Allied Attempts to Cover Nazi Crimes on Film. What Questions can the Footage Answer?


The international workshop invites experts from various fields to discuss the potential of Allied film footage of liberated camps for studying the history of the Holocaust.

There is hardly any filmic evidence of Nazi concentration and death camps as they were before their SS personnel fled and Allied troops arrived. The SS obeyed the strict prohibitions against filming what went on inside, and the exception — the relatively little footage that was permitted to be shot – was intended to deceive viewers about the true nature of the camps. Allied footage of liberated camps is therefore often used, for example in documentary films and at memorial sites, to fill this void in the visual record. But can the footage really do that? What does it actually include? What exactly do these images show (and what do they not show)? And, after decades of academic research and public history, what can they still tell today’s viewers, despite their having never been the intended audience?
These topics are discussed by team members of the Horizon 2020 project Visual History of the Holocaust and the following external experts:

Matthias Heyl (Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück)
Sybille Steinbacher (Fritz Bauer Institute)
Christoph Dieckmann
Gottfried Kößler (Fritz Bauer Institute)
Hannah Ahlheim (JLU Giessen)
Roland Leikauf (Gedenkstätte Hadamar)
Katja Baumgärtner (Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site)
Sandra Starke (Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam)
Lea Lachnitt (JLU Giessen)
Anika Binsch (JLU Giessen / Arbeitsstelle Holocaustliteratur)


Event Image
Friday, 13.12.2019, 10:30
Sunday, 15.12.2019, 13:00
Justus Liebig University Giessen, main building, Ludwigstraße 23, 35390 Giessen, Germany