10 posts tagged with auschwitz and history.
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“German Concentration Camps Factual Survey”

In 1945, as Allied troops liberated concentration camps across what had been German-occupied Europe, the British Ministry of Information commissioned a documentary that would provide incontrovertible evidence of the Nazis’ crimes. Producer Sidney Bernstein's cameramen accompanied US, UK and Soviet troops into Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and other camps. Six reels of film, known as the German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, were assembled and edited in part by Alfred Hitchcock (supervising director) and Billy Wilder.

The final product "was meant to be a historical document and a teaching tool; among the stated goals of the filmmakers was that it be shown to Germans to prove to them that the horrors of the camps were real." But the project was deemed too politically sensitive and abandoned before it was completed. The finished reels, storyboards and scripts sat in British archives for years. In 1985, PBS Frontline took some of the footage and created a documentary special: "Memory of the Camps." On January 27, 2015, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, HBO aired "Night Will Fall,” (trailer) directed by André Singer, which tells the story of the making of Factual Survey "...through the eyes of people who either filmed it, or through the eyes of the soldiers who first went in, to see what happened in the camps - or through the eyes of surviving victims who were in the camps." Film footage at links is disturbing and possibly NSFW [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 5, 2015 - 28 comments

Say Cheese

"Is it OK to take a selfie at Auschwitz?", asks archaeologist Paul Mullins. Selfies are people in places, not objects in spaces, says Katie Warfield.
posted by Rumple on Jul 11, 2014 - 76 comments

The Kommandant's Daughter

"Brigitte Höss lives quietly on a leafy side street in Northern Virginia. She is retired now, having worked in a Washington fashion salon for more than 30 years. She recently was diagnosed with cancer and spends much of her days dealing with the medical consequences. Brigitte also has a secret that not even her grandchildren know. Her father was Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 10, 2013 - 81 comments

X-Mensch

Magneto the Jew
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2013 - 60 comments

Gray zone, schmay zone

Almost immediately upon my arrival in my first teaching job, I became the go-to guy for the Holocaust. Of course, this was partly due to my dissertation, but in larger part, I suspect, because of my Jewishness. This was fine with me for a number of reasons. First, as a junior faculty member, this identification, though merely professional, could only help in my quest for tenure. An expert on the Holocaust carried infinitely greater weight, I thought, than an expert on ministerial instability during the French Third Republic.

Dissolution: My life as an accidental Holocaust expert—and why I decided to quit
posted by timshel on Feb 25, 2012 - 13 comments

Prisoner 918

802 Prisoners attempted escape from Auschwitz. 144 were successful. Kazimierz Piechowski, a Polish boy scout, was one of them. Today, at age 91, he tells his story. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 13, 2011 - 30 comments

"Arbeit Macht Frei" Sign Stolen

Poland has declared a state of emergency, after the infamous bronze sign reading "Arbeit Macht Frei" at former Konzentrationslager (concentration camp) Auschwitz was stolen yesterday. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 18, 2009 - 170 comments

Holocaust survivors with Alzheimer's are forced to relive Auschwitz.

Holocaust survivors with Alzheimer's are forced to relive Auschwitz. "At Baycrest's Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for the Aged in Toronto, 50 per cent of patients with dementia are Holocaust survivors for whom the loss of short-term memory condemns them, once again, to the death camps."
posted by mcwetboy on Sep 21, 2002 - 20 comments

Who owns the products of slave labour?

Who owns the products of slave labour? Or, more broadly, how do we remember the Holocaust? A unique dispute over ownership rights to artwork in the case of the Auschwitz Memorial Museum vs. former camp prisoner Dinah Gottliebova Babbitt illuminates underlying moral questions about the Holocaust and post-Holocaust culture. Babbitt, now living in southern California, is a university-trained Czechoslovak artist who has been fighting to reclaim her art from the Auschwitz Museum since 1973... [She] was a Jewish prisoner there in 1944 when Josef Mengele learned of her artistic skills and forced her to make watercolor portraits of dying Gypsies in order to get the kind of documentation he wanted on exact skin color and ear shapes. Gottliebova Babbitt made a dozen such portraits, seven of which are now tucked away in Room No. 11 of the Auschwitz Museum. [...] "Mengele ordered me to do it as slave labor. But it was my work, my paintings."
posted by jokeefe on Mar 28, 2002 - 20 comments

'An investor has obtained permission to operate a discotheque in a former tannery where Auschwitz inmates worked and died, an official said yesterday, and a TV report said it was already open for business.' I'm not even outraged by this. it just makes me numb.
posted by rebeccablood on Aug 18, 2000 - 15 comments

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