German Concentration Camps Factual Survey

This official British documentary of the German concentration camps and the atrocities discovered when the Allies liberated occupied Europe was produced by Sidney Bernstein for the British Ministry of Information. The film was originally intended to provide evidence of the atrocities to the German public. Bernstein asked Alfred Hitchcock, who is credited as a “treatment advisor,” to collaborate on the assembling of the footage for a project initially known as German Concentration Camps Factual Survey. In particular, Hitchcock advised on the most effective methods of editing the sequences together. By the time the film was ready for release, there had been a change in Anglo-German relations and it was shelved. For a number of years, the film reels languished in the Imperial War Museum and were known only by their archival title number: F3080. In the 1970s, Hitchcock told Henri Langlois, co-founder of the Cinémathèque Française, “At the end of the war, I made a film to show the reality of the concentration camps, you know. Horrible. It was more horrible than any fantasy horror. Then, nobody wanted to see it. It was too unbearable. But it has stayed in my mind all of these years.” —British Film Institute
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