its design and presentations. Even the music used at times, for me in particular, the Symphony of Sorrowful songs, really hit home the gravity of the whole thing.
The series used computer technology to recreate the gas chambers and crematoria with striking accuracy. These reconstructions are based around documents only recently found. This part in particular I found fascinating. It is one thing to look at maps of Auschwitz in books, but quite another to be taken on a virtual tour down dimly lit corridors to a huge gas chamber.
Interviews are given from a huge variety of people ranging from SS guards who (allegedly) did not like working at Auschwitz, Polish prisoners, Jewish prisoners, Slovakian guards, gypsies and Soviet prisoners.
Some of the stories the people interviewed tell are genuinly moving, such as the story of the SS guard who fell in love with a Jewish woman (interviewed) and his determination to save her sister for her but unfortunatly could not save the children. The Jewsih woman expresses that she hated the guard but eventually admits she loved him for what he did and gave evidence on his defence at his post war trial.Read more ›
This documentary is part reconstruction, part interview. The computer reconstructions are excellent, the historical reconstructions helpful. Benefitting from recently discovered documents, the series reconstructs the final solution in chilling detail. As John Raulston Saul comments in his book Voltaire's Bastards, it amply illustrates what happens when reason (in this case the logical approach to the final solution with the use of IBM punch cards, methodically planned death machinery, etc) detached from the other human faculties leads to monsterous behaviour. The Auschwitz commandant is shown playing with his kids. He is human, he is real, and yet he can be a monster because Jews are less than human to him. The largely unrepentant nature of former SS guards is no less disturbing, nor are the stories of some of the things that those who suffered did to each other. The dehumanisers dehumanised their victims.
We dare not stare too long lest our fascination be macabre, focussing too much on the mechanics as the Nazis did. It is more a 'lest we forget'view of history. Genocide has continued to occur, happening even as I write. Auschwitz reminds us why we must not tolerate it.
The documentary is made up of interviews with SS guards and survivors of the most heinous atrocity ever committed. After reading the book and also reading Rudolph Hoess autobiography, “Commandant of Auschwitz” I thought I was prepared for the total lack of remorse which would be exhibited by the SS guards. I wasn’t. Those interviewed still don’t believe, 60 yrs later, that they did anything wrong. I found those interviews particularly disturbing. The stories of survivors of Auschwitz described in great detail the conditions and treatment that they were subjected to and I can only imagine the rage they must still feel towards those SS guards who are still alive today.
Never having been through anything of the sort most of us could never imagine what it must have been like to be in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Those there saw evil so often that one survivor even commented that ‘you see death so much that you become immune to it’.
This BBC documentary is a chilling account of Auschwitz but one which everyone should see to ensure that such an atrocity never happens again. The camps are reconstructed using digital imaging and together with the SS and survivors stories and the original footage available this makes for a fascinating mini-series.
One question remains at the end of the documentary……could this really have happened in the 20th century?!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Watched before a visit to the Camp. Good introduction if you don't know about it...Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
Would recommend watching it's very scary at times but it's hard to imagine it happening in reality and then ask yourself "how can anyone treat there fellow humans in that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by margaret grundy
Excellent dvd for anyone interested in the holocaust and WWII history. This dvd accompanies the book also published and available. Highly recommended !!Published 1 month ago by V J