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Holocaust Studies *: Documentary and Feature Films and Videos

This guide is intended to help any faculty, graduate, or undergraduate student find resources in the area of Holocaust Studies.

Finding Films and Videos on the Holocaust both Online and DVDs

You can search for films and videos with the subject heading of "Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)" by clicking this link: Search

The search results will number in the thousands, but you can refine the search using the filters on the side to refine your search results by availability, date, subject, author/creator, library, location, database, language and genre. The results may be online videos or physical DVDs.

Many films are not available online. For information on finding and viewing DVDs in Leavey Library, please see our online guide to DVDs in Leavey Library.

A few examples of films and videos are shown below. Online videos may be from sources such as Alexander Street or Kanopy or others.

Selected Documentaries: History

The Cross and the Star: Jews, Christians, and the Holocaust
"...finds disheartening echoes of anti-Semitism in the otherwise profound, lyrical Gospel of St. John, the sermons of St. Augustine, the writings of Martin Luther and in the voices of the Crusaders and the Spanish Inquisitors -- all of which may have helped sow the ideological seeds that developed into Nazism."

The Holocaust: What The Allies Knew
"This documentary delves into never before seen archival footage and documents to investigate how much the Allies knew about the mass murder of Europe's Jews during World War II and why they did not do more to stop it. This fiml examines the immigration policy, top secret documents, personal prejudice and government policies that resulted in the deaths of millions."
(Kanopy)

Messengers Without an Audience
"...is a gripping documentary about the heroism of a handful of eyewitnesses who brought the first devastating reports about the Nazi atrocities to the West. Why did such a large proportion of the world ignore the genocide of millions of civilians in Europe? Did people not believe what was happening in Europe or was their indifference plain anti-Semitism? These questions are addressed in the documentary through interviews with four men who tried to warn the world: Jan Karski, Gerhart Riegner, Jan Nowak and Wladislav Bartoszewski. The documentary examines the reasons for ignoring the Nazi's murderous actions. Anti-Semitism was common at the time not only in Europe but among high officials of the American State Department. ...:"

Shoah "Twelve years in the making, Shoah is Lanzmann’s monumental epic on the Holocaust and features interviews with survivors, bystanders, and perpetrators in 14 countries. This two part documentary does not contain any historical footage but rather features interviews which seek to 'reincarnate' the Jewish tragedy and also visits places where the crimes took place. It grew out of Lanzmann’s concern that the genocide perpetrated only 40 years earlier was already retreating into the mists of time, and that atrocity was becoming sanitized as History. His massive achievement – at once epic and intimate, immediate and definitive – is a triumph of form and content that reveals hidden truths while rewriting the rules of documentary filmmaking."

First Era

Second Era

 

 

(The Cross and the Star: Jews, Christians and the Holocaust)

 

 

Selected Documentaries: Cobcentration Camps

Bach in Auschwitz
"The Auschwitz Orchestra had over 40 members, all Jewish women, all escaping death in the gas chambers because of their musical ability. All were deeply traumatised, and five decades later recall their experiences.The leader of the orchestra was Alma Rose, the niece of the composer Gustav Mahler, and the daughter of a celebrated violinist, Arnold Rose, who dedicated herself to rescuing female musicians from certain death and protecting them inside the Auschwitz camp....." (Kanopy)

Blueprints of Genocide
"Documents kept in Moscow archives since World War II are providing the complete story behind the planning, engineering and building of the Auschwitz complex and its ultimate role as a machine of mass destruction. The programme provides an insight into the role played by civilian firms and their engineers and the motivation that spurred them to uphold and promote Hitler's Final Solution.

Dachau--Liberation and Retribution
"The inhuman brutality and bloodshed that was endemic at Dachau—Nazi Germany's first concentration camp—did not come to an end with its 1945 liberation, for this dreadful place proved capable of triggering a spate of vengeful retaliation not only by its half-crazed prisoners, but their rescuers as well. Chapels of various faiths, memorials, and sculptures now mark the camp's sites of execution and torture."

Dachau—State Within a State
"Dachau Camp was officially described as 'the first concentration camp for political prisoners' by Heinrich Himmler. Behind its fences, murderous SS policies, epidemics, and starvation claimed thousands of lives. This program, the first of two focusing on the Dachau camp, shows the true horrors of the Nazi regime from the infamous shower rooms to the crematorium that ran day and night disposing of human remains."

