New York Times - 01/12/2007
"[A] reminder that Hollywood treatments of the Holocaust, as excellent as some of them have been, are no match for the unvarnished reality."
Entertainment Weekly - 02/02/2007
"[With] rivetingly essential documentary footage....You feel the anguish, but also the catharsis, of a reckoning..." -- Grade: A-
This harrowing documentary chronicles the Frankfurt trial of 22 SS soldiers who served at the notorious Polish concentration camp, Auschwitz. Of course there's no way to convey the actual horrors endured by the survivors of the camp, where millions of Jews were killed and abused, and though the trial was not filmed, hundreds of hours of audio tapes from the hearing have allowed documentarians Rolf Bickel and Dietrich Wagner to provide the film with an intense soundtrack of survivor's testimony. Anguished voices recount the daily horrors they endured, with refugees coming from all over the world to testify against their former oppressors. The tapes are underscored with footage from SS archives and the Russian liberation of the camp as well as the courtroom and modern-day Europe. Originally aired on German television in 1993 in three parts--"The Investigation," "The Trial," and "The Verdict"--it plays to devastating effect as a three-hour omnibus. The film, which was released to American theaters in a limited run shortly after the execution of Saddam Hussein, is a chilling testament to the quickness with which even the most horrific crimes can become buried by time and change, only to be uncovered as raw and festering as ever.