Almost seventy years ago a Nazi propaganda film was shot inside the Warsaw Ghetto. It depicted the lives of Jews, most of whom went on to perish in a German concentration camp. Much of the film has been shrouded in mystery. The Nazis never completed it and it is not clear why they made it.Restrictions have been placed on the film in the United States for disturbing images, including emaciated corpses, hindering it as a tool of education of the Nazi treatment of the Jews and how film can be used as propaganda. I hope this is reconsidered.
One Israeli filmmaker was determined to explore the origins of the film and this week her documentary investigation is being released in American cinemas.
The original footage was unfinished, its purpose not completely understood. The Israeli documentary director has put together not only the film, as well as outtakes later discovered, but the testimony of Germans involved in filming and Warsaw Ghetto survivors' reactions to the film. It sounds like a very powerful combination. The Nazis apparently wanted to show the disparate worlds between the Jewish rich and poor of Warsaw, and to perhaps to record this for posterity of a people only known of in Europe in the past, should their annihilation programme succeed.