Death Camp Treblinka: Survivor Stories
"The dark heart of the Nazi holocaust, Treblinka was an extermination camp where over 800,000 Polish Jews perished from 1942. Only two men can bear final witness to its terrible crimes. Samuel Willenberg and Kalman Taigman were slave laborers who escaped in a dramatic revolt in August 1943. One would seek vengeance in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, while the other would appear in the sensational trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961. This film documents their amazing survivor stories and the tragic fate of their families, and offers new insights into a forgotten death camp."

Kinderblock 66; Return to Buchenwald
"After mid-1944, and the Allied landings at Normandy, World War II appeared to be nearing its bloody end. In the East, the Soviet Army offensive pushed the Nazi war machine back toward Germany's borders From the West, the US and British armies pushed through France and Belgium toward the Rhine. But even as the war's likely outcome became clearer, the Nazis continued to fight tenaciously and to carry out their effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe. During 1944, the gas chambers continued operating at Auschwitz-Birkenau until the late fall.brought to it from camps throughout the Nazi system..."

Memory of the Camps
"Fifty years ago, film crews for the Allied Expeditionary Force entered Nazi concentration camps to find atrocities beyond their imagination. Kept in a vault at London's Imperial War Museum since 1945, the film shows tragic images of the genocide including scenes of gas chambers, experimentation labs and the haunted, starving survivors. Some footage was filmed moments before the camps where liberated, as Nazi soldiers hurried to cover evidence."

Mina's Recipe Book
"In the 1940s, Mina Pachter was sent to a Nazis concentration camp in Terezin. Before dying of starvation there, she carefully recorded her favorite recipes, hoping they would somehow make it to her daughter, who had escaped to Palestine. Twenty years later, her daughter was given a handwritten book, covered in craft paper and held together by a simple piece of string. She opened it to read: 'Cakes for new mothers, Baden Caramel sweets, Quetsch strudel, Linzertorte...'"

Night and Fog
"Ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, filmmaker Alain Resnais documented the abandoned grounds of Auschwitz. One of the first cinematic reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust,  this film contrasts the stillness of the abandoned camps' quiet, empty buildings with haunting wartime footage..."   (Kanopy)

 

Touched by Auschwitz

  • Episode 1 "...tells the extraordinary story of six Auschwitz survivors. Producer and director Laurence Rees filmed Auschwitz survivors, their friends, and their families in Jerusalem, Chicago, London, Bavaria, Krakow, and Tel Aviv. The interviews build a compelling portrait of the problems, challenges, and triumphs the survivors experienced since the war as a result of their time in the concentration camp, and attempt to answer one of the most profound questions of the Holocaust— what is the human legacy of the crime?"
  • Episode 2  "The extraordinary story of six Auschwitz survivors—telling of their survival in the years after they left the camp, and travelling right up to the present day. Producer and director Laurence Rees has travelled extensively in order to film six survivors of Auschwitz, along with their friends and families. Together these sequences, filmed in Jerusalem and Chicago, London and Bavaria, Krakow and Tel Aviv, build into a compelling portrait of the problems, challenges and triumphs that six different individuals have experienced since the war as a result of their time in Auschwitz. These interviews attempt to answer one of the most profound questions of the Holocaust—what is the human legacy of the crime?"

 

Witness to Auschwitz
"With so few survivors of the Holocaust left to share their first-hand testimony, what is the right approach to those with accounts that cannot be proved? Ninety-three-year-old Denis Avey is a British hero of the Holocaust who helped save the life of an Auschwitz inmate. He wrote about this heroic act, verified by the man he saved, in a best-selling book. But its publication generated a heated debate. That's because Denis also claimed to have broken in to the Nazi concentration camp itself. Why would anyone do such a thing and was it even possible? Witness to Auschwitz examines the controversy surrounding this latest Holocaust account and asks why is it so important to know the truth?"

 

(NIGHT AND FOG)

 

Selected Feature Films on DVD in Leavey Library

Adam Resurrected
"A Nazi concentration camp survivor spends the next 15 years of his life as a patient at a hidden experimental insane asylum, where he uses his magic tricks and comic abilities to stay sane. When he tries to help a young boy also suffering, he is forced to deal with his own pain and healing."

Ambulance
"In this haunting short fiction film, a group of Jewish children and their teacher are herded into an ambulance by Nazis; the vehicle, ordinarily representing comfort and safety, becomes the group's death chamber. Morgenstern's presentation of the incident serves as a metaphor for the horror of the Holocaust and provides a powerful trigger for discussion of the disturbing issues raised by the film. The figure of the children's teacher specifically parallels Janusz Korčak (1879-1942), a famous Jewish educator who ran an orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto and died with his young charges at Treblinka."

