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Auschwitz - The Nazis And The Final Solution [DVD]

 Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
Price: 10.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Auschwitz - The Nazis And The Final Solution [DVD] + The Nazis - A Warning From History [DVD]
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Product details

  • Producers: Laurence Rees
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Feb 2005
  • Run Time: 285 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006FNXNA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,327 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

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.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2.4 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Black & White, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: It is the site of the largest mass murder in the history of the world - Auschwitz. Yet few know the true and surprising history of this most infamous place, nor how it fitted into the Nazis` overall plan for the mass extermination of the Jews - what they called the `Final Solution`. For Auschwitz, via its destructive dynamism, became both a microcosm of the Nazi State and the logical consequence of Hitler`s warped worldview. Combining rare archive footage, CGI illustrations of the camp never before seen on television and dramatic reconstructions of the key decision-making moments, the story of Auschwitz and the horrific ideology behind it unfolds. Season 1 Surprising Beginnings S1, Ep1 Jan. 11, 2005 Orders & Initiatives S1, Ep2 Jan. 18, 2005 Factories of Death S1, Ep3 Jan. 25, 2005 Corruption S1, Ep4 Feb. 1, 2005 Frenzied Killing S1, Ep5 Feb. 8, 2005 Liberation & Revenge S1, Ep6 Feb. 15, 2005 ...Auschwitz: The Nazis and 'The Final Solution' - 2-DVD Set ( Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State ) ( Auschwitz: The Nazis & The Final Solution )


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
401 of 410 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unrivalled masterpiece 26 April 2006
By Reader
Format:DVD
Many documentaries exist regarding the concentration and extermination camps but not many have Sir Ian Kershaw as the script supervisor. To have the world's authority on the Nazi state work on such a project speaks volumes for its quality.

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.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dare we stare too long? 23 Jan 2006
By M. Pope
Format:DVD
Although I read it second hand, one of the characters in Dante's Inferno is berated for watching two people argue for too long. The problem with evil is that we are often more fascinated with it that the goodness in human nature. However, Auschwitz presents a compelling view not merely of the evil of those who so demonize the other as to show no compassion, but also what such inhumane treatment does to those who have to endure it, and the schizophrenic nature of those who perpetrate such deeds and then happily return home to play with children.
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.
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172 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lest we forget 10 Feb 2005
Format:DVD
The BBC has worked long at establishing a reputation for historical enquiry and the presentation of intelligent, balanced analysis of the distant and the near past. Auschwitz is near enough to be remembered vividly by millions, but there is something about it which tries to convince you that such barbarism could only be traced to our darkest, primeval past. Surely modern man is not capable of that?
The BBC presents a totally absorbing study of the extermination camp. You begin to watch it feeling guilty, feeling that somehow you will be tainted with voyeurism, that your interest in obscenity points to some essential weakness in your character and soul. Within minutes you are absorbed. It's the blandness which gets to you.
The writer, Hannah Arendt, attended the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the German officer in charge of the 'Final Solution': she expected to look evil in the face - instead, she found an innocuous, bald, insignificant little bourgeois, devoutly sticking to the mantra that he had only been following orders. [ See Hannah Arendt, "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil".]
Auschwitz was conceived as an industrial complex, exploiting local natural resources, existing railway lines, and the new-found sources of slave labour. Slowly, it evolved into a death camp, its primary industrial objective being the extermination of a race.
Using archive footage, interviews with survivors (from both sides of the wire), and computer animation to reconstruct the camp, the BBC delivers the tale of a bureaucratic nightmare. The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, was an ambitious Nazi whose management skills were devoted to the task of finding more efficient and cost-effective ways to kill and dispose of the bodies. Morality?
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