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Nuremberg Trial Film - Nazi Concentration Camps

WARNING:  THIS CLIP IS FROM A DOCUMENTARY INTRODUCED DURING THE NUREMBERG WAR-CRIMES TRIAL IN 1945.  IT IS A COMPILATION OF FILM FOOTAGE TAKEN BY THE U.S. ARMY SIGNAL CORPS AS ALLIED SOLDIERS LIBERATED NAZI DEATH CAMPS. 

THIS EVIDENCE OF NAZI ATROCITIES, WHICH SPEAKS FOR ITSELF, IS GRUESOME AND GRAPHIC.  IT DEPICTS CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.  USE EXTREME CAUTION .  THE DOCUMENTARY - ENTITLED "NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS" - HAS BEEN DIGITIZED BY THE U.S. NATIONAL ARCHIVES
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THE CLIP IS PROVIDED AS PRIMARY-SOURCE EVIDENCE OF NAZI ATROCITIES DURING WORLD WAR II.  PLEASE PREVIEW IT, ENTIRELY, BEFORE ALLOWING CHILDREN TO VIEW.  SOME SECTIONS ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN AT ALL.

This clip takes us into the court room of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial on the 29th of November, 1945. James Donovan, an assistant trial counsel, explains why the film would serve as a witness to what had occurred in the Nazi concentration camps:

These motion pictures speak for themselves in evidencing life and death in Nazi concentration camps.

Donovan—who, about a dozen years later would represent Rudolf Abel, a famous Soviet spy and the man exchanged for Francis Gary Powers, on the "Bridge of Spies" during 1962—also explains to the court how the film had been made:

[The footage was] compiled from motion pictures taken by Allied military photographers as the Allied armies in the West liberated the areas in which these camps were located. (Quoted by Lawrence Douglas in The Memory of Judgment:  Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust, at page 23.)

Thomas Dodd, one of the U.S. prosecutors, has introduced a compilation of film evidence referred to as "Nazi Concentration Camps."

The one-hour film is unbelievably gruesome and extremely upsetting. Maintained today by the U.S. National Archives, it has been digitized and placed online by the Archives.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum provides background on the film, and how it was made:

U.S. prosecutor Thomas Dodd introduces the film compilation "Nazi Concentration Camps." . . . The footage, filmed as Allied troops liberated the concentration camps, was presented in the courtroom on November 29, 1945, and entered as evidence in the trial.

At the film's beginning, we hear about the affidavits of individuals involved in its creation. Lt. Col. George C. Stevens explains how he directed the recording of scenes at various camps. At approximately 3:42 minutes into the clip, we see where many of the concentration camps were located.

At 4:00, we are taken to a camp near Leipzig where - for the most part - Russians, Czechs, Poles and French prisoners endured extraordinary hardships.

At 5:19, we visit Penig (a concentration camp in Germany). When Allied soldiers liberated the place, they found people - mostly Hungarians - living in vermin-infested, miserable places. Many of the rescued inmates were ill with tuberculosistyphus and other communicable diseases.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5139stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Dec 18, 2017


Media Credits

Clip from "Nazi Concentration Camps," a documentary created for the Nuremberg war-crimes trial and introduced as evidence on November 29, 1945. 

 

Clip online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Nuremberg Trial Film - Nazi Concentration Camps" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Dec 18, 2017.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Nuremberg-Trial-Film-Nazi-Concentration-Camps/1>.
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