Allied Attempts to Cover Nazi Crimes on Film – What Questions can the Footage Answer?
Fr, 13/12/2019 – 10:30 bis So, 15/12/2019 – 13:00
Justus Liebig University Giessen
Michaela Scharf and Ingo Zechner at the international workshop on Allied film footage of liberated camps
The workshop invites experts from various fields to discuss the potential of images from the camps for studying the history of the Holocaust.
There is hardly any filmic evidence of Nazi concentration and death camps as they were before their SS personnel fled and Allied troops arrived. The SS obeyed the strict prohibitions against filming what went on inside, and the exception — the relatively little footage that was permitted to be shot – was intended to deceive viewers about the true nature of the camps. Allied footage of liberated camps is therefore often used, for example in documentary films and at memorial sites, to fill this void in the visual record. But can the footage really do that? What does it actually include? What exactly do these images show (and what do they not show)? And, after decades of academic research and public history, what can they still tell today’s viewers, despite their having never been the intended audience?