VERDICT ON AUSCHWITZ: THE FRANKFURT AUSCHWITZ TRIAL 1963-1965 (produced by Hessischer Rundfunk, a German public television station) is a documentary of immense importance that illuminates not only the horrors of Auschwitz, but the chilling atmosphere of the courtroom in Frankfurt, Germany, almost twenty years after the Holocaust. Assembled from 430 hours of original audiotapes that languished in obscurity for decades, this film brings to life the voices of Auschwitz survivors, who confronted perpetrators they had not seen for twenty years-- many of whom had made comfortable lives for themselves in postwar West Germany.
VERDICT ON AUSCHWITZ addresses one of the most profound questions of justice in modern history. The trial raised myriad questions that have yet to be fully answered, as it is still comparatively under-researched. The film is thus not only of historical importance-- a chapter in the history of the Holocaust and in Germans' coming to terms with this legacy-- but it can also lead new audiences to consider the process of reckoning since 1945 in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere.
A powerful condemnation of evil, and a chilling reminder of how seemingly civilized societies can lapse into madness. --Film Threat
As both historical document and human document, this epic is infinitely valuable. Grade: A --Christian Science Monitor