Amen
"A Waffen-SS officer employed in the SS Hygiene Institute, is shocked to learn that the process he has developed to eradicate typhus is now being used for killing Jews in extermination camps. When he attempts to notify the Pope about the gassings he is appalled by the lack of response he gets from the Catholic hierarchy, except for one priest."

Apt Pupil
"A dark drama about a sixteen-year-old honor student who recognizes an old man living in his hometown as a hunted Nazi. Compelled to reveal the secrets of his death camp past to earn the boy's silence, the German fugitive derives a sinister scheme to implicate the teenager in a dangerous psychological game."

The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank
"During the World War II Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, Miep Gies risks everything she has to hide two Jewish families in the attic over the office where she works. She was their lifeline - provider of food and gentle encouragement - and it was through her courageous actions that Anne's diary was preserved and lives on today."

Au revoir les enfants = Goodbye, Children
"A semi-autobiographical film based on the director's experiences as a schoolboy during the German occupation of France in World War II."

Auschwitz
"Go inside one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps."

Autumn Hearts: A New Beginning
"The past has cast a long shadow over the present. A picturesque farm is where the now-married Melanie lives unhappily with her husband. When Melanie invites fellow Holocaust survivor Jakob to her home, he unexpectedly brings Christopher, whose love for Melanie has never diminished since their confinement in an internment camp. Old feelings and long-suppressed memories are stirred up and reveal a climactic, life-changing feasts."

Aviya's Summer = ha-Ḳayits shel Aviyah
"Presents Gila Almagor's autobiographical film about a Holocaust survivor who immigrates with her daughter to the newly founded Israeli state. Aviya is a spunky 10 old year girl who, like her mother, is a survivor in the face of persecution."

A Bag of Marbles
"The travels of two Jewish boys in occupied France who attempt to escape to the free zone."

Bent
"Pursued and captured by the Nazis because he is gay, Max is placed in a concentration camp where he pretends to be Jewish to avoid even worse persecution. There he meets another gay prisoner and learns a life-altering lesson about human love."

Bittere Ernte = Angry Harvest
"A story of love and desire during World War II. A lonely farmer rescues a Jewish refugee as she is fleeing from the Nazis. While he nurses her back to health, their relationship begins to grow more intimate."

A Blind Hero:  The Love of Otto Weidt
"In A Blind Hero, award-winning journalist and author Inge Deutschkron, recounts the incredible true story of Otto Weidt, the man who saved her life and those of many others, in this moving docudrama. Weidt, a Berlin brush and broom manufacturer, using cunning and determination, manages to save not only Inge and her mother but also the rest of his employees from the Nazis. A surprisingly little known story, the film also brings to life his tragic love of Alice Licht and his desperate journey to save her and her family from the gas chamber, all while he himself was almost completely blind."

The Book Thief
"Based upon the best-selling novel. The profoundly moving story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany. Although Liesel is illiterate when she is adopted by a German couple, her adoptive father encourages her to learn to read. Ultimately, the power of words helps Liesel and Max, a Jew hiding in the family's home, escape from the events unfolding around them."

Das Boot ist voll = The Boat is Full
"A group of refugees fleeing Nazi Germany are taken in by a Swiss innkeeper who is forced to make a difficult decision."

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
"Set in Poland during World War II. Innocent and naive 8-year-old Bruno is bored and restless in his new home. Ignoring his mother, he sets off on an adventure in the woods. He comes across a high fence which separates him from the people he can see through it. Soon he meets a young boy in striped pajamas, and a surprising friendship develops."

Bye Bye Germany
"Frankfurt, 1946. David Bermann (Moritz Bleibtreu) and his Jewish friends have escaped the Nazi regime and are now dreaming of leaving for America. But how will they get the money in these tough post-war times? The smooth-talking businessman focuses on what the Germans now need most: fine bed linens nicely wrapped in amusing stories! The six talented entertainers go from home to home, praising housewives with ashy chutzpah until the flattered ladies have no choice but to buy their irresistible items. Business flourishes and a bright new future can be seen in the horizon. But questions about Bermann's past catch up with him. Why does he have two passports? What about his visit to Hitler's mountain retreat? Could he have collaborated with the Nazis? The smart and attractive but uncompromising US officer Sara Simon (Antje Traue) refuses to close the interrogation. She wants to get to the heart of Bermann's wartime memories. Sara matches his quick wit with iron severity, but it becomes increasingly difficult for her to escape his charm...".