Join Auschwitz historian Professor Robert Jan Van Pelt as we explore the unique circumstances that produced film reel that would help shape public memory for decades.


How did the Allied nations confront the realities of the Holocaust after the war?  What images were necessary to convey the depths of destruction that had occurred? Film crews documented the liberation of several Nazi concentration and death camps for posterity and propaganda, to varying results. Some resultant images were deemed too controversial and were shelved, while others were turned into nationally screened newsreels.

Join Auschwitz historian Professor Robert Jan Van Pelt and the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre as we explore the unique circumstances that produced film reel that would help shape public memory for decades, and ask how these images can inform contemporary struggles for social justice.

This program is a talkback connected to screenings of the documentary Every Face Has a Name, alongside two original films made during liberation by British and Canadian filmmakers, German Concentration Camp Factual Survey (1945) and Behind the Swastika: Nazi Atrocities.

Be sure to register for the Holocaust Education Week Channel on the Virtual J in order to view the films and talkback. 


Film program:

In late April of 1945, as World War II drew to a close, the Swedish Red Cross arranged for nearly 2,000 concentration camp survivors to be sent to the relative safety of Malmo, Sweden. News photographers were on hand to capture their arrival as they pulled into port. Almost 70 years later, Magnus Gerrten (Harbour of Hope, SFJFF 2012) embarked on a quest to match as many names as possible to the faces caught on film. In Every Face Has a Name Gerrten meets with survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, members of the Norwegian and French Resistance, grown men who arrived in Malmo as swaddled infants, and an American woman arrested in Italy by the Germans on the assumption that she was a spy. The shock of seeing themselves, friends and loved ones on film is palpable. While staring at the footage they are temporarily transported back to the brutality of life in the camps and the euphoria of liberation. Gerrten skillfully juxtaposes the found footage of 70 years ago with contemporary news footage chronicling the plight of refugees fleeing violence in North Africa. Gerrten reminds us that war is still with us and that compassion demands we extend aid when we can. The question is, will we?


Ordered in April 1945 by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, ​German Concentration Camps Factual Survey​ is an official documentary about the atrocities committed at concentration camps under Nazi leadership. 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. A compilation of footage shot by combat and newsreel cameramen accompanying troops as they liberated occupied Europe, the film was to be screened in Germany after the fall of the Third Reich – shown to German prisoners of war wherever they were held – but was ultimately shelved before completion due to a shift in the priorities of the British government.
This short documentary reveals the atrocities that occurred in German concentration camps during World War II. With images of suffering humans and mass graves, this film depicts the events that transpired under Hitler’s rule and the condition of the prisoners when they were liberated by the Allied Forces. This short will be shown as part of the talkback program.


This program is generously supported by The Yakubowicz Family Memorial Lecture in honour of Esther and Mirko Bem and Perla and Sam Yakubowicz.

Presented in partnership with: CIJA

Presented by:

A Kultura Collective Member

In Partnership with:


Start Date January 27, 2021

12:00 PM






If accessibility options not listed, please contact the venue to confirm

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