Keywords:Holocaust, visual propaganda, documentary film, film archives, concentration camps, ghettos, Reichsfilmarchiv, Budd Schulberg
AbstractWhat if the SS as the main Nazi organisation responsible for the Holocaust produced a secret film about the persecution and murder of the European Jews during World War II? This essay discusses the possible production of a documentary film about the genocide, made by the perpetrators. In doing so, it challenges a set of assumptions that commonly opposes such an endeavour. By examining the various activities of private and official photographers and cameramen in the context of the deportation and extermination of the European Jews and by drawing on contemporary sources which hint at such a – now lost – film project, the essay examines the available evidence and investigates comparable footage, arguing that the gaze of the perpetrators has long been part of our collective visual memory of the Holocaust.
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