Search Museum of the Moving Image

Loading Events


Documenting Atrocity: The Impact and Legacy of the Film German Concentration Camps Factual Survey

Sunday, Apr 30, 2023 at 4:00 pm

Location: Redstone Theater

In honor of Genocide Awareness Month, MoMI presents the British documentary German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (GCCFS), which features footage graphically depicting the atrocities committed during World War II at Nazi concentration camps. The film was commissioned in April 1945 by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force and shot by combat and newsreel cameramen accompanying allied troops as they liberated occupied Europe. Producer Sidney Bernstein assembled a team at the Ministry of Information that included editors Stewart McAllister and Peter Tanner; writers Colin Wills and Richard Crossman; and Alfred Hitchcock, who gave directorial advice.  

The Allies intended for the film to be shown to German prisoners of war wherever they were held, but the project was ultimately shelved before completion due to a shift in the priorities of the British government. In the early 1980s, an abridged version of the film aired on the PBS show Frontline; this version restores footage deemed too brutal. More than 78 years later, GCCFS has been taught in universities and studied by scholars but has never been widely seen by the American public.  

Join us for this special screening, followed by a discussion about the role of atrocity imagery in our contemporary society, in which antisemitism, Holocaust distortion, and shocking acts of brutality caught on video are at an all-time high. Panelists include Jane Wells, founder of 3 Generations and daughter of the film’s producer Sidney Bernstein; Dr. Steve Carr from the Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Purdue University-Fort Wayne; and Dr. Laura B. Cohen from the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College-CUNY. 

Please note this film contains graphic imagery of the people who were imprisoned and murdered in the Nazi concentration camps. Viewer discretion is advised.  

Tickets: $10 / $7 for MoMI members, seniors, and students. Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission.

This event is co-sponsored by 3 Generations, the Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Purdue University-Fort Wayne, and the Kupferberg Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College-CUNY.