Alfred Hitchcock’s shelved Holocaust documentary cannot be denied

January 28, 2015 12:53 PM

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In April 1945, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force ordered that footage shot by combat and newsreel cameramen during the liberation of Occupied Europe be aggregated into a documentary film that would be shown to the German prisoners of war as irrefutable proof of what had occurred under the Nazi regime.The producer from the British Ministry of Information, Sidney Bernstein, assembled a first-rank team of editors for the project and eventually brought Alfred Hitchcock over to help organize the footage and accompanying narration. (Later, Billy Wilder would also be brought in to work on the documentary.)

Post-war events quickly overshadowed the painstaking work. The last official action on the film, according to the Imperial War Museum in London, was a screening of the five-reel rough cut on September 29, 1945, after which it was shelved. Seven years later, the material, including 100 more reels of ...

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