Films about the Holocaust – Understanding Holocaust Films
There are many films about the Holocaust that will present this period of history from a variety of different angles. While there are a great deal of solid facts that back up what happened during the Holocaust, there are still some who deny that this event took place. For this reason, you'll find that there are some films which try to dispel the Holocaust just as powerfully as other films work to keep the memory of those who perished at the hands of Nazis alive. A thorough understanding of different Holocaust films is essential to get down to the truth of the matter.
If you're looking at historical footage that was taken during World War II, it's important to consider the source of the film that you're seeing. Many films were taken by Nazis themselves. While members of the Nazi party often filmed their horrific acts of violence with pride, other films were made that downplayed the torturous acts that were taking place. It's important to sort propaganda from historically accurate footage. The Nazi party was known to stage many scenes within Jewish ghettos so they could present the picture that they wanted the public to see. You should always view propaganda in light of its intended purpose.
Other powerful sources of footage for films about the Holocaust were the American liberators. While the Allies were liberating concentration camps near the end of the war, they took many hours of footage of what they found there. This documentation is a powerful testament to what took place during the Holocaust, and what was left behind when the Nazis fled. This footage is especially compelling when you consider that these horrific scenes are what remained after the Nazis destroyed some of the worst evidence of torture and murder. Scenes within the concentration camps while the Nazis were still in occupation were certainly much worse.
The last and perhaps most fallible source of information about the Holocaust comes from personal interviews. It's important that these interviews are not discredited completely because many brave survivors have told their stories in films about the Holocaust so that this part of history will not be forgotten. However, it's also important to maintain an appropriate level of skepticism for those who have been interviewed as Holocaust deniers contending that these events did not happen. In addition to the survivors of concentration camps, many surviving children of Nazi families are now coming forward to add their voices to the evidence of the Holocaust.