Hitchcock’s Horror of Holocaust unearthed
The following story was submitted by user Sarah Chana in the US and comes from SPLOID – a blog that describes itself as providing “Headlines from the future… awesome things for people who like to dream about the future.” A strange place indeed for such a horrible, historical documentary
The film you can see over these lines has never seen the light. It was made by Alfred Hitchcock after being traumatised by the images recorded by the British Army Film Unit at the Nazi concentration camps of Dachau and Mauthausen. It’s a devastating film that should be shown at high school everywhere.
Directed and written by Hitchcock, only a few of these images were shown in 1985 under the title Memory of the Camps. The film is truly horrifying and heart-breaking, made by a Hitchcock that apparently fell into a depression after seeing the original material, shutting himself inside his home for a week. I have to confess that I had to stop watching half way because I couldn’t take it anymore. The narration stops at some of the most horrible and sad moments.
The American and the British wanted to release this film fast, to make the Germans accept their collective responsibility for the horrible acts that they allowed or conveniently ignored in their own and occupied territories. However, it was never shown. Why?
Dr Toby Haggith—the Senior Curator at the Department of Research at the Imperial War Museum—told The Independent explains that the political situation changed. By the time the film was finished in 1945, the Allies thought that humiliating the Germans once again with such a soul-breaking documentary wouldn’t help in the post-war reconstruction and reconciliation effort. So they buried it.
The author of the blog ends: “I think that was a mistake. In fact, this film should probably be seen by everyone, everywhere!”