Restoration of the Film

A need for restoration of the copies of Memory of the Camps had become apparent after the film had been shown widely as a popular loan item. IWM believed that the project to restore the film could also encompass work to complete it, using the filmmakers' original directions (the rough cut, shot list and script for the commentary) and all reels of source material that had been assembled back in 1945 to make the film

The work to restore and complete the film began in December 2008, when the IWM team - including Dr Toby Haggith, George Smith, Andrew Bullas and David Walsh - investigated whether the sequences for reel six, as described in the original shot list, could be found among the 100 component reels of unedited footage, deposited with the rough-cut in 1952.

IWM discovered all the scenes listed for the sixth reel, except for two maps, one of which has now been especially created. As well as completing the film, IWM revisited the original masters and component reels, digitally scanning these and assembling the whole film from scratch. The work was carried out in collaboration with Dragon DI - a digital post-production company in Wales, UK.

The film now has the title German Concentration Camps Factual Survey - as originally listed in the Ministry of Information Catalogue of Films for Liberated Territories, published in September 1945. The original commentary has been re-recorded with the voice of actor Jasper Britton and an effects track created, blending the existing synch sound recordings made at Belsen with authentic Army Film and Photographic Unit recordings made on the battlefields of NW Europe (1944-1945), which are held in IWM’s collection.

David Walsh - Restoration Producer
Dr Toby Haggith - Restoration Director
George Smith - Restoration Editor
Andrew Bullas - Off-line Editor
Damon Cleary - Graphics
Jane Fish - Commercial Liaison
Corinna Reicher - Translator
Suzanne Bardgett - Historical Adviser
Kay Gladstone - Historical Adviser
Roger Smither - Historical Adviser
Jasper Britton -  Narrator
Vincenzo Cannatella - Dubbing Mixer

The picture was scanned, restored and digitally assembled at Dragon DI.

The soundtrack was mixed and recorded at Prime Focus.

Further reading

Toby Haggith, 'Restoring and Completing German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (1945/2014), Formerly Known and Memory of the Camps', in the  Journal of Film Preservation, 04.2015, pp. 95-101

Toby Haggith, 'The 1945 Documentary German Concentration Camps Factual Survey and the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Camps'. The Holocaust in History and Memory, vol. 7 (2014), pp. 181-97.

Kay Gladstone, ‘Separate Intentions: The Allied Screening of Concentration Camp Documentaries in Defeated Germany in 1945-46: Death Mills and Memory of the Camps’ in Toby Haggith and Joanna Newman (eds.) Holocaust and the Moving Image: Representations in Film and Television Since 1933 (Wallflower Press: 2005), pp. 50-64