Wannsee Conference

DVD Release: February 24, 2009
Wannsee Conference
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Synopsis

On January 20, 1942, a conference was held to organize the “final solution” — the destruction of all 11 million European Jews. This documentary examines extensively the historical background to the conference and deals with the preceding events methodically and chronologically. Eminent Jewish and non-Jewish historians exchange views on the issues that have preoccupied many people for years: the why’s and wherefores, the question of blame, and the possibility of a recurrence.

Dove Review

“Wannsee Conference” is an unforgettable documentary about Hitler’s plot to annihilate the Jewish race and the conference that took place in 1942, designed to establish the various methods of killing. This is a chilling film in spots. It features archive footage of Hitler’s speech about the extermination of the Jews in Germany and all the Jewish race in Europe and the cheers that erupt following his statement. Another brief scene, shown twice and from a distance, shows archived footage of Jews being shot, the bodies falling into a ditch and then being covered with dirt. Again, the footage is fuzzy and hard to see, but obviously shows what just happened.

During Adolph Eichmann’s trial in 1961, he contended that he simply followed the orders of the authorities of the day. The conference of Wannsee, the plight of the Jewish people, and the archive footage make this both a chilling and interesting documentary of the period. We award it our Dove “Family-Approved” seal for ages 12 plus, with the suggestion that parents watch it with their children. “Wannsee Conference” is a film you will not forget.

Content Description

Sex: A comment that sexual relations between Jews and Germans was forbidden.
Language: "Insolent Jews" comment.
Violence: Archive footage that, twice, shows Jews in a fuzzy film and from a distance, being shot, falling into a ditch, and then being covered with dirt; bombs, explosions and fighter planes in the air; buildings on fire; a comment about lootings that took place; a scene of Jews heading to nooses to be hanged; a Jew is hit with a club; book burnings; mention of the gas ovens.
Drugs: Smoking is seen in archive footage; a "drinking cognac" comment.
Nudity: Shirtless men.
Other: A Jewish man suggests that some anti-Semitic thoughts occurred in the Christian community; a statement that there were anti-Christians as well; the mistreatment and murdering of Jews is discussed; a comment that some people committed suicide.

Info

Company: Gateway Films / Vision Video
Director: Willy Lindwer
Producer: Willy Lindwer
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 58 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Prof Eberhard Jackel - historian, Gabriel Bach
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter