Alfred Hitchcock made the Holocaust’s most disturbing documentary: Why haven’t we seen it?

Alfred Hitchcock made the Holocaust’s most disturbing documentary: Why haven’t we seen it?

Few genocides have been so painstakingly depicted as the Holocaust, not to mention by such a slew of iconic filmmakers. Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanksi and Alain Resnais are just a few of the classic directors who have brought the tragic, gut-wrenching reality of the event to the screen. Up until now, documentaries like Resnais’ Night and Fog have relied heavily on memories of the event, but a new film seeks to tell the story through footage gathered at the moment of the liberation itself — a project led by Alfred Hitchcock.

In a team led by Alfred Hitchcock, a varied group of film technicians shot perhaps the most shocking glimpse into what happened in Germany’s concentration camps. Yet despite being called a classic of the form, Alfred’s team never was able to produce their Holocaust film for public exposition.

While it was never properly released to the public, Alfred and his crew assembled footage that was used in the Nuremberg and Lüneburg trials to prosecute German officials who ran the camps. There are several theories as to why Hitchcock was never allowed to screen the film, one of the most prominent being that the allied powers wanted to bring Germany under their wing to confront the threat of the Soviet Union. Releasing a graphic documentary about the worst atrocities of the Holocaust — even in the hands of a filmmaker like Alfred — may have seemed counterintuitive, reported The Guardian.

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