Moving Images from the Archives. Historical Footage of Nazi Crimes in Documentaries

VHH Conference organized by DFF - Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum and Justus Liebig University Giessen

Why do we move the Allies’ film images from the archives, make them move on screen, and make them move us?

Film teams of the British, American, and Soviet armies extensively recorded the after­math of Nazi crimes in liberated camps and territories. Since the end of World War II, these scattered records have been used in museum exhibitions and television and cinema documentaries. The fact that this footage was meant to serve as evidence in Nazi crime trials, to inform the Allied public, and to shame and denazify German viewers is not always apparent when images from it are employed as a surrogate for images the perpetrators themselves rarely left behind.

The conference invites film archivists, curators, and filmmakers from Germany, the US, the UK, Israel, France, and Denmark to describe their approaches to employing this histo­rical footage in their work, including filmic means of contextualizing archival footage and combining it with other kinds of sources and the educational and emotional effects of different presentation strategies.

Clips selected by the speakers from their documentaries will be accessible in advance to all conference participants via a Vimeo account. They will not all be shown during the conference in order to maximize the time for discussion.

The conference is jointly hosted by the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum and the Justus Liebig University Giessen and organized within the framework of the 4-year EU Horizon 2020 project “Visual History of the Holocaust. Rethinking Curation in the Digital Age” (, which started in 2019.


COVID-19 protective measures:

At the conference, the “2G” rule applies: participants need to be fully vaccinated or recently recovered. Rapid antigen tests will be provided for free (and are expected to be used each day before attending). In addition, it is mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask (speakers are exempted while speaking).


Attendance is free of charge, but places are limited. For participation, please register by sending an email to:

Through registration, participants agree to comply with the conference’s COVID-19 protective measures.