NIGHT WILL FALL, edited by Alfred Hitchcock and released last year, chronicled the experiences of army and newsreel cameramen filming the Allies liberating Nazi concentration camps. Now the full horrific fruits of their labours have been painstakingly assembled and digitally remastered using additional footage from the Imperial War Museum vaults.
Initial scenes of the German public’s unquestioning adoration of Adolf Hitler are soon contrasted with the piteous and appalling scenes at the 14 sites covered by the camera crews, including Dachau, Belsen and Majdanek. So as to avoid possible accusations of staging by Holocaust deniers, there are lengthy panning shots of listless, emaciated inmates – some receiving their first sustenance in weeks –mass graves, and most poignantly, vast piles of suitcases, hair and teeth. A stark reminder of humankind’s capacity for inhumanity.