Memory of the Camps
Join the Discussion: What are your thoughts after viewing Memory of the Camps, this 60- year old film that documents the liberation of the  Nazi death camps in the spring of 1945?

Dear FRONTLINE,

I read where one viewer suggested that this film was in need of re-editing to make it more effective.

It is very effective as it is and making it more "viewable" would destroy its value as a genuine artifact of the period. Changing anything or worse censoring it would give an opening for those who would want to deny its veracity.

Martin Gassner
Corrales, NM

Dear FRONTLINE,

The sort of butchery done by the Germans in this film is nothing new. It has happened many times before and almost continuously throughout human history. It is happening now in places known and unknown. It will happen again and again in the future because each generation produces people who see themselves as the stewards of all revealed knowledge and as those chosen by God to pass judgement on others.

We do not learn from our mistakes and we do not have to look too far to see the perpetrators of the next "Holocaust" assembling.

Christopher Pecharka

Dear FRONTLINE,

Broadcasting this film and making it available online deserves to be regarded as one of the greatest acts of public service to the world.

Many thanks.

Jon Kenton
Southern Shores, North Carolina

Dear FRONTLINE,

I was raised in a home where my parents HATED Germans. Oddly enough we were part German. We travelled in Europe extensively; my Mother always avoiding or even sneering at German tourists...I had always heard her speak of this video footage but had never seen it. She is dead now and I wish I could tell her that now I see...that somehow I understand her feelings. It was an awful thing to watch yes but at least now I truly understand what bombarded my parents when they were young. The show gives me new perspective on the predjudice of my parents and our society today. Thankyou. I ordered a copy and will be watching it with my teen aged children.

Gracie Barlow
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Dear FRONTLINE,

This footage of the horrors and atrocities of the Holocaust represent an invaluable tool for both sharing the crimes of the past and preventing them from being repeated. However if your goal is to pass this knowledge onto future generations I must regrettably submit that you have failed The pacing of the film is plodding and lethargic as is the narration. This in addition to the lack of sound effects make the documentary virtually unwatchable. Its like watching the silent dailies of some unbelievably horrific horror movie compelling but not yet a film. You have priceless material and a opportunity to make an incredibly powerful documentary. I would strongly urge you to use the unmatched talent frontline brings when creating its in house documentaries to shape this footage into a film.

James Marasco
prov, ri

Dear FRONTLINE,

It is hard to thank you Frontline for presenting this footage. Thanks or gratitude is not the proper word. But I do wish to express much approval of the fact that you broadcast this to a world that 60 years later seemingly selectively forgets the fires of these demonic ovens. Yes this is definitely an archive that needs to be seen by every caring human being. Such inhumanity as depicted affects us all. Perhaps the hardest part to watch were the bodies mothers fathers sisters and brothers living skeletons before they were murdered being discarded as if just so much trash in the insatiable maw of some orgiastic bloodthirsty beast. NEVER AGAIN! LET US NEVER FORGET! May G-d YHWH bless the souls of these suffering people.

Ben Sley
Santa Clara, California

Dear FRONTLINE,

I have studied and read as much as I could to try and digest the enormity of the events that happened in Nazi occupied Europe. Nothing in the literature is as powerful and frightening as your broadcast of "Memories".

I have been and continue to be an adrmirer of Frontline and its unique perspective of journalism.
Keep up the good work.

Arnie Grossman
Woodland Hills, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

The footage held me spell bound until it was finished.......unbelieveable what the human race is capable of when hatred is left to grow......toward any group of people.

We should never forget............

Edward Weissbard
El Paso, TX

Dear FRONTLINE,


I felt incredible despair for mankind whilst watching this film. Simple chance finds us living safely in 21st century USA and not victims of Nazi Germany or some other progrom. Mankinds humanity and civility seem to be a thin veneer over the capacity to behave like characters from a nightmare.

That the existence of regimes like Nazis Germany require the participation of tens if not hundreds of thousands of individuals is terribly saddening. We watch and believe we are different we would never behave that way allow such activities to be repeated in our country - BUT ARE WE?

paul seabrook
vancouver, wa

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for showing this remarkable horrifyingly poignant testimony to just how inhuman humans can be when left unrestrained by a personal sense of conscience and misled by the will of evil personified. I too walked the pathways of Dachau in the early 70ís. I can relate to the color of black. I walked those pathways in humble wordless reverence in deference of what I knew had gone before me. It was an honor and privilege to pay my respects.

This was a stark wake-up call to all those who doubt that the Holocaust ever happened. This film should be broadcast and re-broadcast and made required viewing and commenting upon for every High School Trade School and College and University throughout the world. No Degree Diploma or Certificate or Driverís License even should be conferred until the recipient has seen this film. I hope the film is preserved against the ravages of time.

Q: Can it happen again?
A: Rwanda Kosovo Darfur.

This is the ultimate reality series: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

David Watson
Pensacola, Florida

Dear FRONTLINE,


So many people treated in such a way. So many people found to be of no importance. So many people treated with such disregard. My Question. " How can I think that I stand out any differently in the eyes of God who witnessed all this."

I am anger I dont feel so secure.

Thank you for showing the film.

Don Murphy
Charleston, Illinois

Dear FRONTLINE,

This program was a stark bleak window into the events surrounding the liberation of the camps. I have had the privilege of visiting the camps at both Treblinka and Auschwitz and this film brought back to mind the horror and incredulity I felt as I walked through those camps.

Robert Backman
Maple Ridge, British Columbia

Dear FRONTLINE,

I want to express my extreme gratitude to you and PBS for Presenting this Vital Film. My life began just after the US entry into WW II. As I grew to adulthood the Stories of the Death Camps were an integral part of my learning. The truth of the horror of the Nazi crimes must never be lost.

The horror of the death camps evolved from racial stereotyping and a winner take all attitude. As the Oppression grew stronger the crimes became worse. Nazi Germany evolved to a society that could ignore mass murder. I think any society can reach the same depths if anger and oppression are allowed to florish.

Humanity is capable of horrible massive evil. And little examples are able to grow to the kind of vile communitiy that can accept and participate in mass murder.

Thank you a thousand times for the courage and insight it required to broadcast this film. Do it again ten times over. "Memory of the Camps" should be an annual tradition.

Karl Leuba
Phoenix, AZ

Dear FRONTLINE,

I cannot help but think of all the victims in the personal sense as Mothers Fathers Sisters and Brothers. Each person had a history a favorite person place thing and food. All had something to contribute in some form or manner maybe even a greatness to be achieved. Watching the bodies thrown in the graves was unbearable but I watched anyway hoping that my feeble attempt would give some measure to the lifes of the victims. I will not forget. I ask myself what can I do to prevent this from happening again?

Claude Angeli
Prescott Valley, Arizona

Dear FRONTLINE,

Watching this program was a heart wrenching experience. It is so important that we remember these atrocities yet there is a whole generation growing up not even knowing the extent of these crimes. It is important that we remember and pass this information on in the hopes of preventing such horror in the future. Thank you for showing this film now 60 years later.

Karen Fox
Chico, Ca

more

home + introduction + watch online + join the discussion + frequently asked questions
readings and links + map of the camps + teacher's guide
press reaction + tapes & transcript + credits + privacy policy
FRONTLINE home + wgbh + pbsi

posted may 3, 2005

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