with Director of the restoration, Dr Toby Haggith, Imperial War Museums
Dir: Sidney Bernstein
United Kingdom / 2014 / 88mins

Book Tickets

Date: Sun 26 April, 2015
Time: 15:30
Price: £9 (£7 concessions)
There are currently no screenings of this film.

German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (1945/2014)
Director of the restoration: Dr Toby Haggith, Imperial War Museums

The extraordinary, original cut of an ambitious postwar documentary about German concentration camps masterminded by Sidney Bernstein, and restored by the Imperial War Museum. Created by carefully following the original filmmakers’ directions and drawing on seventeen hours of rushes, the museum has for the first time completed the original film, detailing the liberation of German concentration camps.

In 1944 and ‘45, cameramen documented the liberation of German concentration camps. The horrific resulting footage was so powerful and damning that allied propagandists quickly determined that it should be made into a documentary to screen after the war. At the Ministry of Information in London, Sidney Bernstein assembled an expert team that included Alfred Hitchcock, Stewart McAllister and Richard Crossman, with the aim of constructing the footage into a film. But by September 1945, British priorities for Germany had changed and the film was very suddenly shelved, unfinished.



The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Dr Toby Haggith, Director of the Restoration, Imperial War Museum.

Image credits: Sidney Bernstein (left) the Producer of German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, on a visit to North Africa in 1943. Next to Bernstein is Lt Cdr Anthony Kimmins (Admiralty Public Relations) and Major Hugh Stewart (Commander of the British Army Film and Photographic Units in North Africa and North West Europe). At the time of this visit, Bernstein was head of the Liberated Territories Section, Films Division in the British Ministry of Information.  Note also, it was Major Stewart who ordered that the AFPU cameramen should provide full coverage of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after its liberation. © Imperial War Museums (HU 38069)

Listings Page image: The still of the distressed young woman watching a burial at Belsen, is described in the shot sheet as, ‘Reaction of girl.’ Sergeant  Lewis, 17 April 1945. © Imperial War Museums (IWM FLM 1002).