Documentary films at their best educate us – they inform us to circumstances before our times, circumstances that could happen, and circumstances that never should have happened. With services such as Netflix and video on demand rentals, there is a massive amount of opportunity available to those who want to know more about historic events such as the Holocaust. This article contains reviews of a few different Holocaust documentaries available through these means to anyone with a PC or internet connection.
“I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal”
Simon Wiesenthal led a life so thoroughly devoted to finding justice for the victims of the Holocaust that it should serve as a model for all of us when it comes to living our lives and searching for justice. This documentary features extensive clips of Wiesenthal conducting interviews with various news agencies during his life. Some of the clips feature Simon Wiesenthal speaking on the Holocaust and his work in English while others are subtitled or a mixture of both. There are also pictures of both Wiesenthal and other Holocaust victims as well as substantial interviews with family members and friends.
“The Goebbels Experiment”
“The Goebbels Experiment” chronicles the life and career of Hitler’s minister of propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust. Because of Goebbels high level of involvement with the German propaganda film industry and his access to equipment, many video clips accompany Kenneth Brannagh’s readings of Goebbel’s diary entries. Video clips of Goebbel’s hometown as well as his wife and children at play are featured as well as clips of Goebbel’s carrying out his duties. The clips of his family are particularly tragic considering the deaths all suffered at the hands of Goebbel.
“Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State”
This PBS documentary featured Linda Ellerbee as the narrator as she leads us through Auschwitz camp from its first beginnings through the fevered death frenzy at the height of the Holocaust to the end of the camp’s life of death when Allied liberators arrived. Even people familiar with the base story of Auschwitz will likely be exposed to details they were unaware of while viewing this documentary which contains lengthy interviews with the few Jewish survivors and political prisoners and at least one SS officer. There are also detailed graphics that reconstruct the camp through visual models to show the layout of Auschwitz at its most lethal.
All three of these documentaries can further one’s understanding of the Holocaust and educate you on the horror of the time. One offers a glimpse at a prominent and fanatical Nazi, one offers a glimpse at a man who brought countless Nazi’s to justice, and the other chronicles the reasons why justice must be served.