IWM Film, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey Film

German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (1945/2014) is the British Ministry of Information documentary about German atrocities and the concentration camps. 

Described by critics as 'an impressive and important piece of filmmaking, restored with intelligence and care by the museum', the film has been digitally restored and, with the assembly for the first time of the sixth and final reel, IWM has completed the film to the instructions laid down by the original production team in 1945.

About the Film

Ordered in April 1945 by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, the film is an official documentary about German atrocities and the concentration camps compiled with footage shot by combat and newsreel cameramen accompanying troops as they liberated occupied Europe. It was to be the film screened in Germany after the fall of the Third Reich - shown to German prisoners of war wherever they were held.

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 worked as Treatment Adviser.

Making a long film about such an important and complex subject was difficult. Progress was slow and the film missed its moment. By September 1945, British priorities for Germany had evolved from de-Nazification to reconstruction and so the film was shelved, unfinished.

More Information

  • History

    Read about the history of the German Concentration Factual Survey Film.

  • Restoration

    Find out about the work behind the restoration of the film.

  • Film Screenings and Press Coverage

    More information on screenings of the Film and Press Coverage

  • Blue-ray and DVD release

    Find out about the DVD and Blu-ray release of the film.