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VERDICT ON AUSCHWITZ (THE FRANKFURT TRIAL: 1963-1965)
"A fascinating reflection on Germany's ongoing attempts to come to terms with its past" -Variety
"A reminder that Hollywood treatments of the Holocaust, as excellent as some of them have been, are no match for the unvarnished reality." -New York Times
"Startling" -Village Voice
"Filmmakers Bickel and Wagner wisely opt for the barest and simplest presentation of this nightmarish material, which they organize chronologically into three sections...each carrying its particular freight of horror." -Time Out Chicago
½ "Scrupulous, haunting and necessary...Documentarians and audiences alike can learn much here" -Chicago Tribune
½ "Masterful" -Chicago Sun-Times
Recommended! -Chicago Reader
This film is an unparalleled document of the first Auschwitz trial which took place shortly after the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. The filmmakers use excerpts from 430 hours of original audiotapes and reflect on the investigation, the trial procedures, and the verdict, in this, one of most important events in German history. The court heard 360 witnesses from 19 countries including 211 Auchwitz survivors in proceedings against 22 people accused of taking part in the mass murder of millions. In the courtroom, survivors of Auschwitz confronted perpetrators they had not seen for 20 years, many of whom had comfortable lives in postwar West Germany. On August 20, 1965, after 20 months of proceedings, the verdict was pronounced in one of the most significant trials in German legal history.
Directed by Rolf Bickel and Dietrich Wagner, Germany, 2005, DVD, 180 mins. In German with English subtitles.