Screening of "German Concentration Camps Factual Survey" at JW3

18 May 2017 - 6pm | JW3, London
'Smiling children through barbed wire' taken by Sgt Lewis, 19-20 April 1945

Screening of "German Concentration Camps Factual Survey"

On 18 May 2017, the Jewish Community Centre JW3 will screen the documentary "German Concentration Camps Factual Survey" followed by a Q&A and panel discussion on the history and impact of this film.

Commissioned in April 1945 by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, the film was meant to be the official British documentary of Nazi-Germany’s concentration camps and atrocities discovered when the Allies liberated Europe. The film is compiled from footage shot by combat and newsreel cameramen and covers the scenes at several concentration camps discovered in Austria, Germany and Poland.

Sidney Bernstein (founder of Granada Television) was the Producer of the film at Britain’s Ministry of Information. He assembled a small but distinguished team of experts including Alfred Hitchcock to work on the project.

Right from the start, there were a number of problems including the practical difficulties of international co-operation, the realities of post-war shortages and the beginning of the Cold War. Eventually, the film was shelved, unfinished.

In the early 1950s, the Imperial War Museum (IWM) inherited the materials. Decades later, curators at the IWM and a researcher working on a biography of Sidney Bernstein became aware of the importance of the material. The restoration of the film finally began in 2008.

This event is a co-operation of JW3, the Imperial War Museum, the British Film Institute and the German Embassy London. The expert panel will include Dr Toby Haggith (Senior Curator at IWM and the documentary’s Restoration Director), Professor Rainer Schulze (Historian and member of the International Advisory Board for the memorial Bergen-Belsen) David Bernstein (Sidney Bernstein‘s son) and Professor Peter Lantos (adviser and survivor of Belsen) and will be chaired by Trudy Gold, JW3’s Holocaust Education Consultant.

Click here for more information.