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Auschwitz - Inside the Nazi State
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Subtle but exacting use of computer-animated effects allows three-dimensional exploration of newly discovered architectural plans and buildings long-ago destroyed, revealing the transformation of Auschwitz as World War II progressed. Along with rare archival footage, thorough documentation, and frank testimony from Holocaust survivors and Nazi perpetrators (not all of them penitent about their crimes), these programs make expert use of commanding narration by Oscar®-winning actress Linda Hunt, who brings depth and gravitas to a grim litany of sobering facts and figures. The result is an all-encompassing portrait of Auschwitz unlike anything seen before, masterfully written and produced by Laurence Rees with equal parts tenacity, intelligence, and integrity, informed by an overriding sense of moral outrage that is entirely appropriate to the history being examined. It's a remarkable achievement, as important as Shoah as a definitive exploration of one of the darkest chapters in human history. --Jeff Shannon
Top Customer Reviews
A unique and highly informative 6-part documentary that examines the establishment and development of the Auschwitz-Birkenow concentration camp within the historical context of the Nazi's changing strategies and goals during the Second World War. Using historical photographs, filmed re-enactments, recent interviews with both survivors and perpetrators, and computer models based on recently discovered blueprints of the camp, the filmmakers painstakingly trace the evolution of Auschwitz from a detainee facility built to house Polish prisoners, to a forced labor camp, and finally, to an infamous and horrifyingly efficient factory devoted to mass murder. Brilliantly and movingly narrated by actress Linda Hunt (Oscar-winner for "The Year of Living Dangerously"), the 4-1/2 hour series is intellectually stimulating, educationally astonishing, and emotionally overwhelming as it attempts the almost impossible task of explaining the incomprehensible. That "Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State" succeeds so well in its mission is a testament to the commitment and skill of the filmmakers.
The DVD also includes a revealing interview with filmmaker Lawrence Rees, who produced the series; and a series of six short interview segments with Holocaust and genocide authorities, each of which is hosted by esteemed journalist Linda Ellerbee. These interviews, originally designed to air as companion pieces to the six parts of the documentary, are invaluable tools in providing modern day context to the lessons and legacy of Auschwitz, and a framework in which to consider the ongoing horror of genocide. Literate and immensely powerful, this 2-disc DVD set is most highly recommended viewing for those wishing to educate themselves about one of the darkest chapters in all of human history.
Three years ago, I made the trip to southern Poland and visited O'wi'cim, just outside Krakow.. I saw part of remnants of the massive concentration camp and industrial complex there that that the Germans called Auschwitz- Specifically the two extermination camps at Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau. The experience was one of the most searing of my life.
I walked the grounds along the barbed wire and railway tracks, through the iconic gates and buildings.. I got a sense of the scale of the place, of the geography. Something that had always been somewhat abstract to me, became that afternoon very - and all too horrifically - substantial. I wandered the vast Birkenau compound past the small ponds still gray and clouded with the ashes of hundreds of thousands. I witnessed the piles of shoes, glasses, suitcases.. The hair shorn in a great heap.. Relics of the thousands of victims murdered at the very end of the war. I stood by the rubble of the gas chambers, blown to slag by the SS as the Soviets bore down on them in the very last days of the Reich..
I stood and gazed up at the cruel sneering mendacious "Arbeit Macht Frei" - that famous motto borrowed from Dachau emblazoned in steel wire above the entrance - with fresh eyes, as if for the first time.
The nightmare was overwhelming. I wandered about mute, not sure how to process any of it.
As I left, I stopped in the gift shop, and bought this film. I watched it in my hotel that night. It brought everything I had seen that day into clearer focus.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
NOTE that this DVD will not play in the US. The description says "for region 2" but doesn't explain. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Disturbing and very detailed. This is a great buy for collectors of WWII and fans of history.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
must be require viewing in every high school in America. Very relevant in today's timesPublished 8 months ago by Linda Crowe
As much as you can love anything about the Holocaust, this is a good film. It tells it like it was at Auschweitz.Published 9 months ago by P. Blevins
I have seen this series probably about 6 or 7 times in its entirety. It is an excellent, factual documentary about what happened at Auschwitz, starting from the beginning until... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ladyx
I recently visited Auschwitz and Birkenau so this is of particular interest to me. It's excellent and portrays most of what I saw in May 2015.Published 13 months ago by Katherine Young
Given the subject of this documentary, it is difficult to say "I Love It", as the 5-star rating indicates. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Michael Ryland